A Quick Guide to Small Business Marketing

Today I want to give you a simple quick set of tips for effective marketing.

Just five (5) points.

#1 Follow the 10-minute rule

#2 Have a strategy

#3 Think PR not advertising

#4 Gather your evidence

#5 Keep refining it



So let’s start with that “10-minute rule.”

Most small business people say, “I want customers to find me in my city and the neighboring city, maybe the whole county.” They stretch themselves thin. It’s a recipe for ineffectiveness.

The 10-minute rule is a marketing concept from McDonald’s.

They do all of their marketing with in a 10-minute radius of their business. It’s hyper-local. But they absolutely dominate that 10-minute radius. And you should too.

Great businesses do less, and focus more. Think local.



Plans are useless, planning is essential.

Strategy is too large a subject for me to go into here. But small business strategy can be summed up nicely this way:

Be different. When you are different people talk about you. And when people are talking about you, some of those people will buy from you.

Be better organized. A reputation for orderliness advertises your business for you. Franchises – like Starbucks –  make up some of the greatest companies in the world. They are great because they are highly organized. A Starbucks in Michigan is run the same as a Starbucks in Mumbai. Run your business like a franchise.


Brands are built by publicity (PR) not advertising.

You have to talk about your business and get other people talking about your business.

How can you do that? Here’s how not to do that…

Many small business owners (and maybe you also) say “I want the most polished professional website possible so I look like a well established business.”

What you really are is boring. You’re boring.

“Polished” is too generic. It has no personality.

You need to have a big personality. You need to tell a story – your story.

You need to tell it to everyone – customers, partners, suppliers, competitors, the media.

And you need to tell it everywhere – on your website, in your physical location, in your emails/posts/etc., in your sleep.

You need to reach out. Reach out to news websites, bloggers, Youtube creators, etc. about your business and what makes it unique. Reach out to other local businesses, find ways to collaborate; market together. Reach out to the local news.



Whenever you or anyone else talks about you make sure you have a record of it as evidence.

Ask your clients for written feedback about your work for them, and then use it (with permission) for testimonials. Post these testimonials all over your website. Use them in your emails, postcards, everywhere.

Ask delighted customers to review you on google, yelp, and other places.

BONUS TIP. Let potential customers know that you have done work for others in their neighborhood. An easy way to do this is to show visitor passes for their gated neighborhood. It’s anonymous and still effective.

On your wesbite make a “As Seen On…” page. Then whenever bloggers, Youtubers, and websites talk about you post it onto your “As Seen On” page. Then show the page to potential clients, past clients, potential partners, everyone – to let them know you’re famous.


Keep refining.

Marketing is not a destination.

There are great books on marketing that can help you hone your strategy (#2).

Here are the best:

Purple Cow – (summary) – Be different/remarkable and people will talk about you.

Book Yourself Solid

22 Immutable Laws of Branding

Blue Ocean Strategy



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ビジネス多読 Business Tadoku (extensive reading)




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Using pay-as-you-go phone forwarding when abroad

Experimenting with pay as you go virtual phone number services




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Corporate Strategy Illustrated – coming soon


開発中の新しいコースを発表してうれしいです。 ❝企業戦略:図解されたガイド❞というコースです。 。 コースは英語と日本語で組み立ていますので、英語圏の世界でビジネスをする日本人のビジネスマンにとっては助けになります。

We are happy to announce a new course under development. Corporate Strategy: An illustrated guide. The course will be in English and Japanese. It will be a boost to Japanese business people conducting business with the English speaking world.

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こんにちは、老外日中 です!









我现在住台湾。来这里发现有很多日文资料。现在目的就是用这些资料帮大家学日文 。


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Jazz Localization (post)

I have been in love with Jazz for almost as long as I can remember.

When I was 9 years old my dad bought a used saxophone from a Miami-based Jazz musician. It was my first saxophone (26 years later when moving to China I gave it away to a fellow saxophone lover. It was still in good playing shape.)

Over the years I have done different web projects.

But the most interesting web projects for me are working with Japanese Jazz musicians on their websites.

Localizing Japanese Jazz websites into English is a lot of fun!

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How to setup your equipment for Teaching English Online

I tutor English (and also tutor Japanese) online for a Japanese company that arranges lessons over Skype. I’ve also tutored for Wyzant.com.

In both cases and even when creating online courses for Udemy.com the equipment I use is basically the same.

In this article and video I explain what I use, how, and why.



  • Desktop PC, Laptop, and/or tablet.

I highly recommend a windows tablet. Windows Surface tablets are amazing. But even cheaper ones like Dell’s Venue Pro series, Acer, NextBook, etc are all decent full-fledged Windows PCs (run full desktop Windows) – a huge advantage over iPads and Androids.

  • Mobile phone

As a backup device in case your internet connection goes down. You can use your mobile phone’s mobile data instead to conduct the lesson

  • usb webcam
  • OTG usb adapters (female usb to male micro usb)
    • “y cable” usb adapter – an adapter that you can plug your power cable into and charge your device while also plugging in out things)
  • usb adapters (male usb to female micro usb)
  • usb hub (best are the ones with switches on the side to switch from “charge” to “OTG”) with a charge function
  • selfie stick (to borrow the mobile phone holder off of)
  • small tripod stand (for holding mobile phone)
  • headset (with headphone and microphone)
  • two standing lamps with adjustable lights.
  • a stool (preferably adjustable height) to hold your laptop, tablet, phone, or PC monitor & webcam
  • a desk
  • a blank wall
  • keyboard (wired or bluetooth)
  • mouse (wired or bluetooth)



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How to turn on a BLU phone with a broken power button that is completely off

Just a quick post and video with options for turning on a BLU phone with a broken power button or damaged power button. This is a BLU Studio X. It should work on all BLU phones (BLU vivo, BLU pure, BLU dash, BLU Life) though.
You’ll learn even how to turn on the phone if it has completely powered off (very tricky with a BLU phone).
If this video helps please subscribe to my channel!

BACKGROUND: The power button broke on my BLU phone (BLU Studio X) and I adapted tricks that work with other phones for using the phone without a power button.
The hardest part is if the phone is Completely off.
Things to do:
* Try not to let your phone ever completely power off
* Plug your phone into the charger to turn the screen on.
* Get a “double tap screen on/off” app from the play store
* (Bonus tip) buy a pocket-size emergency charger to keep your phone alive AND to turn on the screen in case the app is being buggy
* setup “scheduled power on/off” = in settings > “scheduled power on/of” // if your battery dies you can plug the power cord in and hope the phone powers on at the time you set
* enable debugging mode = settings > “about phone” > tap “build version” 7 times. Then go into the new settings option “developer options” and enable debugging.
If your phone ever dies after doing this there is a way to wake it using your computer. Google “power on phone using debugging mode” or something similar for a how to guide
* Phone all the way powered off. Turn it on with the charger/battery trick. TAKES MANY TRIES. plug in charger, see charge screen appear, unplug charger, super quickly remove/replace battery.
You are not really removing the battery so much as BARELY breaking contact with the battery and its copper connectors. Apparently this works like the power button to complete the circuit or something like that (I don’t know).

Hope that helps!

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Finding problems and solving them

I have a bachelors in International Business – which is slightly less useless as a masters in International Business (as I didn’t waste as much time/money)

I learnt more about real business at the public library than at university.

And I learnt even more working with real businesses, real clients, real pains.


Looking now for some problems to solve to create a new business. I want to create a business that I can set on autopilot.



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how to become a polyglot

I am on my third language.
My mother tongue is English. In high school I started studying Japanese and eventually went to Japan for university where I took intensive and advanced Japanese courses. I also took some of my regular course work in Japanese and graduated with a degree in International Business. (which, by the way, was not very useful)

So many would say I am fluent in Japanese. I am what I would call “proficient” in Japanese. I don’t know what “fluent” is. A lot of people talk about fluent and they all have different ideas of what it means. There are test of fluency like the JLPT but like most tests it is a poor judge of the various abilities (speaking, reading, writing, listening) needed to function – and incapable of judging communication abilities such as empathy, sympathy, personality, etc. that are so vital to both learning and making use of a language.

Three years after my last formal Japanese class (eight formal years in total), I ended up taking on Chinese. This happened out of circumstances that I would not have predicted, but it has been a great ride. Now with five years of Chinese study under my belt I might be considered advanced in the language.

It is at this stage that have a whole new set of problems as the three languages play games in my head. Here is my dilemma.

I speak to Chinese people formally and informally on a near daily basis. For the last few years I let my Japanese practice sit on the backburner. Then I started teaching Japanese part-time and finding myself trying to polish up my rusty Japanese without mingling the two languages.

So far it has been a battle. I have said things in Japanese to Chinese people, spoken to my Japanese friends in Chinese, and let a few Chinese words slip when teaching my Japanese class.

The two languages have many shared two-character words and these really mix me up too, especially when the reading is similar. So, while I know the meaning of the word perfectly, I have to second guess myself if I am remembering the Japanese reading or the Chinese reading of the characters.

Getting to polyglot is not an easy road.

But I do think I am doing the right things to press forward down the path.

It seems to me that at some point the more you use each language the more the brain divides them and resists the tendency to mix.

Here are the things I am doing and what I believe are keys to reaching a level of polyglot:

Reading, reading out loud, listening, listening while reading, speaking both languages.

Where possible I listen to the same information in Japanese and Chinese. Before I was listening in English and Chinese. But now I have substituted Japanese for English because who cares about being fluent in English anyway, right? 🙂

My Japanese friends (they speak Chinese too) refuse to let me speak to them in English/Chinese now that I am teaching a Japanese class. I am thankful for their tough love.

I think the key is to use the language all the time.  Japanese all the time. Chinese all the time. Instead of reading something in English I read it in Japanese. I force myself to do it. And I find people who will force me to do it.

This is how you become a polyglot.

There is a Japanse game called “Go” or “igo” – the game that looks like a chess board but with the black and white pebbles.

I learnt to play it in Japan. Only old men play it now which is a shame because it teaches some great lessons.

They say the only way to learn to play Go is to lose your first fifty games as quickly as possible.

I think this is a great simile for language learning. You have to make mistakes to learn.

There are some polyglots who say they try to make 20 mistakes a day in a language.

That means they are using the language. And they are not hesitating.




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