As we herald into 2013 I thought it would be worthwhile to revisit the stories we produced in 2012 and the response we received from the readers. Here are the top 10 articles, in no particular order that got the most attention, discussion, controversy and response.
- My thought-provoking post on what business are you really in made business owners take a step back and think about how they can look at their business differently from how they have been used to seeing day in and day out. Sometimes, you have to take step back to see forest for the trees.
- Another insightful post dealt with business failure and how business owners can succeed by failing. It discussed ways to succeed by failing early, failing often, failing when you are small, learning from failures and making failure part of corporate culture.
- Steve Jobs and Apple have taught us that it is not only possible to charge premium price with quality products, but you can even make your customers love you for it. The post on charging premium price focused on differentiating your products, providing best quality, creating “must-have” products and telling stories about your products.
- The post on growing business by simply treating customers as human beings struck chord with many readers. The concept of treating customers as human beings is so simple, it’s not even worth mentioning, yet many businesses fail to do so and end up paying price in terms of lost customers.
- Small business marketing is one of my favorite topics to write about. Most small business owners misunderstand what marketing is about and end up wasting money on frivolous “gimmicks” that do not provide lasting value. This post showed how small business owners are throwing money away with marketing mistakes.
- Subway has been a great success story of recent times. Small business owners can learn a great deal by looking at how they have grown to surpass McDonald’s in terms of number of locations. Their focus on maintaining strong brand, innovative marketing, competitive response and quality control is discussed in this post to explain how Subway has succeeded.
- Employees are the life blood of small business. A great employee is 10 times as valuable as a good one. This post showed the attributes of great employees and how you can go about finding one.
- Social media has been the buzzword of our times. Small business owners who fail to learn and leverage social media stand to lose a great deal. However, many of them misunderstand the essence of social media and fall into the traps promoted by the so-called social media experts. This post uncovered those social media traps and showed how you can avoid them.
- Has your sales become stagnant lately? If so, this post on why your sales are not growing explained possible reasons. They range from focusing on wrong customers to sacrificing product at the expense of marketing.
- Finally, one of the most controversial posts in 2012 asked a question – do you have to be a jerk to succeed in small business? You can take either side, but the key test is to looking at yourself in the mirror and asking if you feel good about the success you have achieved by becoming a jerk.
Which one was your favorite? Why?