Archive for the ‘Positivity’ Category

Big, Brave, Bold ….Belief

February 7, 2014

Teamwork.com

The .com domain name for Greg Canty gregcanty.com can be registered with Register365 for the total price of €8.95 per annum.

The .com domain is the big one, the universal one, which is easy to register and without any fuss. For example with the Irish domain .ie you need to jump a few hoops and at least make some attempt at proving that you or your business has a valid reason for being able to claim that name.

The frenzy at the beginning of the internet boom was the practice of some very clever people anticipating which domain names would be popular in the future. They purchased these in the hope that at some point in time they might earn a windfall when they could sell them off for big money.

A lot of domain names are still registered to people who will never use them and are still waiting for their big pay day!

According to Wikipedia the top ten most expensive domain names are:

  1. VacationRentals.com $35 million in 2007 
  2. Insure.com $16 million in 2009 
  3. Sex.com for $14 million in October 2010
  4. Fund.com 2008 £9.99 million
  5. Porn.com 2007 $9.5 million
  6. Fb.com by Facebook for $8.5 million in November 2010
  7. Business.com for $7.5 million in December 1999
  8. Diamond.com 2006 $7.5 million
  9. Beer.com 2004 $7 million
  10. Israel.com 2008 $5.88 million

It looks like the last big money transaction was in 2010.

What would make you pay this kind of huge money for a domain name?

  • It must be a core part of your brand and who you are – so much so that you can’t have anyone else using it and must get your hands on it
  • It must have huge earning potential in order to justify such a huge price tag – unless of course you have so much money that earnings are not a critical part of the equation

Even if these two elements are in place do you have the resources to pay out big money for a domain name and this must be weighed up against what you could do with this amount of money – could you make your existing domain name or a new name just as powerful if that fund was put being a marketing campaign?

Big, Bold, Brave

Teamwork LogoLast week I was at the Guinness Store House (a strange experience for me – I could see my old office from the top floor) for the launch of a domain name by a Fuzion client and great friends of mine, Digital Crew.

The guys have an incredible cloud based project management application called TeamworkPM, which only after a few years is creating a storm online and is quickly becoming the standard within the sector for managing projects.

These guys from Cork had paid over half a million euros for the domain name www.teamwork.com and were celebrating with friends and clients – at 9pm the new domain name was set live.

When I first heard this news I thought someone was pulling a fast one on me and when I realised it was true I wondered if they had totally lost their marbles!

This was certainly a BIG move, they are paying and playing big, they are thinking big (huge!) but then again they have a global product so it is a big market. What’s more they have big plans to develop a whole suite of products under the Teamwork name. 

It was definitely a BOLD move …they aren’t a Google, a Facebook, a Microsoft, a Twitter but this was a big bold move, which shows that they see themselves in that Premier league table.

BRAVE ….I’m not sure if I could have written that cheque!

To be fair to these guys this is isn’t the first time that they have been Big, Bold and Brave.

When Digital Crew were working on their core web development business and on some complex web projects they realised they needed a project management application to help co-ordinate their teams and the multiple tasks that were required. After playing with a few different applications online they decided ….these aren’t good enough, we can do better!

While ideas are great and we all have them, the guys got together at weekends and late in the evenings when the regular client work was done and starting building a new application.

After an incredibly hard slog the application TeamworkPM was ready, which they politely rolled out.

There was no immediate success but they interacted with customers, answered countless queries, joined discussions, tracked competitors, improved their product over and over and eventually they had momentum with some serious businesses coming on board and using the application – Walt Disney, Microsoft, EA Sports, Forbes and eBay to name a few.

Word of mouth, continuous improvements and dogged determination brought TeamworkPM to a point where the income from the application had surpassed their core business income.

They made an incredibly Big, Bold and Brave move to divest of their core business and put everything into their TeamworkPM application. Every month there is a big new feature added, which is a challenge they set for themselves.

Within a year they have added significantly to the team and even sent one of the founders to take office in New Zealand (poor Sam – we all know he hates the glorious weather and the beach!)so another time zone could be looked after.

While they have been making Big, Bold and Brave moves for a long time the decision to pay over half a million euros for the teamwork.com domain name is about something much more.

They have incredible BELIEF in what they are doing, in their own capability and in their vision. They know exactly where they are taking their business.

To Dan, Peter, Sam, Billy and all the Teamwork team …..thanks for showing us what Big, Bold and Brave looks like. My belief is your domain will be worth it!

Greg Canty is a partner of Fuzion

Fuzion are a Marketing, PR and Graphic Design agency in Ireland with offices in Cork and Dublin

I had a great 2014 because …

January 1, 2014

visualisation

For the last few years I have been doing this simple little exercise at the start of the year to help get focused around things that are important both personally and professionally.

I have found it to be really useful and one that has made a big difference.

I don’t know about you but making plans and actually achieving them is always challenging and at the start of the year I find myself at the start of that loop all over again making promises that often will never materialise!

A few years ago I was inspired to go about my goal setting in a different way thanks to a book I read called “The Art of Possibility” by Benjamin and Rosamund Zander (a really interesting motivational book by the conductor of the Boston Philharmonic Orchestra and his wife who is an executive coach).

Benjamin Zander, the conductor had the task every year of bringing out the very best from a large group of very talented musicians.

His approach is rooted in the power of visualisation – the simple idea behind this is that if you visualise what you want to achieve then there is a much better chance of it actually happening (unbelievers ….stop reading now !!)

Here goes ..

Take a pen and paper and simply write your diary entry in advance for the last working day of the year to come..

Imagine just before you switch off the lights in the office, before you head out the door to do some last minute shopping and enjoy a well-earned rest, you quietly write your diary entry.

Tuesday, 23rd December, 2014

I had a great year because ….

Be specific, include personal and professional goals and when you are done

Sign it!

Place your note in an envelope and seal it – on the last day of every month open your envelope and have a peep to see how you are progressing.

…what are you waiting for?

By the way ….Happy New Year!

Greg Canty is a partner of Fuzion

Fuzion are a Marketing, PR and Graphic Design agency in Ireland with offices in Cork and Dublin

 

Doing the Small stuff Great

November 27, 2013

Kerrie O'CallaghanSomeone has to answer the phone and someone has to let visitors into the building and greet them as come into the office.

This isn’t rocket science but at the same time it needs to be done right. You would hope that the person with this responsibility would carry out the task in a pleasant and friendly manner – after all, it is often the first impression that anyone would experience of your business.

We’ve been really lucky down through the years in that all of our team are pleasant and friendly and will give a really good impression of Fuzion.

The primary responsibility for answering the phone (we all do it by the way) tends to lie with the ‘junior’, the person who is newest to the team. Initially we find that the newbie is more than happy with this role but after a while they do want to feel that they are progressing and that this task is moved onto someone else.

While everyone who has worked with us has been great at that ‘hello, meet and greet‘ role we had one person who really stood out; Kerrie O’Callaghan.

Day after day we had people on the phone or who had come for a meeting specifically commenting about how special their greeting was.

This wasn’t an isolated incident but an absolute trend – she did this important, junior, simple but yet important task incredibly well.

Not surprisingly the hugely talented Kerrie, who did everything with 150% enthusiasm, progressed quickly and went on to do every task incredibly well but unfortunately for Fuzion she had the emigration bug and is now enjoying huge career success down under.

It’s funny how someone who does the small things great ends up also doing the big things great..

Kerrie, we miss you!

Greg Canty is a partner of Fuzion

Fuzion are a Marketing, PR and Graphic Design agency in Ireland with offices in Cork and Dublin

Tipping the Customer

October 2, 2013

Hostaria La Cross, Garda

It was bucketing out of the heavens as we stared out the window of our hotel in Garda in Italy during our summer holidays. It hadn’t let up for over an hour and it showed no signs of stopping anytime soon.

We had planned a leisurely stroll into the lakeside town and a nice meal on the waterfront but that was impossible – the tummies were groaning at this stage and the hotel restaurant was shut.

The restaurant that was directly across from the hotel (we were about a mile away from the lakeside strip) didn’t have the views that were on the lake but it didn’t seem to stop the steady stream of locals using the place since we had arrived.

Day and night there was a constant stream of Italian cars in and out of the place – it must be good if the locals were going there we reckoned. I checked on Four Square (a phone APP where you can leave tips about places) on my phone and the restaurant had some quite good reviews left by previous diners.

We decided to make a dash for it and despite it being just across the street we did get fairly wet.

Hostaria La Cross, GardaHostoria La Cross gave us a warm greeting as we entered but after doing so the waitress left us standing there – two minutes later she came back to us with two glasses of prosecco .. “welcome!“.

Wow – we were given a gift on the house before we had sat down or ordered anything.

It put us in great form and we had a fabulous meal (despite every second dish being laced in truffle oil..can’t stand that smell!)

Of course we left a big tip after our special night but really appreciated the “tip” the restaurant gave us at the start of the meal.

The last few times I have taken taxis in Dublin and in Cork I have noticed that each time the driver has “rounded down” when it has comes to the fare “€10 is fine” when the fare clocked €10.70.

The simple gesture is a big change to how it used be and it shows the appreciation of the business and invariably you end up leaving a good tip.

Last night after our meal in Bacco in Ballincollig we were offered a Limoncello on the house as we were settling the bill. They showed their appreciation for the business …”Thank you, we’ll be back

Giving the customer something they are not expecting is a clever way of saying thank you and building customer loyalty.

Are you tipping your customer?

Greg Canty is a partner of Fuzion

Fuzion are a Marketing, PR and Graphic Design firm in Ireland with offices in Cork and Dublin

Does the “too good to be true” rule always apply?

July 22, 2013

Too Good to be True

Is it ok if I show this man around your office?” Frank our landlord asked (by the way he hates if we call him that – he prefers to say we are his customer and to be fair that is always how he treats with us).

No bother at all Frank” – he wanted to see how we had laid out the office space, which had the same footprint as the vacant unit two floors down.

Frank introduced me to this English gentleman, Mr Cooper who was starting an airline, which was to operate from Cork ..interesting!

He would be needing Marketing and PR support and he also would need the services from our graphic design team. We had a quick chat but I had another appointment to get to – he wanted to tie things down quickly so he asked us to meet with him the next day for a full briefing.

This could be a very exciting project to work on.

Just before I ran out the door I did a Google search on this guy to see if there was some evidence of his existence online ..nothing!

On the way to my meeting I rang Frank to make sure I caught the man’s name correctly – I had.

What do you make of our English gentleman?” Frank asked. He explained to me that he also popped into the accountants on the floor below us who were also going to do work for him. The following day they were to introduce him to one of the banks.

Frank, is he too good to be be true?

saab airline

We both agreed that maybe it was wrong to be cynical and there was a chance that this well dressed, well spoken Englishman was the real deal after all.

He arrived the following day, a little later than organised but even more well dressed than the previous day. He apologised for being late – there were some technical financial details he was ironing out with the accountant about licences.

He took me through his project in detail – he was really looking for a marketing partner for this venture. He told us that he really liked and trusted us. He spoke to our really talented head designer, Jonathan about his brand and what he had in mind – we all agreed that while he was on a deadline, the work should be done properly.

Maybe this guy was a dream client after all?

After many years in business and knowing how hard you must work to win a new account, this guy had me suspicious. I was “on guard” for a sign, any sign that this was not going to work out.

He started telling me about the lonely childhood he had and now he was alone and did not have any attachments.. for reasons that we would understand. Hmm..where was this conversation going?

He had a request – he wanted to give us a shareholding in the business!

He wanted to embrace the true spirit of partnership – if this happened everyone would work together. He explained he would make the same offer to everyone that was involved in his project. He was doing this as he had no family and he wanted the business to have a “safe” home if anything happened to him.

While this was an outlandish tale maybe it was true? The alarm bell was ringing in my head at this stage but I was feeling a little sorry for this lonely businessman.

I politely told him that people might think he was “nuts” if he were to have that shareholding conversation with them – I advised him to keep that idea to himself and if he wanted to do something like this down the line, then maybe.

He had another request – until he had office space sorted out could he work from our offices?

He had noticed on the day that there were desks with no one working at them. A louder alarm bell started to ring!

That wouldn’t be practical I explained but maybe he should have a word with Frank who might let him use some of the available space in the building until he had a formal arrangement made.

He told me he understood ..

We had arranged to meet the next day when he wanted to introduce us to some of his team who he had already recruited..that sounds ok I reckoned.

Just as he left the office he patted his pockets ..”Damn, I’m a bit short and the bank is closed. Could I borrow €20?” Even though the alarm bell was shaking the whole building at this stage I found myself handing this guy who we hardly knew €20.

On the way home I bumped into Frank as we left the building.

Well, what do you make of our friend?” I asked. He had told Frank that he was very impressed with Fuzion and the accountant and he just needed to finalise everything and get cracking. I told him the story (with a red face) about the €20 knowing already how the whole story was going to unfold.

What’s worse I told Dee the story about the €20 – “You big fool” ..she told me.

If this was going to end up going nowhere I’d prefer to kill it quickly. Before he was to arrive I would prepare a budget and insist on a % payment upfront before we committed any resources to the job – if he was not the real deal then this would flush him out.

20 minutes after he was scheduled to arrive I called him ..nothing.

Another 10 minutes ..nothing.

A few minutes later I received a text from him saying that Fuzion and the people in Cork were the most unprofessional and backward that he had ever come across and he was going to set up in Belfast instead.

Needless to say I haven’t heard anything about the airline but I do wonder about the “dream client, Mr Cooper” who got away.

When it seems too good to be true it probably is ..the tale alone was worth the €20.

Mr Cooper …good luck with your venture!

Greg Canty is a partner Fuzion

Fuzion are a Marketing, PR and Graphic Design firm in Ireland with offices in Cork and Dublin

Can Win Happy work?

June 24, 2013

Fuzion team

It was a gorgeous summer Saturday in Cork and I was strolling around the city with Dee and my two kids.

Everyone was in great form and I knew I should have been but I was miserable and my head was bursting – work was killing me. I had been caught in the middle of a corporate crossfire for over two years between the joint owners and unfortunately this was a no win situation for me.

I was the General Manager and I could have had an easy life if I toed the line, kept my head down, settled for the status quo, played the politics and enjoyed the benefits. This wasn’t me ….I was miserable!

On that Saturday afternoon, 10 years ago I decided I was handing in my notice (handing back my new Saab and turning my back on a hefty salary) and it was the day Win Happy was born.

Win Happy

Fuzion teamThis has been my goal ever since – never again did I want to spend a minute feeling miserable about my work.

It is really important to me that happiness is at the heart of what I do every single day.

Happiness for me is working in a place that I love, doing work that I enjoy, with great people and for clients that I respect.

Utopia?

I guess in a way it is Utopian but why not have that as a goal?

I will be the first to admit that it isn’t always that way but mostly we get pretty close.

Happy..

I do love what I do (except for some horrible admin work every now and then), we work for who we want (we don’t answer to any head office or anything like that, we can accept or even reject work if we choose) and we have carefully chosen a group of really good people to work with.

Every Friday we break bread together as part of a sacred lunch routine we have, which we call Fuzion Friday.

I believe that if you get all of that right you end up with an atmosphere that creates the perfect conditions for great work ..for winning.

Win?

Kerrie & DeeHappy is the first part of my philosophy. I am very driven and while I am not motivated by money I do want to be successful in our profession and this is where the satisfaction from Winning comes into it.

We work extremely hard and we keep ourselves up to date with trends and developments. We carefully choose talented people for our team and we make sure they understand the Fuzion way.

Together we work hard to get results for our clients even if this means us doing more than we are contracted for.

If a talented team, in a happy environment, work hard for clients then you should get lots of wins. Winning leads to more business – simple!

This philosophy has stood us well since the business started and in the 10 years that I have been with Fuzion we have continued to grow our business and our team, mostly with a smile.

#WinHappy

Can it work? – Tell me what you think?

Greg Canty is a partner of Fuzion

Snap into it!

May 24, 2013
Bueller

Anyone, anyone, anyone?

Snap out of it” I had to tell myself.

I do a lot of social media training and consultancy both directly for  clients and as part of organised courses for the Enterprise Boards and the Digital Marketing Institute.

I use a suite of materials to deliver this training including some very detailed notes that cover the whole area including blogging, Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and some of the other emerging platforms and trends in social media.

In the last few weeks I have found myself delivering a huge volume of training and on this particular day I found myself delivering a module to a client group in the morning and a similar programme in the evening to a group of SME’s as part of training for one of the Enterprise Boards.

Facing into delivering the same material on literally the same day and feeling really tired my motivation level had dropped.

I started to question myself as I drove to the hotel:

Was I getting bored with my own material?  

Would I be able to deliver a good session?

I was wallowing ..

Hold on (big conversation with self!)…you have been crafting your training materials for a few years, you have continuously improved the programme, you not only understand the material intimately but you know how to deliver it in a way that keeps the group engaged and learning – Besides you know you are passionate about this whole area.

This group of SME’s have signed up for the programme, they have given up their evenings to learn about something that could make a big difference for their business and you know you can show them how, in a really practical way.

After giving myself a few virtual slaps in the face and a big kick up the bum I managed to change my gears and open that door – “who wants to tell world about how great their business is?

We had a great session ..in fact it was the best reaction to a session that I had in the last few weeks and after it I was buzzing.

What you get from any group at a meeting or a presentation is often down to what you bring in the door with you ..your frame of mind, your attitude, your belief, your energy and your enthusiasm.

Snap into it ..

Greg Canty is a partner of Fuzion

Fuzion with offices in Cork and Dublin offer social media training and consultancy in Ireland

Girls ….Go for It! (Lean In)

May 15, 2013

Deirdre Waldron on the Cork Chamber billboard

Me, on a billboard? Never in a million years!

That’s what I thought when I found out a promotional campaign I agreed to be part of would be more than just a testimonial on a website.

I had sent a letter of thanks to the local Cork Chamber of Commerce because I won some business after attending a Chamber event. When they called to recruit me for the promotion, I said, “Sure, of course, no bother”, thinking they’d ask me to write up some notes.

Then I found out that my face would be on a billboard!

Even though I work in public relations, I was always reluctant to put myself forward in photographs or other public displays. I thought they were opportunities that could go to clients instead.

Silly, I know; I think I was hiding behind my clients!

The Chamber assured me that eight other people would be on the billboard with me, but when I showed up for my photo shoot, I was all on my own. We were each being given our own billboard.

Roll on a month or so and the billboards went on display. We got great feedback from clients and business colleagues, although I couldn’t look at my picture. I was mortified at my face being as big as a bus, literally.

I met my contact in the Chamber of Commerce to give feedback on the experience.

I thought the campaign was great for my business, but it was a negative for the Chamber because I was the only woman out of nine members who were featured.

What she said next shocked me: “Deirdre, we asked loads of business women—you were the only one to say yes!

Okay, I was a fairly reluctant participant, but it was a brilliant opportunity for our small business to feature in a billboard campaign in our city. I couldn’t say no, even though I wanted to, but it sure didn’t feel nice getting out of my comfort zone.

But what about all the successful, confident, intelligent businesswomen in my city who did say no?

We need to get over ourselves as women in business. We need to take more chances and seize every opportunity that comes our way, because if we don’t, someone else will.

We need to surround ourselves with positive people – men and women who will challenge and push us every day of our lives. We need to face the fear that stops us from achieving everything we are capable of and acknowledge that the biggest deterrent to reaching our full potential is often ourselves.

Girls ..Go for It!

Lean In - Sheryl SandbergNote: Deirdre wrote this piece for the Lean In website, which was started by Sheryl  Sandberg, COO of Facebook who wrote a book called Lean In.

Deirdre Waldron is a partner of Fuzion

Fuzion are a Marketing, PR and Graphic Design agency with offices in Cork and Dublin.

The Gardener

May 7, 2013
garden

By the way ..not my garden!

I just knew it ..

When he came in the door with his notebook and pen and carefully took down the details I knew we were in trouble.

The garden was in a state, the grass was up to your kneecaps and it had been totally neglected since the end of last summer.

I reckoned our poor Flymo wasn’t up to the job, so the idea was that we would try to find someone who could come in, give the whole place a once over and leave it in a way that we could look after it ourselves for the rest of the year.

Bear in mind that we have a nice 4 bedroom detached house in a housing estate with very average sized gardens both front and back.

After he left us we saw him pacing the front garden – It looked like he was measuring the area. Not good I thought.

The following day his quote arrived by email – €1,560 !!

Oh my god – I thought it must have been a quote for the whole year but when I read it carefully I realised it was for just the initial tidy up!

If there was ever a moment to spur me into action, this was it ..the next half dry evening the Flymo came out and together we attacked the grass – it took two more evenings and a few hours on the bank holiday Saturday but we cracked it!

We bought weed killer, moss peat, some flowers, a yard brush and spent pretty much the rest of the Saturday at it.

I totally despise gardening and this for me was a real punishment day (and evenings) and there is still plenty more to do. I don’t care enough about the garden to have it perfect and I’m sure our expensive friend would definitely have had it spick and span but to me this was not worth it.

I guess at times we are like the “gardener”.

We do take careful notes, we spend time gathering as much information as we can, we try to fully understand the prospective client’s needs and issues and the challenges they face in their sector.

Armed with this information we go away, we do our own research and we write a Marketing and PR plan for them that will hopefully achieve their objectives. We then prepare a budget to execute the plan as economically as possible.

At times this is fine and everything proceeds but there are times when it is just too much for the prospective client and they must pass – sometimes they decide to cut their own grass!

Their garden will more than likely end up being like mine but sometimes with budgets being so tight that will just have to do.

The important thing is that we all do our best to drive forward and while that can be difficult with limited resources at least ..keep driving forward.

Greg Canty is a partner of Fuzion

Fuzion are a Marketing & PR firm with offices in Dublin and Cork

Thank crunchy it’s Friday?

April 12, 2013

Friday feelingFriday afternoon and I was in the middle of a social media training session with the team from one of our clients operating in the professional services sector.

One of the directors was in the “hot seat” sitting at the controls of his LinkedIn account, which like most people with a profile he never uses.

He never posts, he never interacts but he does press the “accept” button with some of the connection requests he receives.

I encouraged him to post a status update ..”Go on, be yourself and post something“.

He surprised everyone by posting “Thank crunchy it’s Friday” ..

I asked the group what did they think ..two of his colleagues thought it wasn’t quite in keeping with their business and profession, another said he misspelt the word crunchy and some of the others thought it was a good thing to post..after all they explained it was Friday and that’s what most people at work would be feeling.

My own advice and my own experience would have me agreeing with the guys who felt “thank crunchy it’s Friday” was a good thing to post.

It’s really important that you are true to yourself, that you post something that connects with people, that you allow people to see the lighter side of your personality and that you don’t try to post something “heavy” on a Friday afternoon …the most important thing is that you make some noise and start posting on a regular basis so that you and your business will register on people’s radar.

Thank crunchy it’s Friday …what do you think?

Greg Canty is a partner of Fuzion

Fuzion offer in-house social media training and consultancy services in Ireland 


Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 10,125 other followers

%d bloggers like this: