This Week's Must Reads

I hope you all had a nice weekend! It's Spring Break here...the kids are out of school and we bugged out to the lake for the week. :) As always, though, I wanted to share some of what I've been sharing lately. So, here goes!

  • Oil prices lately have jumped a little. Have oil prices found their bottom? IEA thinks they may have:
  • This was an interesting article about a CEO who lost his voice. He discusses how losing his voice provided unexpected benefits:
  • GIFs can make a great marketing tool. This article talks about what they are, the benefits of using them, how to develop them:
  • Identifying the important details and creating a system to do them is a key to customer loyalty:
  • A customer "touchpoint plan" can provide a great way to logically look at points where you can positively impact customer loyalty:
  • This is an interesting look at how the purchase continues to move ever-closer to the initial perception of a product and what it means for the future of retail:
  • If you are looking for ways to improve your business's profitability, this article shared several practical ways to do that.
  • High-end retailers are trying to look for ways to improve the customer experience. One way is that they are moving or removing registers to make the experience more personal:
  • A social media plan is something every business should have. But sometimes we don't don;t where to begin. Here's an approach to follow:
  • Thinking about starting an online business? Here are six question to ask yourself first.
  • Enterprise software may not be that exciting, but design-thinking is finding its way into this sector:
  • Public speaking can be challenging. This article suggested some keys to making it successful - mindset, energy, connection:
  • A recent report from the Fed suggests that small businesses might have more success getting loans from small banks rather than larger banks:
  • Do you want to grow your social media audience? Here are some ideas to consider:
  • I liked how this startup learned from their failures - and came back strong:
  • In crowded markets it can seem almost impossible to find a way to stand out. This article provides a good example of how to do that - by tapping into customers' true interests, building products around them, and clearly communicating them to the market:
  • Facebook's has a new video tool - and it's aimed at small business users:
  • Rapid business growth can be challenging to handle.. This article shared some insights from CEOs who have been there and how they managed it:
  • Augmented/virtual reality companies are truly in the spotlight this year. They have already seen record early-stage investments this year:
  • It's important not to just create relevant content, but also to build content targeted to your audience:

I've really been focused on how our businesses can focus on customers, truly understand their needs, and then build our products and services to provide unique value to them. Here are a few tips I shared last week:

  • ASK your customers how well you are meeting their most critical needs.
  • Design your brand around the unique solution your company brings to a key problem your target market faces.
  • You must be able to outline how your products/services UNIQUELY meet the needs of your target customer.
  • Picture your target customer clearly when you are writing copy or posting on social media.
  • When considering your target customer very clearly define their needs/challenges.

 And on this blog I posted some thoughts about how you can build a business that is both unique AND valuable to your customers: Value to Your Target Customer.

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On a separate note, I shared something more personal. As some of you know I recently became a member of the Board of Directors at the Down Syndrome Association of Houston. We have a big, fun event called the Buddy Run coming up on April 30th. We're looking for sponsors (and runners of course!). To explore becoming a sponsor, contact me and we can talk about that. You can reach me at If you want to learn more about the run just click here: Thanks for considering a sponsorship!

Well guys that’s it for today. Enjoy your reading. Leave a comment on the blog. Be sure to share this post and the blog with your colleagues.

Be sure to follow me on social media – Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn.

Have an awesome week!