Welcome once again to The Corporate Muse! Computer
problems (Aaarrrggghhh!) kept us from getting this ezine out on time. We apologize for any inconvenience. As
always, we welcome suggestions and/or questions.
The Value of Good Research
Remember those high
school days when the teacher walked in and uttered the dreaded, “Research paper.”
Can’t you just hear the groans? Armed with a thick notebook and pencil or pen,
you trudged to the library and lifted the heavy tomes from the shelf; maybe you even had to ask the scary librarian
for help. Perhaps you were the sort to wait. Then the night before the report was due; you pulled an all-nighter to make it come
together. Or possibly you loved the idea of digging in hopes of discovering a
nugget or two you could use to dazzle the teacher and class when you read the dissertation aloud. Whatever your school experience, you probably gladly kissed those days
fast. Doing your homework, so to speak, can be an invaluable tool in many
different areas of business.
Let’s say, for
example, you want to start your own company. First, you have to investigate its
viability, whether or not your neighborhood or city can support it, and check out the competition. Maybe the idea for the product or service struck you because of its originality –
there was nothing else like it out there – but will it stand the test of time?
Are there similar industries you can look to as examples? This might be the
place to begin – interviewing someone who’s been down the road you’re thinking of taking. Oddly enough, you might find yourself back in the library burrowing through the Book of
Lists or the Entrepreneur and Small Business Problem Solver: An Encyclopedia Reference and Guide. But your researching won’t end there.
If business is slow
and you feel the need to take action to boost sales, you’ll scour the alternatives. You’ll study all possible ways to make your company grow. You’ll read up on marketing. Talk to other
business owners. Retry an approach that’s worked for you in the
past. Check out the Wall Street Journal or US News and World
Report to find out the latest trends. Or better yet, hire a professional
to do all those things for you.
consultants and the like earn money by being good at research. Comes with the
territory. While you may seek the expertise of one of these specialists and
entrust your advertising dollars into their capable hands, as a perceptive businessperson, you keep your finger on the pulse
of your enterprise and recognize there will be times when you need to be the one delving into a matter. Especially those involving your company’s next move.
If you’ve been in
business a while, you might itch to branch out. Perhaps you’re considering
putting another store in a different part of town. Or you’re thinking of adding
on to your existing company. Or you might be wondering about
incorporating. Should you or shouldn’t you? Again you’ll seek information that will help you decide if the market and timing are right
for such moves. You may use the methods suggested earlier, or you might adopt new
techniques, for instance, conducting surveys or taking a ride on the World Wide Web.
Today, we live on
the Information Superhighway. There are more ways to find out more things than
any other time in history. For one thing, the Internet has simplified the
researching process for us. Type a word or phrase into a search engine and it
does the work for you. In seconds, the screen fills with hundreds of
options. But that doesn’t mean it’s the only, or even sometimes, the best
solution. Sometimes you still need to pick up the telephone – or even a
Maybe I’m prejudiced
(as a writer), but I still like books. I like the way I can sit down with one,
unfold it across my lap or a tabletop, and flip to the index. There’s something
concrete I don’t feel when surfing the Net. There’s also something I trust just a
little bit more. If you keep up with the news, you know that anyone can
start a Website. You don’t have to have credentials to be an Internet
author. But a person who writes a book has to have done his/her homework – he/she
has to be qualified to write the material and convince an editor that he/she is the best one to write it. Whichever way you choose to do your research, you might receive the bonus of what I like to
call the “Serendipity Factor.”
What is the
“Serendipity Factor?” It’s that little chunk of knowledge you gain that has
nothing to do with the topic of your investigation. Something you can use later
in conversation, or better yet, to improve your life. So here’s to all the
“Serendipity Factors” in your world (business or personal) – and Happy Hunting.
Here’s a great
Internet research tool you might want to check out: http://www.itools.com/.
© QuickSilver Copywriters 2005 – Andy & Shawn Catsimanes; http://www.quicksilvercopywriters.com/; mailto: firstname.lastname@example.org; Sign up for The Corporate Muse:
Ever heard of an “Elevator
Speech?” It’s a sentence or paragraph intended to give listeners a better idea
of what you do. Instead of saying, “I’m a copywriter” and having others look
at you with a blank stare, you can say something like, “I help businesses get the word out about their products or
services” or “I help end business owners’ worries over their marketing campaigns.” Okay, admittedly, these are lame, but hopefully you get the idea. For in-depth articles, check out: http://ezinearticles.com/?id=52388, http://www.craigspeaks.com/sample_elevator.html or http://www.creativekeys.net/PowerfulPresentations/article1024.html.
Try this exercise. For the next few seconds, concentrate on your breathing. Most of the time, we rarely think about this necessary act of life. We just do it: in and out, in and out. As you
breathe, listen closely. What sound does it make? Is it rhythmic? Can you identify its
cadence? Jot your impressions on a piece of paper; then move to the next
Inhale deeply and
hold your breath. Now blow out.
What’s different about it? Can you identify verbs to describe what you
heard? How about nouns? Stretch that
to adjectives and adverbs. Write them down and try something else.
Maybe you want to
experiment with a little shallow breathing. Do you have children? Did you or your wife use the Lamaze method of relaxation? If so, why not try to pant like you were taught during the classes. Or perhaps you’d rather go back in the recesses of your mind to a time as a child when you
had the wind knocked out of you. What did that feel like? Again, record your findings. Now study all that
asking, what's the point? Well, it's simple. Writers are asked daily to depict ordinary items or images in new or
unique ways. When you spend a little itme deliberating on a subject, it's amazing what develops. Look at what you
came up with in only a minute or two. If you enjoyed this little discipline, try it with something else. You'll be
writing sonnets in no time! Another idea to jump up the creative juices: http://ezinearticles.com/?id=3587. Bonus feature: http://ezinearticles.com/?id=51601.
Thanks for reading. See you next month!
Andy & Shawn Catsimanes
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