Check out my first LIVE CASE STUDY and watch me build a 300,000+ page site! I show everything – domain, Google analytics, SEO strategy...

The Man Who Sold the Web Blog | Learn the ins and outs of autoscale, autopilot sites that add value


Are You Able to Effectively Tap Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) Opportunities?

20 Oct

Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) is an organization’s commitment to produce an overall positive impact on society. CSR encompasses sustainability, social and economic impact, and business ethics. It makes a company socially accountable of its operations, stakeholders, and the public. Businesses undertake CSR programs to benefit society while boosting their own brands.

CSR affects every aspect of business operations and functions. Encouraging equal opportunities; partnering with organizations practicing ethical business methods; putting part of earnings back into environment, health, and safety initiatives; and taking care of communities and charity are all examples of CSR initiatives.

Communities, customers, employees, and media consider CSR vital and gauge companies based on these initiatives. Executives of leading companies consider CSR as an opportunity to deal with critical issues innovatively, reinforce their organizations, and serve the society simultaneously.

The Need for CSR Implementation

Organizations need to come up with a robust approach to unlock potential benefits and value from CSR for them and for the society. The organizations practicing Corporate Social Responsibility do that with one of the following 4 objectives in mind:

  • Philanthropy: These initiatives (e.g. corporate donations) make the companies and society feel good, but produce low value for the business — questionable repute building benefits to companies, but offer much to society.
  • Propaganda: These CSR initiatives are predominantly geared towards promoting a company’s standing, but offer little real value for the society. This form of CSR is more of advertisement and becomes risky if there are any gaps between the firm’s commitments and actions.
  • Pet Projects: Some companies engage in CSR initiatives that support the personal interests of senior executives. These initiatives are much touted about, but are actually of little value to the business or community.
  • Smart Partnering: These initiatives concentrate on common themes between the business and the community. Organizations, in this case, create innovative solutions by drawing synergies from partnerships to tackle major issues concerning all stakeholders.
https://flevy.com/browse/flevypro/corporate-social-responsibility-csr-opportunities-3940

Among these objectives, Smart Partnering offers maximum opportunities for shared value creation and finding solutions to crucial business and social challenges. Whereas for the society, smart partnering helps create more employment opportunities, improve livelihoods, and enhance the quality of life.

Guiding Principles for CSR Initiative Selection

An effective way for the companies to maximize benefits of their CSR efforts is to map the current initiatives; identify the objectives, benefits, and resources responsible for realizing value from those initiatives; and define the projects valuable for addressing key strategic challenges.

Pet projects, philanthropy, or propaganda are easy to plan and execute. However, the real issue is to implement CSR opportunities that bring value for the business as well as society (smart partnering). This goal can be achieved by applying these 3 guiding principles:

  1. Focus on the right segments

Real opportunities lie in the segments where the business collaborates with and influences the society the most. These segments help the business interpret mutual dependencies and uncover maximum mutual benefit.

2. Recognize challenges and benefits

After finalizing the opportunity segments, it is imperative to appreciate the potential for mutual benefit. The key is to find the right balance between the business and community and recognize the challenges that both sides face.

3. Find the right partners

Collaboration with right partners — who benefit from business endeavors and capabilities of each other — creates a win–win situation for both sides and motivates them to achieve mutual value. Sustainable collaboration demands long-term alliances and deeper insights on the strengths of each other.

These principles are helpful in selecting appropriate CSR opportunities, identifying societal and business needs to be addressed, and the required resources and capabilities.

The Case for CSR Benefits

The goal of unlocking mutual benefits — associated with CSR (specifically Smart Partnering) — is critical for long-term success of the program. As required by any other strategic initiative, the mutual value creation objective needs to be carefully assessed based on the true value-creation potential, prioritized, designed, staffed, and audited.

The next step is to outline the list of potential benefits for the business and community. A well-defined business case and a compelling story immensely helps involve and gain commitment from the senior leadership, investors, and employees.

Interested in learning more about how to tap CSR opportunities effectively? You can download an editable PowerPoint on Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) Opportunities here on the Flevy documents marketplace.

Are you a Management Consultant?

You can download this and hundreds of other consulting frameworks and consulting training guides from the FlevyPro library.

When Critical Situations Call for a 911 Rescue: The 10 First Steps to Crisis Management

18 Oct

Never before has Crisis Management been considered important.  With businesses being exposed to a disruptive environment, the emphasis on Crisis Management has never been more profound.

“The secret of Crisis Management is not good vs. bad, it’s preventing the bad from getting worse.”- Andy Gilman of Comm Core Consulting Group

An organization is considered to be undergoing a crisis when there is a sudden and unexpected event leading to major unrest amongst the individuals at the workplace.  It is an emergency situation which disturbs the employees as well as leads to the instability of the organization.  When this occurs, organizations are expected to have critical documentation and process, e.g. Crisis Management Plan, Disaster Recovery Plan, Business Continuity Plan, etc., in place.

Crisis Management is the art of dealing with these sudden and unexpected events which disturb the employees and organization. Yet, often companies are like the metaphorical frog that doesn’t notice the water it is in is warming up until it is too late.  There are managers who either do not realize that they are in a crisis or their crisis situation is worsening.  The early signs of distress are often missed.  While they are not bad managers, these are managers that are under a set of paradigms that no longer apply and just let the power of inertia carry them along.

As a result, organizations in crisis find themselves faced with a potential cost that is greatly significant.  This can lead to longer recovery time, a direct impact on downtime, and lost revenue.

First Things First: Taking a Good Handle of Crisis Management

Crisis Management is the application of strategies to enable organizations to deal with a disruptive and unexpected event that threatens to harm the organization or its stakeholders. It is a situation-based management system with clear roles, responsibilities, and processes. In Crisis Management, it requires a crisis mindset. A crisis mindset is the ability to think of the worst-case scenario while simultaneously suggesting numerous solutions.

Being well prepared for a crisis is the epitome of Crisis Management. It ensures rapid and adequate response to a crisis and maintaining clear lines of reporting and communication in the event of crisis.

Yet, often the organization and communication involved in responding to a crisis in a timely fashion provide the most challenge to business. Responding to crisis in the most effective way can be done by taking the 10 First Steps.

The 10 First Steps to Crisis Management

The 10 strategic First Steps are the organization’s guide when in crisis and there is a strong call toward initiating organizational change.

The first 4 steps focus on Culture and Leadership.

  1. Establish a Wide Perception of Distress
  2. Establish a Crisis Mindset
  3. Activate the Board as a Crisis Detector
  4. Change Top-Team Members

The first 4 steps will widen one’s understanding of distress and move people to actions at the time of crisis. It is at this stage that the Board will be empowered to see the forest for the trees and can enable organizations to focus on tough movers that can successfully make organizational changes.

The 5th step focuses on Change Management.

  1. Communicate a Great Changed Story

Communicating a Great Changed Story can create positive motivation to spur action towards change. When Change Management starts evolving, the organization is now ready to advance towards Business Transformation.

The 6th to 9th steps focus on Business Transformation.

  1. Integrate Trigger Points
  2. Have a Strong Cash Position
  3. Focus on Quick Wins
  4. Make Target-focused Incentive Plans

Business Transformation starts when trigger points are integrated and a strong cash position is maintained. Management can focus on quick wins to create a trajectory effect to spur actions and develop target-focused Incentive Plans to achieve a successful turnaround.

The 10th and final step is sustaining the gains through effective Talent Strategy.

  1. Retain your Talent

The final step is Retaining your Talent. It is recognizing those that can make a difference and finding the next level of talent that can create and sustain change.

Organizations can build its Crisis Management capability following the 10 first steps.  Crisis Management is not anymore a matter of choice; it has become a necessity.

Interested in gaining more understanding of the first 10 steps to surviving a crisis?  You can learn more and download an editable PowerPoint about Crisis Management: 10 First Steps here on the Flevy documents marketplace.

Are you a management consultant?

You can download this and hundreds of other consulting frameworks and consulting training guides from the FlevyPro library.

Scenario Planning: A Workshop Consulting Approach When the Future Needs to be Different

18 Oct

In today’s business environment, management consulting firms must be ready to address client challenges and needs that will transform their business by 10 or 100 times. Tools and methods must be scaled up to ensure applicability to the widest possible audience globally.

The Consulting Workshop Series provides a good understanding of the 10 Methods of conducting Workshops that are custom designed to fit specific workshop objectives. Different methods are developed for the purpose of providing organizations the most appropriate tool necessary to support organizations to achieve their strategic goals and targets.

If management is faced with a situation where the past or present is unlikely to be a guide for the future, Scenario Planning is the best method to use.

Understanding Scenarios as an Effective Tool to Planning

Scenarios are vision-building. It is an effective tool when the degree of uncertainty about the future is high.

What are Scenarios?

Scenarios are narrative descriptions of potential futures that focus our attention on relationships between events and decision points. Its primary objective is planning and preparing for an uncertain future.

Scenarios can be effective in improving long-term decision-making. It motivates change and generates alternative trajectories for future developments. You can use Scenarios to improve preparedness for emergencies and contingencies. Most importantly, Scenarios can be used to guide key choices and generate a vision that can facilitate action.

The Steps to Building a Well-informed Scenario

Building a well-informed Scenario takes 3 strategic stages.

  1. Pre-workshop Phase. The Pre-Workshop Phase is the starting point for establishing the framework of the Scenario-building Workshop. It establishes the opinions and intelligence needed for the workshop. It is also in this phase that the Scenario Team is organized to make sure that the preparations needed for the workshop proper are done in a most effective manner. This is most important as Scenario Teams are the decision makers, the experts, and the creative thinkers necessary in the development of the Scenarios.
  2.  Scenario-building Workshop Phase. Broken down into 2 sub-phases, the Scenario-building Workshop Phase is essential in establishing the scenario logic. It is in this phase wherein key factors in the environment are identified and the approach to fleshing out the Scenarios are established. Essentially, the Scenario-building Workshop Phase builds up the fundamental core elements that will support Scenarios as a useful learning tool.
  3. Post-Workshop Phase. The Post-workshop Phase is the concluding phase where scenarios and analysis are presented to the relevant public to generate insights. At this stage, it most critical that Scenarios are effectively converted into actual plans.

The Challenge: Converting Scenarios to Plans

At the end of the day, it is most important that Scenarios are converted into plans. Scenarios become plans after going through 4 strategic steps – Strategic Analysis, Scenario Creation, Strategy Finding, and Strategy Formulation. These steps shall be thoroughly discussed in the editable PowerPoint.

Interested in gaining more understanding of the Scenario Planning consulting workshop technique? You can learn more and download an editable PowerPoint about Consulting Workshop Series: Scenario Planning here on the Flevy documents marketplace.

Are you a management consultant?

You can download this and hundreds of other consulting frameworks and consulting training guides from the FlevyPro library.

Thinking of Undertaking an M&A? Here Are the 3 Critical Pre-merger Considerations

18 Oct

Takeovers can turnaround companies in a short period of time, but there is a significant degree of risk to be anticipated and mitigated prior to undertaking such transactions.

Lack of careful deliberation of the potential risks, insufficient planning, weak execution, and lack of focus on Post-merger Integration are the major reasons why many Merger & Acquisition deals fail to achieve their desired goals.

The course of an M&A transaction has to be set at an early stage, way before the actual deal closure. The period prior to the deal approval by the regulatory authorities and while due diligence is being done is most critical, and should be utilized by the leadership to clearly define the goals of integration, the potential risks, and a layout for the execution of the actual integration process. It is the right time to perform a structured evaluation of 3 core pre-merger considerations associated with such deals, i.e.:

  1. Strategic Objectives
  2. Organization & Culture
  3. Takeover Approach
https://flevy.com/browse/flevypro/post-merger-integration-pmi-pre-merger-considerations-3941

Understanding these PMI Pre-merger considerations helps the stakeholders ascertain the unique challenges and constraints related to M&A transactions and make informed decisions. These considerations assist in developing a systematic approach to undertaking a Post-merger Integration (PMI) — which is devoid of any “gut decisions,” and ensures realization of synergies and value. These considerations set the direction and pace of the post-merger integration process.

Now, let’s discuss the 3 core considerations in detail.

Strategic Objectives

Organizations undertake Mergers and Acquisitions as a way to accelerate their growth rather than growing organically. The foremost core consideration associated with an M&A transaction is the strategic objectives that the organizational leadership wants to achieve out of it.

M&A deals take place to fulfill one or more of these 5 strategic objectives:

  • Reinforcement of a segment
  • Extension in new geographies
  • Expansion of product range
  • Acquisition of new capabilities
  • Venturing into a new domain

The PMI approach needs to be tailored in accordance with the desired strategic objectives of the deal.

Organization & Culture

The senior management should be mindful of the significance of organizational and cultural differences in the two organizations that often become barriers to M&A deals. Small companies, typically, have an entrepreneurial outlook and culture where there aren’t any formal structure and the owner controls (and relays) all the information and decision making. Whereas, large corporations typically have formal structures and well-defined procedures.

A takeover of a small firm by a large entity is bound to stir criticism and disagreement. M&A process often faces long delays between the offer, deal signing, and closing — due to antitrust reviews or management’s indecisiveness — triggering suspicion among people. This should be mitigated during the PMI process by orienting the people of the small firm with the new culture and giving them time to transition effectively.

For M&A deals to be effective, leadership needs to carefully evaluate the behavioral elements of the organizational culture and contemplate the overriding principles guiding a company.

Takeover Approach

Integrating the operations of two companies proves to be a much more difficult task in practice than it seems theoretically. Organizations have the option of selecting the takeover approach most suitable for them from the following 4 methodologies — based on their organizational structures, people, management, processes, and culture:

  1. Direct Hit
  2. Hiatus
  3. Deferred Decisions
  4. Quick and Unsympathetic Disposal

Interesting in learning more about the takeover approach and the pre-merger considerations in detail? You can download an editable PowerPoint on Post-merger Integration: Pre-merger Considerations here on the Flevy documents marketplace.

Are you a Management Consultant?

You can download this and hundreds of other consulting frameworks and consulting training guides from the FlevyPro library.

Ethical Failures Are Never Cheap: The 5 Ways to Boosting Ethical Decision Making

18 Oct

Most companies have ethics and compliance policies that get reviewed and signed annually by all employees. A company policy states that “Employees are charged with conducting their business affairs in accordance with the highest ethical standards.” “Morals, as well as legal obligations, will be fulfilled in a manner which will reflect pride on the Company’s name.” These all come from a company’s policy. Yet, to sustain a truly ethical organization, it takes more than a compliance policy or Values Statement.

“Corporate ethical failures have become painfully common, and they are not cheap.”

Billions of dollars have been paid in fines by companies charged with ethical breaches. Despite good intentions, organizations set themselves up for ethical catastrophes. In this age of corporate mistrust, creating an ethical workplace takes more than compliance programs.

Unraveling the Ethical Organization Paradox

According to the National Business Ethics Survey, leaders make concerted efforts to pay holistic attention to their organization’s systems. Yet, despite progress, a number has failed.

  • 41% of workers reported seeing ethical misconduct in the previous 12 months
  • 10% felt organizational pressure to compromise ethical standards
  • $185 M in fines imposed on Wells Fargo as 5300 employees opened up more than a million fraudulent account.

Despite good intentions, organizations set themselves up for ethical catastrophes. The paradox is, without realizing it, organizations tend to create an environment in which people feel forced to make choices they could never have imagined.

Preventing ethical catastrophes can be done. Organizations just need to create that environment where people are encouraged to make ethical choices. There are 5 critical ways organizations can boost ethical decision making.

Boosting Ethical Decision Making in 5 Effective Ways

Boosting ethical decision making is important. This can be achieved when done using the most effective ways.

  1. Foster a Speak Up Culture. This is best applied when the courage needed to raise ethical concerns are inhibited.  The corporate culture will dictate how people within the organization behave.
  2. Create Realistic Performance Targets. The second way of boosting ethical decision focus on ensuring that people do not make compromising choices to reach targets.
  3. Ensure Goals Are Fair and Non-conflicting. The culture of fairness in the organization is the main focus here. This is best applied when there are conflicting goals in pursuit of growth.
  4. Infuse Ethics into Regular Activities. This approach is the most challenging but life-changing. Often, leaders talk about business ethics only when there is a scandal or as part of the organization’s compliance program. Infusing ethics into regular activities ensure that ethics becomes an everyday part of the organization and its DNA. It becomes embedded in the way people relate with each other, work with each other, and even in the application of its processes and systems. Here, ethics become your organization’s everyday life.
  5. Set a Positive Example. Leaders play a vital role in setting higher standards when it comes to ethics. Essentially, they must be able to put themselves in the shoes of those they lead to see what unintended meaning they are sending. This can be seen in how they react to stressful situations or event confront poor performance. Leaders need to become extra vigilant as others may interpret their actions or behavior otherwise.

Organizations don’t want to find themselves in a front-page scandal. Hence, they must scrutinize their actions to far greater degrees than they may have realized. The 5 Ways of Boosting Ethical Decision Making can just be the organization’s steppingstone towards transforming into an Ethical Organization and sustaining it.

Interested in gaining more understanding of how Ethical Organizations improve Ethical Decision Making? You can learn more and download an editable PowerPoint about Ethical Organization: Improving Ethical Decision Making here on the Flevy documents marketplace.

Are you a management consultant?

You can download this and hundreds of other consulting frameworks and consulting training guides from the FlevyPro library.

How to Enable PMI? Here Are the 8 Critical Decision Levers to Analyze First

16 Oct

Mergers and Acquisitions (M&A) are unique and complex endeavors. These initiatives demand tailored solutions keeping in view the varying environments, ways of doing business, culture of the two combining organizations, and internal and external forces influencing the deal.

These transactions necessitate making 8 important decisions based on thorough deliberation and analysis of all relevant factors well before the integration process. These fundamental decisions and relevant factors form the 8 decision levers of Post-merger Integration (PMI). These 8 decision levers of PMI are essential for devising an optimal integration approach and, subsequently, the success of an M&A initiative:

  1. Form of Synergy to Be Created: Cost-cutting versus growth
  2. Required Pace of Integration: Quick versus steady
  3. Degree of Integration: Extensive versus partial
  4. Nature of Integration: Buyout versus a merger
  5. Commencement of Integration: Urgent or delayed
  6. Integration Project Team Organization: Clean or shared
  7. Decision Making Style: Implicit and prompt versus lengthy and analysis based
  8. Transaction Change Management: Tacit versus one that requires comprehensive actions
https://flevy.com/browse/flevypro/post-merger-integration-pmi-8-decision-levers-3945

These decision considerations facilitate Post-merger Integration across all industries and organizations of various sizes. Let’s discuss the first 3 decision levers in detail now.

Lever 1 — Form of synergy to be created

The foremost element of a PMI is deciding on the type of synergy to be achieved through integration. The question is to either focus on achieving cost reduction or growth synergies.

If cost cutting is the objective of an M&A then the leadership of the combined organization needs to outline potential costing saving opportunities across the board. This should be followed by robust communication strategy to convey the implications of the M&A program. However, if the management’s objective is to unlock growth synergies from the acquisition, then the integration is to be treated as a strategic endeavor — e.g., understanding the customer needs, evaluating market potential, generating innovative business ideas, and developing execution plans.

Lever 2 — Required pace of integration

The 2nd lever demands from the senior leadership to determine the pace most appropriate for the integration of their newly combined enterprise — i.e., to choose between a fast track and a steadier integration approach.

A majority of executives believe that PMI should be executed as quickly as possible, so that upon completion of the initiative they could divert their center of attention back to business operations. This approach, however, involves decisions that aren’t backed by detailed analysis of facts and data, and is likely to face increased risks and uncertainties.

On the other hand, a slower pace of integration is beneficial in case of a friendly takeover or expansion in a new domain. A steadier pace of integration works well to reduce any apprehensions, cynicism, bottlenecks, and risks due to oversight.

Lever 3 — Degree of Integration

PMI necessitates gauging the appropriate degree of integration beneficial for the organization — i.e., choosing between extensive across the board versus partial integration.

An absolute focus on cost synergies warrants an extensive degree of integration across all departments and geographies. This puts extra pressure on teams in terms of work and risks dwindling enterprise focus on the customer. Committing more resources and setting the priorities right aids in offsetting the risks associated with an extensive degree of integration.

A partial integration, on the other hand, is simpler, less controversial, and predominantly warrants consolidation of sales or alignment of mission-critical processes. This typically works well in takeovers requiring new products acquisition or addition of new customer segments.

Interested in learning more about the other 5 decision levers of PMI? You can download an editable PowerPoint on Post-merger Integration (PMI): 8 Levers here on the Flevy documents marketplace.

Are you a Management Consultant?

You can download this and hundreds of other consulting frameworks and consulting training guides from the FlevyPro library.

How to Secure the Promised Revenue Synergies After Signing a Merger Deal?

15 Oct

Stiff market competition, expansion into new territories, product portfolio extension, and gaining new capabilities are the prime reasons why more and more organizations are seriously looking into the prospects of — and carrying out — Mergers and Acquisitions. However, only a few M&As achieve their desired revenue objectives.

Revenue Synergies are a decisive factor in closing such deals. However, identifying precisely where these Revenue Synergies lie and then capturing them isn’t as easy as it sounds.

McKinsey study comprising of 200 M&A executives from 10 different sectors revealed that all the respective organizations of the respondents remained short of achieving their Revenue Synergy targets (~23% short of the target on average). Securing Revenue Synergies is a long-term game. The companies that succeed in securing Revenue Synergies achieve the target in or around 5 years.

Leaders aspiring to achieve Revenue Synergies should first clarify the objectives from and the schedule of the revenue synergies, lay out the organizational priorities and go-to-market strategies, remove obstacles from realizing value, and gain across the board readiness and commitment for the initiative. Organizations that are most successful in securing revenue synergies pay close attention to these 7 guiding principles during the Post-merger Integration process:

  1. Source of Synergies
  2. Leadership Ownership
  3. Customer Insight-driven Opportunities
  4. Salesperson Driven Strategy
  5. Ambitious Targets and Incentives
  6. Sufficient Support
  7. Performance Management

These 7 guiding principles to capturing Revenue Synergies are critical for effective integration of two firms after a merger and unlocking potential benefits from the deal. Let’s discuss the first 3 principles in detail now.

1. Source of Synergies

The inability of the leadership of the acquiring company to spot major sources of revenue that integration brings in results in losing significant pools of opportunity and failure of M&As. Realizing Revenue Synergies demands a thorough methodology to ascertain and qualify revenue prospects along markets and channels, Go-to-Market Strategies, and developing commercial capabilities. This entails:

  • Evaluating customers and markets, selling offerings of the combined firms utilizing existing and additional channels, and adequately training and rewarding the sales teams.
  • Coming up with innovative new products and bundles utilizing combined R&D capabilities.
  • Sharing best practices and commercial capabilities that mergers offer.

2. Leadership Ownership

Organizations that accomplish their Revenue Synergy objectives guarantee that their top management and employees commit themselves fully to the initiative from the onset. They identify potential value pockets from the integration, examine the assumptions about securing value, and get them endorsed by the senior management and front-line staff. The potential Revenue Strategies are regularly evaluated by inter-departmental experts.

3. Customer Insight-driven Opportunities

Accurate estimation of Revenue Synergies demands top-level estimates — assumptions on market share gain, revenue enhancement, or improved penetration — alongside comprehensive bottom-up customer insights, and evaluation of customer relationships. Other important elements to consider include analyzing the offerings being offered to customers, discerning other potential products and services required by the customers, and assessing the ability of the sales team and brands in terms of the potential they offer to the clients.

Interested in learning more about the other guiding principles of securing PMI revenue synergies? You can download an editable PowerPoint on Post-merger Integration (PMI): Securing Revenue Synergies here on the Flevy documents marketplace.

Are you a Management Consultant?

You can download this and hundreds of other consulting frameworks and consulting training guides from the FlevyPro library.

Introducing a new, unique Affiliate Program. Capitalize on both sides of the market.

19 Feb

affiliate_splash

Many of you may not know this… but I have been working on a tech startup venture for the past year and a half.  It’s called Flevy and it’s an online marketplace for premium business documents.

Today, Flevy is the #1 online provider of high quality business documents. We sell presentation templates, financial models, PowerPoint templates, and more. We cover a wide breadth of corporate functions, from IT to Corporate Strategy to Communications to Change Management to Corporate Finance. Read more about Flevy here: http://flevy.com/about.

I am excited to announce that we just launched an Affiliate Program for Flevy.

Flevy’s Affiliate Program is structured like the Amazon Associates program. You direct customers to our site and earn a commission on each sale. Commission % is based on monthly sales.

For a limited time, we are boosting commission rates–up to 15% on each sale. These rates will be LOCKED IN for the lifetime of your account if you join within the limited promotion period.

Full program details and commission rate structure can be found here:
https://flevy.com/affiliates

What does our typical customer look like?

Our most common customer profile is someone who works in a corporate role at a mid-size to large enterprise. Here are several random examples to give you a better idea:

A marketer, working for P&G, needs to develop the pricing strategy for a new product. This person would be interested in this document —
https://flevy.com/browse/business-document/pricing-strategy-226

A project manager is getting frustrated with Microsoft Project and is looking for an alternate solution, preferably built in Microsoft Excel and customizable. This person would be interested in this tool —
https://flevy.com/browse/information-technology/project-management-tool-in-excel-212

A VP wants to establish a proper scorecard and KPIs for his team. He may be interested in learning about the Balanced Scorecard methodology —
https://flevy.com/browse/business-document/balanced-scorecard-134

What makes this Affiliate Program unique?

Flevy is a marketplace, meaning people join us to both BUY and SELL their business documents. As part of the Affiliate Program, you can also refer document sellers to Flevy. You will then earn a commission on all sales that the document sellers makes off Flevy.

This is an important distinction from other Affiliate programs, such as Amazon’s.

Who is this Affiliate Program best suited for?

In my opinion, this program is best suited for someone who has held a corporate role in a previous life.  In other words, previously, you worked for a large company in some corporate function — e.g., Marketing, Operations, IT, Supply Chain, HR, Program Management, Safety, etc.   This could’ve been an internship or a job you’ve held for 10+ years.

The Flevy Affiliate Program allows you to capitalize on both your expertise and professional network.  Furthermore, you will a significant advantage of others trying to sell these same documents, because you have domain knowledge of these highly specialized products.

Social Media is the New SEO.

6 Jul

For any of you who read up on or practice SEO techniques, you know this: the past year and an half has been rough. Google has been releasing major algorithm update after update — each having momentous changes to search engine results. Many businesses have lost their rankings overnight.

Google’s intentions, of course, are good — but the actual results have been horrible. What has resulted is almost an chaotic penalizing of sites. Countless completely whitehat sites have been penalized. The casualties of war, I guess — and Google has admitted to this. Furthermore, Google has also admitted to the existence of Negative SEO, which I find appalling.

The net result is SEO has become an unreliable way to promote your website. I have, unfortunately, learned this first hand.

A more reliable method is Social Media Marketing. For my web startup, the majority of my online marketing methods focus on social media channels.

The premise behind Social Media Marketing is to remain top of mind.

When you log into your Facebook or Twitter or LinkedIn account, you are bombarded with a live, constantly changing feed of updates.  Therefore, to capture your social audience’s attention, you need to constantly provide relevant, engaging updates.

This is difficult. It requires a lot of time and effort.

To address this, I am actually working on launching a new service for webmasters.  This service will put your Social Media Marketing (as well as a good part of your Internet Marketing) on AUTOPILOT.  The techniques used will be completely whitehat. The premise of my service is to automate a lot of what you ought to be doing manually to promote a successful online business.

More on this as the service gets more fleshed out and closer to launch.

My Second Attempt at MLM. Organo Gold.

2 Jul

organo-gold

Organo Gold sells organic coffee based on a natural supplement called Ganoderma. Ganoderma has medicinal properties and has been extensively used in Asian and holistic medicines.

Organo Gold sells through Multi-level Marketing (MLM). For those unfamiliar with the concept of MLM, give the Wikipedia article a read: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Multi-level_marketing. Many large, successful companies use this business model–the best known examples include Avon and Tupperware.

This is my second attempt at MLM. The first attempt (Isagenix) kind of fell by the wayside. How come? Well, I’ve just been consumed with other business ideas, mainly a “web startup” I launched about year ago.

I was recruited to join Organo by my friend, Chris. Chris is a tennis coach living in Texas. We met through a mutual friend here in New York City. He only joined Organo Gold just over a month ago, but has already earned several thousand.

With Organo, I will again take an unconventional approach to MLM. My idea is to build an ecommerce site around Organo Gold products (and quite possibly add on similar products into our product catalog) and promote it like a normal online business. Over the past several years, I have built several successful ecommerce sites, so will leverage those experiences in this MLM venture.

Also, Chris will be my partner on this. While I focus on Internet marketing and web development, he will focus on the traditional direct-selling side of MLM. He is great at that. He will also be directing customers directly to our site.

Btw, if this is something you think you’d be interested in, shoot me an email (dave@[this domain]). I will put you directly in touch with Chris.

If you’re unsure or just want more info, I still recommend you speak with Chris. Here are 2 reasons why:

  1. Coffee is the second most consumed beverage in the world–second only to water.
  2. Organo (like Isagenix) has a very optimal, 2-leg referral plan. The essence of it is this — if you join under my tree, then HALF of all my future referrals will automatically become your referrals.

If you want to see the ecommerce site come together, check it out here: SedonaFoods.com.  We picked and registered the domain yesterday.  Over the next couple days, the site itself should take shape and we’ll be in business!  I will be posting periodic updates to this blog.

Total investment so far? About $2.12.  I used the promo code FORK on GoDaddy to register SedonaFoods.com for $1.99.

| TheManWhoSoldtheWeb.com

I'll send you an email when there's exclusive or important news. Subscribe below.

© Copyright 2011-2019.   TheManWhoSoldtheWeb.com