Business Development Strategies – 4 Stages You Need to Understand

Business Development Strategies are presented here as a measure of how businesses can grow and develop over time. In his book, “Fire, Aim, Ready”, Michael Masterson does a splendid job of explaining the problems, challenges and opportunities connected with each stage of business development.

Stage 1, Starting Out: You have just taken your business from an idea to actively running and developing a positive cash flow. ($0 – $1 million).

Main Problem: You really don’t know what you are doing.

Main Challenge: Making your first profitable sale.

Main Opportunity: Achieving a critical mass of customers.

Stage 2, The fast growth stage: Taking your business from the $1 million level to $2 million a year in profits. ($1 million to $10 million in revenue).

Main Problem: You are breaking even or may even be losing money.

Main Challenge: Creating many additional, profitable products quickly.

Main Opportunity: Increasing cash flow and becoming profitable. Being cost effective is key to profitability.

Stage 3, The adolescent stage: Take your business over the $10 million threshold with profits in the range of $2 million to $5 million. Revenue parameters are from $10 million to $50 million.

Main Problem: Your systems are strained and your customers are noticing.

Main Challenge: Turning chaos into order.

Main Opportunity: Learning how to establish useful protocols and manage processes and procedures.

Stage 4, The Stage of Maturity: Your business has now grown with revenues of $50 million to $100 million or higher.

Main Problem: Sales slow down or even stall.

Main Challenge: Becoming Entrepreneurial again.

Main Opportunity: Getting the business to run itself.

You may find that Business Development Strategies outlined herein may be relevant to you today. You may also find them to be more relevant at another time in your life. It is hoped that you will identify where your business is today and will make plans to deal with the challenges that lie ahead.

Free Press Releases – 3 Reasons to Use Them to Market Your Freelance Writing Business

Free press releases (aka releases, PR pieces) are a great way to market a freelance writing business. As a freelance writer since 1993, following is how and why I use them.

How I Use Free PR to Grow My Freelance Writing Business

Obviously, a press release is designed to capture the attention of the media. But, that’s not the overriding reasons freelance writers should use them. I’ve been a freelance writer since 1993, and think that there are three better reasons to use this form of marketing to land writing jobs.

(i) They’re Search Engine Optimized Content that Drive Traffic: Press releases are just content. And, any type of content written with SEO in mind and published on the web can drive traffic.

You see, when search engines crawl a site, they don’t care if it’s a free PR distribution site, a blog, a news site, etc. They index content – period. So when you write them, write with SEO in mind – which will help to increase traffic to your freelance writing website.

FYI, these are known as “SEO press releases.”

(ii) Use Press Releases as Writing Samples to Attract High-Paying Clients: The PR pieces you write can double as writing samples. With these little buddies in your writing portfolio, you can get higher paying clients, especially if you know how to write – and distribute – them.

For example, my rate for this type of writing is $195. If you know what you’re doing, you can write one in a couple of hours or less. Imagine doing just two of these a day?

Not a shabby living as a freelance writer, right?

(iii) Bring Prestige to Your Writing Business: Being quoted in a press release gives your business prestige. To get the most mileage out of those you write, post them in a “Media” page on your site.

When prospects come, they’ll be impressed by the fact that you even have a “Media” page.

Subconsciously, this ups your value in their eyes because it pegs you as a “Professional writing firm/writer” (if everything else on the site backs this impression up).

Prospective clients also expect to pay “prestigious professionals” more because the value you bring them is ostensibly more (and it should be).

The #1 Press Release Tip to Keep in Mind When Marketing Your Freelance Writing Business

The number one thing to keep in mind when marketing your business via releases is that it’s not about you. The media doesn’t care about you or your writing business.

They care about serving their viewers, their readers, their customers. They want to solve problems for them, and if your business just happens to do that – then they’ll be interested. If it doesn’t – no matter how well written your press release is, they won’t be interested.

Keep this in mind as you write, and you’ll stand a chance of making it newsworthy (always the goal!) and getting the hot light of the media on your freelance writing business. Good luck!

Fly Fishing Tackle Review: Snobee Prestige 8′ 4-Piece Rod

I’m the type of fisherman who prefers fly fishing in small, relatively quite streams. For that reason, I tend to tailor my fly fishing tackle to that sort of environment. I prefer high-tech carbon-fibre rod technology, yet also like the old-fashioned cork grips. My idiosyncratic taste sometimes makes it difficult to find the right sort of gear. Well, recently I’ve discovered and acquired a terrific fly rod from Snobee, the Prestige 8′ 4-piece. Here’s a brief review of this quality product.

Key Features of the Snobee Prestige 8′ 4-Piece Fly Rod

At first glance, this is quite a good-looking rod that comes in an anodised brown tube with a classic brass fitting and screw cap on one end. Also supplied is a sturdy cotton drill bag. Cotton drill, by the way, is a coarse and durable fabric that gets its name from the fact that the British army has used it extensively in tropical climates. The rod itself has plenty of quality features, including a nickel-silver winding check on the handle. It’s colour is a pleasant maroon with bronze overtones. The rod weighs about 72 grams. Expect to pay between £159 to £199 for the Prestige rod, depending on model.

More About the Prestige Rod

The rod has twin lined stripping guides with high-rise snakes. The whippings for the guides are trimmed in gold, which highlights the entire rod’s elegant, understated colour scheme. The reel seat is made from aluminium, which helps to keep the rod’s weight to a minimum. It also has a hard anodised finish that gives the rod high durability and a simple, yet functional look. The handle has good quality cork. A detail I particularly like is the burl maple reel seat insert. First impression? Superior design and build quality. The Prestige rod has a progressive, but forgiving action that makes it quite nice to cast. It has plenty of reserve power to call on when needed, yet it’s easy to cast short distances. Playing a fish on this rod, even with light tippets, is a pleasure This Snobee rod uses an ultra-lightweight blank using the company’s proven tri-modulus rod blank technology that’s been rigorously tested to ensure maximum power, strength and durability without compromising sensitivity. This is achieved with a careful blend of several types of carbon. The result? Precise action throughout the length of the rod. The guarantee, which applies to the original owner only, is non-transferable.

Final Thoughts on the Snobee Prestige Fly Rod

Fly fishing tackle is Snobee’s core business. The design team and product developers are avid fly fishermen themselves, so you can be sure of both the quality and performance of the company’s products. In particular, I’ve found that the Snobee Prestige 8′ 4-piece fly rod is an absolute pleasure to cast and to fish with, mainly because of the progressive action. It’s a rod you’ll be proud to add to your collection of fly fishing tackle. I’m happy to rate it at 4.5 out of a possible 5 stars.