Friday, 4 July 2003

Newsletter Issue 64, July 2003


Sam Young Newsletter

Issue 64, July 2003
Hi guys,
Are you doing all you can do in your business? No? Then check out Networking below.
Thinking of registering a domain name? A couple of tips for you below in Use of Names
Don't forget, if you want to be taken off my mailing list, click here to send me a reply e-mail and I will remove your name.

Networking

Networking may not get you more customers, but it will definitely find you suppliers, contractors and gain you access to business information.
And, if you work on your own, networking is even more important to keep you in touch.
So ask yourself "How much networking do you do?" then measure your answer against "Do you have all the business that you want?". Then have a pick through the following list to see if there is anything that you could add to your "networking" tools;
  • Professional Groups: Become a member of groups associated with your profession such as NZIM (Institute of Management), IPENZ (Institute of Professional Engineers), CPANZ (Career Practitioners Association), IOD (Institute of Directors) or HRINZ (Human Resources Institute). That way you keep up to date with your industry's best practice, trade-specific changes in legislation etc
  • Local Chamber of Commerce: Keep an eye on what is happening in the local and regional business sector. Once you have joined, get on a committee and go to some of the functions. Attend the luncheons (usually great speakers and you meet a lot of people). The more involvement you have, the more contacts you will make. Email Nikki at Commerce Nelson if you are interested in joining
  • Rotary/Lions: This is another business-focused organisation that you may wish to be involved with. For Nelson Rotary details, contact Sari
  • CRM (Customer Relationship Management): Use MS Outlook for all contact management; you can do an awful lot with it if you know how to take advantage of the features. You may need help to set this up & get things running properly. Enter the details from the business cards of those people you meet at functions
  • Newsletters: Set up a newsletter to go out to all your clients and contacts. Set up template in Word (can't have pictures unfortunately), save as an html doc and email out to all clients each month to remind them that you still exist. This is NOT a sales document, but should provide information & news that lets people know (a) what is going on around their local area (b) what changes there are in legislation/technology that may impact them (c) hints & tips to make your client's life easier (d) other items of interest 
Just remember that the more you put yourself out there, the more chance you have of making a mutually profitable connection.

Use of Names

There is much said about creating names for internet addresses. When you do a cruise around company websites, the one most common thing is that the name that you key in after the "www" is usually the same as the one the company trades under. And logically, this promotes and strengthens their corporate brand. 
There is a school of thought, however, that suggests you should type in the name of the thing that you are searching for on the internet; eg if you are looking for a rental car, type in www.rentalcar.com. An interesting idea, but, in my opinion, that is not the way people search on the internet.
Most people look by either knowing their destination (typing in the name of the company and hoping they have entered it correctly) or by using a search engine such as Google.
So register your trading name as your domain name. Then try to think widely and choose all the likely permutations of your name that your clients may assume your website is under, register those as well, and route all those web domain names to your main website. If you don't register all likely name permutations, your web surfing customers will get quite frustrated. For example, Dick Smith Electronics is to be found, not under www.dicksmith.co.nz or www.dicksmithelectronics.co.nz, but actually under www.dse.co.nz. That would certainly never have occurred to me. 
Therefore, for me, trading as Sam Young, I have registered samyoung.co.nz.
You can also go further and then register all the other permutations of the web suffixes, such as 'org.nz', 'net.nz', 'ac.nz', 'biz.nz', 'gen.nz' and 'net.nz'. 
If you have registered your domain names, perhaps you might also want to consider registering your trading name as a trademark to protect your goodwill and reputation. If you want to have  international protection, remember that you must register your trademark in EVERY country in which you require protection, so this can get quite expensive. There are some excellent legal firms you can get trademark advice from, primarily AJ Park in Auckland
However, remember that you mustn't use a domain name that suggests you are trading on the reputation of another company. There was a guy in the North Island whose surname was Harrod; which would have been fine, had he not also used a plain green bag with his name in a gold serifed font. Harrods nailed him to the wall for "passing off". Avoid this at all costs - or all the cost will be yours!

New Retail Man at Telecom

Telecoms companies worldwide are currently focussed on how to increase our spend on mobile technology. But interestingly, here in New Zealand, Telecom has signed up Greg Muir, ex-Warehouse man, for a short-term contract.
So what will a cut-price, bulk-buy retail man know about pushing what is still a very expensive and highly faddy technology market?
Apparently Greg will be spearheading the revitalisation of Telecom's New Zealand retail presence. That should provide some entertainment! Poor bloke. And very good luck to him.
Telecoms CEO Theresa Gattung said that “It’s fantastic to have someone of Greg’s calibre and depth of retail experience to spearhead this significant shift in focus for Telecom. Retail is a critical component of our business strategy. Greg’s appointment is about shifting our retail focus from just selling products to showcasing the latest in integrated mobile, fixed line and Internet services. International trends among leading communications companies, coupled with our first-hand experience with the Telecom Shed, has convinced us it’s time to revitalise Telecom’s retail focus."
You don't say. If other people are doing to Telecom and Xtra what I have recently done, I would say that Telecom customers are probably leaving in droves.
A friend of mine worked for a major Telecom supplier. He told me that the staff turnover at Telecom has been so frequent that employees do not count their time in years, but in re-structures they have survived. An organisation which has been pounded that hard from within tends to loose not only a lot of knowledge, but also a tremendous amount of direction and focus.
Anyway. On with the new. Telecom now thinks that their retail outlets should be showcasing the full range of intangible communication services - such as showing the difference between dial-up Internet and broadband JetStream connections, as well as selling the latest in 027 mobile phones, and providing customers with a hands-on opportunity to learn how to access Xtra Services on PCs and 027 mobile phones. Great idea.
However, unless Telecom starts doing something about their pricing, they won't have much success.
Greg Muir starts with Telecom in early August and it will be very interesting to see what strategies he will employ. Watch this space.

TLAs for SMEs

Here are this newsletter's TLAs for you;
  • PDA, for those two people who asked me this last week, Personal Digital Assistant or "palm pilot' or "digital diary"
  • ABK, Corel Draw "AutoBackup" file

Please feel free to email me with any TLAs that you want to get the bottom (meaning!) of.

Short+Hot Keys... and now tips
All the Function keys for you again. This time all you can do with the "Windows" key (NB: only if you are using a Microsoft Keyboard with the little Windows symbol on a key close to the main spacebar. 95% of keyboards are Microsoft these days);
  • Windows Key     Display the Start menu 
  • Windows Key & F1     Display Help 
  • Windows Key & D     Minimize or restore all windows 
  • Windows Key & E     Display Windows Explorer 
  • Windows Key & F     Display Find: All Files 
  • Windows Key & R     Display the Run command 
  • Windows Key & Tab     Cycle through buttons on the taskbar 
  • Windows Key & Down Arrow     Decrease magnification
  • Windows Key & Up Arrow     Increase magnification
  • Windows Key & Page Down     Toggle Follow mouse cursor
  • Windows Key & Page Up     Toggle Invert Colours
  • Windows Key & Break     Display the System Properties dialog box 
  • Windows Key & Print Screen     Copy the screen to the Clipboard, including the mouse cursor 
  • Windows Key & Scroll Lock     Copy the screen to the Clipboard, without the mouse cursor
Hot Linx
Professional Membership sites that you may be interested in visiting for joining details are;
Want to buy books a new way? Then try http://www.whichbook.net/index.jsp 

                                Catch you again soon!! E-mail your suggestions to me here