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Mary Schmidt Business Builder & Renovator

Mary

Idea Pool

The Three Most Abused Words in Business

Mary Schmidt

Feb 22, 2017

In no particular order:

1. Partner.

As in, “We want to partner with you, Mr./Ms. Customer.”  Calls to mind a meeting I once had, in a Fortune 50 gig, with one of our top sales executives.  He had great fun (snort, snort), “Yes, we want to be YOUR PARTNER, Mr. Customer. Give us all your money!”

“Partner” implies that both parties in the transaction are in it for more than dollars or that single transaction. There’s nothing wrong with being an operationally excellent company who excels at

In Brain Food, Marketing Troubleshooting, Pet Peeves

Best of the Blog: Marketing Troubleshooting

Mary Schmidt

Feb 15, 2017

I’ve got a new website coming soon (It’ll even be mobile-friendly. Hello there 21st century!) As part of the project, I’m going to be streamlining content, including the last (ack!) 12 years of blogging. So, I’m posting some of the “best of” for you. 

The Boring Bits of Marketing
Hitting A Moving Target
A Patent Isn’t a (Commercial) Product
Stop “Educating” Your Customers
But What If Your Customers Will BUY a Faster Horse?
Are You (Really) Developing a Product?
“I’ve Got a

In Brain Food

Best of the Blog: Social Media

Mary Schmidt

Feb 13, 2017

I’ve got a new website coming soon (It’ll even be mobile-friendly. Hello there 21st century!) As part of the project, I’m going to be streamlining content, including the last (ack!) 12 years of blogging. So, I’m posting some of the “best of” for you. 

This one is still getting re-tweeted. Once More With Feeling. A Facebook Page IS NOT A Social Media Strategy (2013)
Four Reasons You Don’t Need A Facebook Page (2013) 
Do Start-Ups Even Need Social Media?
The Three Biggest

In Brain Food

Best of the Blog: Start-Up Sanity Checks

Mary Schmidt

Jan 30, 2017

I’ve got a new website coming soon and as part of the project, I’m going to be streamlining content, including the last (ack!) 12 years of blogging. So, I’m posting some of the “best of” for you. 

A Patent Isn’t a (Commercial) Product (2016)
Avoidable Startup Failure: Emotional Pricing (2016)
Finding the Right Investors (2015)
You Can Sell One of Anything. (2015)
The Boring Bits of Marketing
Markets, Markets, Markets EVERYWHERE! ( 2014)
Start-up Success: The First Five Things

In Brain Food, Start-Up Sanity Checks

Best of the Blog: Strategic Planning

Mary Schmidt

Jan 18, 2017

I’ve got a new website coming soon and as part of the project, I’m going to be streamlining content, including the last (ack!) 12 years of blogging. So, I’m posting some of the “best of” for you. 

Strategy Blind Spots #1 (2005). #5: Planning as if Nothing Changes.
Strategy Blind Spots, #2 (2005). #3 Ego blind spots. And, remember most strategic plans fail.
The Strategy Disconnect (2006) #1: Setting the budget before the goals.
The Problem with Top Down Planning (2007)
Start-Up Suicide:

In Brain Food

The ONLY New Year’s Resolution You Need (Redux)

Mary Schmidt

Jan 03, 2017

Did you make some? Have you already broken at least one? (C’mon. ‘Fess up.) Personally, I’ve always found resolutions to be profoundly depressing…da pressure! da pressure!

Goals are different. Perhaps it’s simply a matter of semantics. We can set small, medium, large, shoot the moon goals and keep adjusting (as long as we keep moving and trying.) Bite off a small chunk of a big challenge. Solve it. Learn. Adjust. Move on to the next bit.

Sure, be a bit realistic. (I, for example,

In Brain Food

“It’s Almost Painful.”

Mary Schmidt

Nov 29, 2016

Recently, I was talking to a young, scary smart CEO friend about what’s truly important and the ubiquitous tyranny being “busy!” He’s been doing a lot of thinking about all this and “It’s almost painful.” 

I don’t know if this should count as wisdom (even given that I’m of a - ahem - certain age), so let’s call it one of my lessons learned. 

“Painful” is a good sign. It means we are working outside our comfort zone.

If we’re always comfortable, we’re not going to change much, for

In Brain Food, Start-Up Sanity Checks

Start-Up Sanity Check for B2B Tech Ventures

Got a great idea? Are people telling you it’s crazy? Good! You’ve got to be a little insane to take that start-up leap – rather it’s out of your garage, the lab or a day job. I'll help you decide where and when to leap (and what to do when you land).

Investment: $500.00 (Why do I call it an investment? Two reasons: 1. If you’re willing to pay, that tells me you’re serious. 2. When you pay for advice, you’re more likely to value and use it.)

Drop me a line and we’ll see if we’re a good fit. If I can't help you, I’ll tell you (and if possible, tell you who can.)

Got funding? I work with one to three start-ups a year, on retainer (minimum of three months, maximum one year).

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Social Media Isn't Free, Easy or Magic.

If one of the self-anointed experts contacts you, pitching magical thinking, ask:

1. What results can I expect if I work with you? (Note: Twitter followers aren't necessarily customers.)

2. What kind of time will I have to invest? (Social media, properly done, is all about personal relationships. You with your customers...and a good relationship takes time.)

3. How do I integrate social media tools with my current operations? (Your salespeople need to know what you're saying on Facebook. Your customer service process and policies should be consistent across the board, from phone to Twitter.)

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