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Monthly Archives: January 2009

10 Reasons OCbizblog Loves Z Pizza of Irvine

zpizzaLet us count the ways…

1.  They are always friendly.  No matter who is working there, they all have the same helpful manner.

2. The pizza is great and our kids love it.  Makes a family outing that much easier.

3.  The place is clean.

4.  The fish tank.

5.  The story:  They are the ones who started Z Pizza and are not affiliated with the corporation based out of Newport Beach.   Jeremy Megroz is the owner and the son of founder Suzanne Megroz, who died of breast cancer in 2001.

6.  Jeremy

7.  We can walk to it from our house.

8.  They are involved in the community.

9.  They care.

10.  They are doing it on their own and against the odds.

This is our pick of the week.  Do you know an Orange County small business OCbizblog might love?  Let us know!

The Email Opener Two-Step

twostep1Had a conversation with a client today.

They asked me to give them “a quick tutorial” on how they can get more people to open and read their email newsletter.

So, in the spirit of 2009 and a “Back to Basics” approach, here it is:

The Email Opener Two-Step.

1.  The “From” line.

Make sure it is an actual name and not an email address.  A certain political campaign was sending me emails for eighteen months and it became a running joke with my wife that I got another email from “you know who.” A name in the “From” line sets off a recognition trigger that moves a reader to act.  You’re building a relationship after all and the only person with .com as their name is Tracy Morgan’s bodyguard on 30 Rock.

2.  The “Subject” Line.

This is where you make your money.  We use an acronym we created called FISTFIST stands for Fun, Insightful, Short and Timely.  Our subject lines must include at least three out of four of these attributes before we send an email out.

Why fun?

Because you’re not a fish.

The other three are self-explanatory.

The humble email newsletter or email marketing program you have implemented, has become the wallflower to all things Web 2.0 and Social Media.

But things are tight and times are tough.

Better take a second look y’all.

Heck…

Anybody can do a two-step.

By |January 14th, 2009|marketing|Comments Off on The Email Opener Two-Step

No One Cares About Your Small Business

schultzandjobs3

Pretty cool picture of Steve Jobs and Howard Schultz.

Hard to imagine that Apple and Starbucks were once small businesses.

Even harder to imagine two guys more passionate and caring about what they produce.

I was in Santa Monica, a few years ago, visiting my buddy Ross Furukawa, who owns and publishes the Santa Monica Daily Press.

Afterward, I wandered into a Starbucks on Third Street Promenade to grab some fuel for the drive back to Orange County.

There were a few customers sitting around on laptops and one guy meticulously rearranging a display rack.

Howard Schultz.

He never looked up.  He never said anything.  No one said anything to him.  All I know is that for the three minutes I was there and saw him, it was as if his whole life was wrapped up in this one display rack.

Steve Jobs is legendary for his unrelenting quality demands and off-the-chart expectation levels when it comes to creating “insanely great products”.

Unlike them, I am human.

And, most likely, you are too.

If we could just take 5% of that passion, drive and commitment, it would result in 500% improvement.

Because the truth is no one cares about you or your small business.

They don’t have time.

They have way too much information overloading them and interrupting them everywhere they go.  They have doctor’s appointments and kids and an hour to get to the gym and friends to meet and plans to make.

If you can solve their problem that exists within that  world, you have a chance.

And if they hear about you from a friend and wander into your store, you have a chance.

But if they walk in and take one look at your display rack and it’s a mess, you got no chance.

No one cares.

Like you.

You Should Start a Newspaper, Seriously

newspaper-boy

What would be the single worst business to get into right now?

Newspapers.

For the latest bleak assessment, see here.

Yet Seth Godin recently suggested that starting a newspaper is exactly what small business owners should consider doing.

Not print of course, online.

Why?

Because it won’t cost you any money, it won’t take a lot of time (providing you delegate) and it will get you leads for your business.

If things are a little slow in the office, it’s not a bad idea.

Interview some local figures and businesses, get some “subscribers” who are willing to give you their email addresses and start sending it out by email once or twice a week.

Our only caveat would be not to create something crappy just for the sake of doing it.

Add value to your local community by doing something that will strengthen your brand and provide a voice and an angle others may be missing.

As Godin and others have pointed out, the next battleground for business is local.

And the new mantra for small business owners needs to be…

Think local and act local.

Even if it’s outside your comfort zone.

We’re on Alltop!

alltopcomOCbizblog is now featured on Alltop Orange County!  This is a wonderful recognition and significant milestone for a blog that has been up and running for a few short months.   Justin Moore-Brown at BigHead Design deserves a ton of credit.  And a big thanks to all our readers and supporters!

For those of you who are not familiar with Alltop, it’s a news aggregate site that features all the best stories and blogs on a particular topic.

As they put it:

“You can think of an Alltop site as a ‘dashboard,’ ‘table of contents,’ or even a ‘digital magazine rack’ of the Internet…we are trying to enhance your online reading by both displaying stories from the sites that you’re already visiting and helping you discover sites that you didn’t know existed. In this way, our goal is the ‘cessation of Internet stagnation.'”

For more information on the story behind Alltop, to see their full list of categories, or to browse the latest top stories, visit them here.

We’re pleased and honored to be featured on Alltop.

A special thanks to Guy Kawasaki and especially the Twitter community.

By |January 8th, 2009|misc|2 Comments

Every Time I Get Out They Keep Pulling Me Back In

godfather3The Orange County Register is bringing back their Business section.

They killed it in January of 2008.

We launched OCbizblog in October of 2008.

Hmmmm…

Given that The New York Times is now selling ads on the front page, it should be no surprise the Register is mixing things up.

Even if it means going back to an old recipe.

By |January 7th, 2009|misc|Comments Off on Every Time I Get Out They Keep Pulling Me Back In