Random Thought: How many sports fundamentals apply in business?

fundamentals

Ok, this really is random. I love playing sports, basketball, golf, and tennis, really I’ll play just about any sport. I play in a volleyball league on Monday nights. Last night the team we played had several big hitters, forcing my team to “DIG” some heavily hit spikes. The fundamentals of digging are first and most important, positioning and secondly having quick reactions. Instinctively, we put ourselves in the proper position (well, most of the time). If our blocker is blocking the line, we in the back move to cover the angle. Likewise, if the blocker blocks the angle we move to cover the line. Reacting to the hit is extremely important, but without proper positioning it won’t help you.

After the match, I starting thinking (scary, I know). In business, in a good market or bad, you have to position your company properly and you have to be able and willing to react quickly to a changing market. I thought it was interesting anyway…

What other sports fundamental do you apply to your business?

Selecting a SEO Company: Step 1

Choosing a SEO Company, step 1
Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is one of the most important things you can do in promoting your website. Nothing can bring in traffic and ROI better then good SEO. Choosing the right SEO company can be difficult, there are as many companies as there are service options to choose from. I have a several suggestions on choosing the right company, which I will layout over the next few weeks. My first suggestion…

Don’t trust any firm that will “Guarantee” top placement on the search engines.
I understand this is a very broad statement, but it applies whether you spend $30/month or $30,000/month for SEO. No one can guarantee placement in the natural search engine results. If someone claims they can, you should probably walk way (or delete their SPAM). A company who practices Ethical SEO or “White Hat” SEO will not promise top rankings (and probably not SPAM you). This doesn’t mean top rankings are unobtainable, it just means that with all the variables that are out there, guarantees are almost impossible to attain. Competitive keywords can take years of hard work to get a first page ranking, and there are never any guarantees.

There are techniques that “Black Hat” SEO companies can use to get you to the top of the rankings, but good luck staying there more then a month. Search engines are smart, REALLY smart. They can figure out quickly if you are trying to trick them into ranking your site high. I have seen these many times. Out of no where a site will jump ahead for a phrase that I have worked on for years. Doing some quick analysis I can easily determine whether they are going to stay or be gone. By the way, if the search engines don’t catch black hat or spamming techniques, you can bet the competition will, and they’ll turn you in too. Black hat techniques WILL get you banned from the search engines, which is essentially a death sentence for your sites traffic.

P.S. How ironic can you get? As I am finishing this post, I just got the email pictured above. Priceless! I covered up the domain name to protect the innocent (YOU!).

What’s More Unprofessional Than Being Late?

late

I have a pet peeve. I can’t stand when people are late. So I offer this up… What is more unprofessional then being perpetually late? Whether I am interviewing potential employees or meeting with clients, I expect timeliness of myself and certainly someone seeking employment. Is that to much to ask?

It is one thing to be unavoidably delayed once in awhile, it happens, but many people are ALWAYS late. I read some time ago that people who are late subconsciously consider themselves superior to everyone else. In other words, you can wait for me, because I am worth waiting for. I don’t know if that’s true but it sure helps my argument.

 What are your biggest professional pet peeves?

P.S. If you are a potential or current client and your going to be late, no worries, I’ll wait. 🙂

Guilt by Social Network Associations

Guilty by Social Marketing or Networking

 Are we responsible for the content of the sites we link to, or the people we follow? I started thinking about this awhile back. I have a friend that is extremely conservative. This person regularly quotes and links to a blog that has some questionable content deeper in the site, specifically the use of many expletives. Now this doesn’t offend me personally and I would never judge someone based on them linking to other sites or even using expletives (goodness knows I have said a few myself), but it got me thinking. With word of mouth and social marketing and networking being so prevalent for business and individuals, how careful must you be who you are associated with? Who your “Friends” are? Who you “Follow”?

Alternately, I think everyone realizes the importance of their own comments and posts and how they not only reflect on you but your business. Do those comments reflect on those you link to?

During these last few days of the elections the political talk increased on the social network and micro-blogging sites like Twitter. Some people make no bones about the side of the aisle they sit, which is great; I have strong political opinions myself. Can expressing your personal political (or any other) opinions as a representative of your business effect your business? If I disagree with the opinions that one posts, am I less likely to do business with them?

I am asking a lot of questions, I know. For me, I don’t take links, blog posts, opinions that are broadcast on Twitter or any other web site personally. I don’t think (unless it was really offensive to me) that I would change my opinion of a business based on comments or posts by an individual. I suspect, however that many might.

What do you think?