Diversification! Don’t rely on one client or client type.

I was just featured in an article on the blog The Work at Home Wife, a resource for freelancers created by Angela Nelson. 

Angie asked for real life stories about the challenges of freelancing, so I shared my Great Recession tale about having to adapt when the design and construction industry went into a prolonged standstill. 

If you’d like help planning to diversify your business or services, give me a call. 

Time to Drain the Pool…Re-inventing your bonus pool structure: a new model


My colleage Sal DiFonzo wrote this great article about why structured incentive plans get better results for companies, and are replacing discretionary plans. Sal illustrates how bottom-up funding of plans compares to top-down structures, and explains how your firm can get started in making this important change. 

View or download a PDF of the full article. 

If you’d like to talk to Sal about converting your firm’s bonus structure to one that makes your firm more attractive to the best candidates, and is demonstrably equitable to everyone on staff, call him at 602-381-8108.

Storytelling is your greatest marketing tool

"You can push information at people, or you can pull them in with a story."

by Karen Newcombe

This one’s a horror story...

I visited a firm recently where no one, including the new owner and the new CEO, knows what business they’re in. The founder was forced out and has relocated. 

The firm offers specialized services and has their own manufacturing warehouse where bespoke components that support those services are created. Some pieces are made in large batches and the extras are sold on the website as retail products for hobbyists. …

It’s time to update your marketing plan!


by Karen Newcombe

For the past eight uncertain years, many businesses have been reluctant to put the time and effort into updating a marketing plan that could become useless overnight. Some took an ad hoc approach to marketing, adjusting on the fly from month to month. Other stuck with a tried and true plan from the mid-2000s, waiting for an All Clear signal that the economy is now strong and secure. …

Six things to learn from Mojang’s open conversation with customers

by Karen Newcombe

Mojang, for anyone who has been on a deserted island for the past six years, is the company founded by Markus “Notch” Persson, the creator of the computer game Minecraft. Between 900,000 and 1.5 million people are playing Minecraft at any given moment of the day*. In June 2014, Mojang announced that Minecraft had sold 54 million copies (in all formats), and three months later the company was acquired by Microsoft for $2.5 billion. …

Five ways to improve your business website

Image of Microsoft's first website, circa 1994.

by Karen Newcombe

Why are so many websites so awful? 

Some appear to have been sitting untouched for ten years or more. 

Sometimes you can’t tell what a company does. 

Sometimes you can’t find out where the firm is located, or who works there, or who their clients are. 

Many business sites use a tone of voice that is out of alignment with the service or product offered. Some businesses try to sound professional by using the wrong kind of language — often the bigger the company, the more a pseudo-legal or jargon-filled style of diction is chosen. …

2015 Google Search Engine Optimization Guide

by Karen Newcombe

We all know it’s important to use good SEO practices in our websites. What’s less clear is what those actually are in any given week! Google tweaks their algorithms daily, and makes major changes several times per year. This means you should keep up to date with their requirements. 

Fortunately, Google offers a free SEO Guide to remind us of best practices. 

Your writer is your architect. Your editor is your engineer. Your publisher is your contractor.

High white arches in a long building.

by Karen Newcombe

People frequently ask me exactly what a writer or editor can do for them, and how that relates to publishing. After all, most of us in the developed world learn to write at an early age and we write every day. What’s so different between the writing I do at work or in daily life and what a professional writer or editor does? 

One way to understand this is to consider your writer as your architect, your editor as the engineer, and the publisher as a general contractor. …

You’re the expert – write the book!

Four stacks of brightly colored books. You, too, can be an author!

by Karen Newcombe

You know things that no-one else knows. You’re an expert about your business. You’re the only one who can explain how your technology solves problems. You’re the person who has put in the time to develop an abstract concept into a useful process.  

How can people find out that I'm the person they should turn to for help?  

Write a book. If you don’t, your competitor probably will. 

How do you write a business book? Part 2: Making consistent progress every month


by Karen Newcombe

For Part 1 of How Do You Write a Business Book?, click here. 

At the end of our previous article, Sal DiFonzo (Managing Director, FMI Corporation) and I  had a large amount of already written material (articles and reports that Sal contributed to or wrote) sorted and placed into the outline. By late February, Sal and I were ready to start adding more content. …

232QAWS© Karen L. Newcombe 2016     Email:   Phone: 954-428-5457