Friday, August 22, 2008

I Won! I Won!

Well I laughed out loud when Judy "the foodie" Asman emailed me saying that I had won the first of a series of challenges over at FohBoh. The challenge was to dream up a catchy name for a new food service website. FohBoh™ is the first, leading social-business network for the global restaurant industry. My entry was "". My personal favorite was another entry by another author - "".

Well my burst of creativity won me $50. and 1,000 FohBoh points. I was quite honoured by this. Who'd a thunk it eh?

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Respect Your Own Brand.

I attended a birthday party for an old friend the other night. There I met a young entrepreneur who has been in business for maybe 3 1/2 years but wondered why she's not realizing her dream. She told me how passionate she is, loves working from home considering the responsibility of a small family and she is flush with work. What could she be doing wrong?

Essentially she wondered why she's not making the dollars she anticipated.
Her husband was standing nearby listening. He is a union guy making good union wages working in a factory setting. He mentions that she makes a pretty good rate for the amount of experience she has.

That got me to asking what she charged for her services and specifically what hourly rate she based her services on. Her answer was an eye opener. Only 20 bucks an hour. While on a shop floor this may seem pretty good, in the professional world it's a problem. Her time calculations were an assumption as she doesn't use a timer to track jobs so she can't accurately know what her profit OR loss might actually be. A passionate professional shouldn't rely on their memory to calculate time. As she stands today, her market is project based and as such, the existing rate was worth less and less as the hours mounted on a fixed project price. In many cases, her end hourly rate was less than minimum wage.

My advice to her was to stand back and take a hard look at her brand. At that moment in time her brand stood for cheap - plain and simple. The customers she has, loves her because they get good work - cheap. This is the kind of customer her brand attracts. If she wishes to grow she will have to strengthen her brand and that means drastically increasing her rates. I mentioned that when she does this one of the reasons she will get more business is simply because she is proud of the price she commands. She must believe in her brand FIRST before great customers are attracted to her.

I didn't recommend the highest fees in the industry, just something that will allow her to grow and make the income she deserves. With her productivity, her customers will still be getting great value, quality and service. Her biggest hindrance to her own brand succeeding was her self-esteem. She lacked the confidence to see her true value. I did my honest best to pump her up and get her re-aligned. Her end comment was, "Yes Ed, I should do this!" to which I replied, "NO, not should - you either do it or don't do it, there is no should."

They say, we are our own worst enemy. All I can add is next time you are having challenges in your business share you concerns with others. There may be a solution in your next conversation. One of her comments spoke to the fact that she didn't know there was anyone she could talk to about it. Opening up is the first step to strengthening your brand, listening is second.

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Ed Roach LIVE

I'll be presenting "The Merits of Properly Branding a Christian Radio Station" at the Radio & Records Christian Summit in Nashville on October 27th at 4:15 at the Sheridan Music City Hotel. If you are a member of this media community, I look forward to speaking with you.

Picked Up by HP

HP asked to re-print an article of mine called "5 Tips To Branding A Powerful Presence" that appeared originally at Small Business Branding.Check it out HERE.

Distractions Are Good For Your Brand

I define distractions as what you do to take your mind off of business. As I write this, my Mastermind Group (previously identified as my MOOB group) is readying to begin our quarterly meeting - this time being held at the member from Toledo's cottage on Pelee Island, Ontario in the middle of Lake Erie. We know each other very well and we were discussing distractions last night. Myself I enjoy watercolor painting, (Ed Roach watercolors) and I try to have at least one non-business book on deck. Marcia from Covington Kentucky enjoys her book club and has recently gotten back to art. Marcia from Toledo loves spoiling her grand children. Lastly, John enjoys hitting the links.

We often need to recharge ourselves. When ever I have a dry spell, I immediately look at materials or situations completely unrelated to my business. I also exercise, to get ideas. (to be clear - I am not Adonis, mostly it's cardio to tone the innerds) The effort is so self-absorbing, it has a tendancy to clear the mind and the ideas start flowing freeing. I often have a recorder handy to capture these gems.

Many guys I know love golf as a distraction. I am not suggesting business golf, but golf where the player is on the course with just themselves and their thoughts. Other friends sail, play hockey, fish or simply get in touch with their inner selves through yoga or tai chi.

We all work to exploit our passions. All that effort is to make our lives and the lives of our loved ones better. Taking the time to smell the roses is most important. It makes you feel alive and it regenerates your passions in business and pleasure. Many times, your distractions are often shared by customers and a new deeper relationship forms. Focusing on your distractions and sharing your experiences with those you are in contact with shows everyone how much you enjoy life, and this draws you all closer.

People who, while passionate about their work and do it 24/7 are often pitied not admired. We often wonder, if they we to retire, would they simply wither and die or become hopeless couch potatoes because they never learned to enjoy why they were working in the first place. They assumed their challenge was to make another buck, when in reality, the challenge was to keep the world from passing you by.

What distracts you from your business passion? What will you do today when you leave this blog and sit back and gaze into your world you have built for yourself?
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