Author Archives: brian

Business Lessons from David Bowie

A life well lived, a game well played: David Bowie (1947-2016, RIP)

It’s hard not to imagine anyone from my generation, the one before it, and perhaps current generations, who has not been inspired and touched by a David Bowie song. For me, it was “Changes,” which I played incessantly as an early teen. It spoke to me.

david bowie business

Now, some thirty years later, I look at Bowie a bit differently: a trendsetter who figured out how to stay relevant and wealthy throughout his fifty or so year career. He knew the business of art, and, yes, he played the game well, very well.

There are few recording artists who continue to grow throughout their career. There was Bowie the “space oddity,” “glam rocker,” “the Thin White Duke,” “the New Waver,” “the pop star,” and “the experimental/electronic”—all this over fifty years. Few can match that level of change. Michael Jackson had his childhood period and an adult career that (in my mind) didn’t evolve much. When you go to a Rolling Stones concert, admit it, all you want to hear is “Satisfaction.” Mariah Carey and Britney Spears are essential the same as they were ten years ago. The only musical performer that reaches the level of Bowie’s level of change is Madonna.

At Kona Impact, we have gone through a gentle metamorphosis over the years. Of the six initial pillars of our business, we no longer have three of them. They have been replaced by five new areas of business. In 2016, we hope to add two more pillars to our business. Change to us is not scary in the least bit; it is essential for our growth.

When we think of change, we think mostly of expanding and contracting things we do. It’s not an upheaval of our business model on a whim; in fact, every change comes from information we receive from customers. It’s not what we want to do; it’s what our customers tell us (in various ways) what they want us to do. Business to us is not self-indulgent; it’s customer-centric evolution.

Another thing Bowie did was to realize that his business, the music business is a business. In 1990, he gave up the royalties on his music catalog for ten years, creating “Bowie Bonds.” In return, he received a cool $55 million. I can’t help but think of Picassos going for hundreds of millions of dollars these days, more than Pablo could have imagined earning in many lifetimes. He led a good life, for certain, but most of the value of his work has been realized after his death.

My point is that innovation, protecting assets and knowing when to capitalize assets is part of what every business should do, whether it’s a construction company finding innovative ways to lease and maintain heavy equipment or a small mom and pop shop clearing out the storage locker and converting inventory to cash.

Like any small business, we seek ways to improve our financial position. We would love to see more clients pay with checks, as they save us 3% credit card processing fees. Ideas how to make this happen, including not accepting credit cards for large purchases, come up now and then, but this type of change is perhaps too bold. My point is that small businesses (and medium and large for that matter) need to focus on money; how to make more and spend less. Bowie, at least, figured out how to make more by securitizing his music catalog.

Bowie, the artist, will be missed, but we can always revisit the feelings of love, angst, introspection and joy by listening to his music. Bowie, the businessman, is someone we can study and emulate. How can our businesses stay relevant for years? How can we change? How should we change? What can we do to keep more of what we earn?

 Kona Impact | 329-6077 | 74-5599 Luhia Street, E-7, Kailua-Kona, HI 96740

The futility of repeating previous entrepreneurship habits – Is it time to try something new?

I was thinking the other day about what conversations I have that are the most frustrating. These are the conversations I have several times a year, and they all have the same script.

The entrepreneur…

  • Realizes she is struggling with her business.
  • Knows the business is important to her livelihood
  • Has used several off-island, low-cost providers
  • Has tried a lot of the do-it-yourself design, printing, signage and website services
  • Has a brand that is a mess, a hodge-podge of discordant messages
  • Has a website, often built on a “website tonight” template that looks horrible and does function correctly

She then comes to Kona Impact, and one of the first questions begins with, “How much is…?”

She (or he—I’m not referring to any one client I have had) has spent all her time, energy looking at the price of services, and, as a result, her business is a mess. She has sunk a good deal of money into trying to string together a mix-match of service providers and products, with the main concern being,

How cheaply can I get this done?

If this strategy was working, she would, of course, not be at Kona Impact. But the “race-to-the-lowest-price approach” to business seldom works.

If I can convince these entrepreneurs to understand that with all the focus on price, she will find little value, we can begin a meaningful conversation how Kona Impact provides immense value, but, for certain, not the lowest prices.

If she is unable to see value in what we do, the conversation will be reasonably short because we are not a low-cost provider. We have learned in ten years of business that no client wants ineffective or poor products though that is all a low price would allow us to provide.

Clients want effective solutions to their business needs, and to provide those, we need to charge a price that allows us to provide quality products and services.

Simply put, price correlates very highly to value; it’s impossible to offer exceptional products and services at low prices.

That is why, for example, contractors don’t buy their tools at Wal-Mart, and you don’t go to McDonald’s for a nice meal.

We encourage all entrepreneurs to look realistically at how and what they are doing. If you haven’t achieved the success to which you aspire, maybe it’s time to make fundamental in how you’re doing business.

 Kona Impact
75-5577 Luhia Street, E-7
Kailua-Kona, HI 96740

learn from mistakes, move on

Do-It-Yourself Printing: What You Need to Know

Never before have the tools for making business cards, brochures and newsletters been so readily available. What used to be a $2,500 software suite, the Adobe line of tools, including InDesign, Photoshop and Illustrator, can now be rented for about $50 a month. Most off-the-shelf computers these days can handle nearly all entry-level graphic design tasks. These are good things, as small business owners are now empowered to self-design a lot of things for which they had to pay hundreds of dollars before.

Design is one thing (and not the focus of this guide), but taking those designs and making print-ready files is where many novices waste a considerable amount of time and money. Here are a few pitfalls and how to avoid them.


There are two color spaces: RGB and CMYK. Red, green blue is primarily for web design and screens, and Cyan, Magenta, Yellow and Registration/Black is for print. The first step before you begin designing is to make sure you are in the correct color space for print: CMYK.

Size matters a lot. One might think that a 3.5” x 2” business card should be set up for 3.5” x 2” inches. This is incorrect. Printers have three important measurements: cut/trim, safety and finish size. The finished size is 3.5” x 2”, whereas the file size (to allow for cutting) is likely to be 3.62” x 2.12”. The safety line, the space in which all essential text and graphics should be is likely to be 3.38” x 1.88”. At Kona Impact we have new clients that provide us with a 3.5” x 2” file with text to the edges, and they wonder why we won’t print them. The answer is simple: the output will have text and graphics that is cut off. The important thing is to get a template for the print provider you will use prior to setting up your workspace.

Quality matters, too. There are two numbers we see every day: 72dpi and 300dpi. Seventy-two dots per inch is the quality of most web graphics. Three hundred is what is required for high-quality printing for business cards, rack cards and so on. A very common mistake novice designers make is to take a graphic or photo from a website and use that for a print project. The problem is clear: website graphics are only going to be 25% of the quality necessary. When you see a grainy or pixelated image on a print product, the culprit is usually a low-quality image taken from the internet.

Theft is theft. Every graphic or photo you see online is the property of someone. Taking a photo or graphic for which you do not have a license or permission is theft … and very bad karma, too! Many printers will not accept files with obviously stolen images or graphics. If you are looking for a particular image, go to a stock art company and buy the rights to use it. Also, see the information about quality (above).

Save correctly. Printers are very particular about the files they use. You may design in Photoshop or Illustrator, but your printer will most certainly want an Adobe PDF file. At Kona Impact, we tell our clients the following steps to get a file ready for printing. First, make two copies of your file: “working” and print. On your print file, flatten all layers and create outlines of your fonts. Google how to do this if you don’t know. Then save your file as a PDF at the highest quality setting. A Microsoft Word, Publisher, native Photoshop file or a native Illustrator file is not print-ready and will require extra work and cost to get ready for print.

A few other things. Watch movie online The Transporter Refueled (2015)

Your print provider will most likely print what you give him without checking for quality issues. It is your responsibility to check for file sizes and quality. Spell check. Print a sample on your office printer.

Make your files to the print-ready sizes. If it’s a two-sided document, you need two files. Do not save your PDF with registration or crop marks. Those will make your file size incorrect.

Almost all large commercial printers will not mix colors just for your project. That is, if you have a specific Pantone number that you need, find a specialty printer. This will cost a lot more as they will be able to mix the ink for your project and run only your project on the press. Most printers these days approximate color, and they get very, very close, but since they are running thousands of items on one sheet at one time, you may experience slight color shifts. If you print the same thing a few weeks apart, you will see slight differences. Either get over it or be prepared to pay a lot more for your printing.

Does it make sense to design and print your print collateral? Here are few variables to consider:

  1. Design quality
  2. Cost of employee time to make design
  3. Cost of software, computers, and in-office printer
  4. Cost of stock art
  5. The risk of providing a printer incorrect and unusable files.
  6. The cost of failing to get a print job done correctly the first time.
  7. Cost differential of using a retail printer (like Vistaprint) and a trade printer (only available through a print provider)

At Kona Impact, we have designed and printed several hundred thousand business cards, brochure and rack cards. As such, we can usually offer the best opportunity to ensure quality, while reducing risk and overall costs.

Kona Impact | 329-6077

Kona Impact is thankful for

Kona Impact is thankful for

…having great employees who do their best to provide awesome products and services to our customers.

…the several hundred businesses that chose to do business with us in 2015.

…our suppliers who have helped us go from two or three-day turnaround to same and next day turnaround this year.

…those clients and non-clients who run exceptional businesses, and by doing so, have shown others how businesses can and should be run.

…those who show how businesses should not be run!

…those who the Kona community who are volunteers, teachers and mentors.

…living in a country, despite its faults, that provides more opportunities and freedom than any other country.

Good Clients and Bad Clients: How to Identify the Bad

There’s a pretty accurate idea that 20% of your clients are responsible for 80% of your problems. I’ve also heard that 20% of your clients are responsible for 80% of your profits. We’ve found both—plus or minus 10%–to be true. Some days it feels like 1% of our clients are responsible for 99% of our problems.

As a rational business owner, it makes sense to identify the top performers regarding problems and the bottom performers regarding profits. Interestingly, we find a handful of companies that tend to be on both lists: a pain to deal with not very profitable.

Here are the ways to end up on both lists: troublesome and unprofitableWatch Full Movie Online Streaming Online and Download

Ask for prices on projects that don’t allow us to make a profit

The old “I can get this on the internet for $25” is a sure-fire way to make us say, “go ahead viagra france acheter.” We know, and the customer knows that buying something online requires shipping costs, costs to set up an account, shipping time and uncertainty about the quality of the product. So, when a customer tries this ill-advised bargaining strategy, he is really just trying to get a low price, a price much lower than we can reasonably offer. Simply put: if we can’t make a fair profit on projects, we don’t want them.

Most of the time we are very accommodating to clients who have a few no margin or very low margin projects, but when we have a client who only does very small projects (like $10 print jobs), we know that the costs of administering the account exceed what we make from the client.

In very blunt terms: if we can’t make any money from you, you are, by necessity, a low priority for us.

Excessive account maintenance cost / Billing issues

There is nothing more exasperating than dealing with clients who view paying invoices as “when we get around to it” instead of “the work is done; here is your money”. In the end, everyone pays, but how much hassle we have to go through to send multiple notices and the stress we have to maintain adequately cash flow certainly influences how much we want to work with a client in the future.

When we have two projects to work on, we always give priority to the client with a good payment history. This makes sense, of course, because we’d rather finish projects with a certainty of quick payment than a project where we have uncertainty.

If you own a business that buys from local suppliers, the best thing you can do is settle invoices quickly. Your suppliers, believe me, keep track of these things. If it comes time to ask for a favor or a project done quickly, the goodwill you establish through paying your suppliers promptly will ensure some reciprocity.

A good rule is never to ask for a project or product for which you are unable to make immediate payment when completed. If you need financing, go to a bank.

everything has a cost

Excessive Price Quotes

Our time is part of what we sell. It’s also always in very short supply. Every email or call you make takes some of our time. Of course, we don’t mind answering questions about projects and discussing options. That said, “estimate fishing,” where a business sends a low-level employee through the Internet to find the lowest price on a small project, can be great time waste for businesses.

A good rule of thumb is that if your project is under $100, get one, possibly two, price quotes and pick one. If you are asking for more than three price quotes for small projects, you are fishing and being disrespectful of the time of the people you are asking. If you are trying to save a few dollars, consider the time you are wasting calling around: to spend $50 in employee time to save $10 doesn’t make much sense.

Always try to look at what you are asking of a business from the businesses’ point of view. Are you spending more than you could be saving, considering your time and the time of the people that need to respond to your inquiries?

In the end, our goal as a business is to stay in business and to be here to serve our clients in the future. We also have a goal of having resources available to support good in the community. To do this, we have to make a fair profit on what we do.

 Kona Impact | 329-6077

Can a Client Expect an Editable or Working File for Design Projects?

Every year or so we get a client who requests the Adobe Illustrator or Photoshop file of a project. At times, we say, “yes, here it is” and most of the time we say, “no.” The always “yes” answer is with logo design projects. The “no” is with almost everything else.

The metaphor I like to use with clients is that when you go to a restaurant you are purchasing the meal and not the recipe from which it was made.

Another metaphor might be buying a ticket for a magic show and expecting an explanation how each trip was performed.

The editable files, which are usually in an Adobe Illustrator or Photoshop file contain a lot of information; that is, with those files a person can see exactly how something is put together. For a novice designer, seeing a layered Illustrator or Photoshop file is a goldmine, a detailed roadmap of how a product was made.Watch Full Movie Online Streaming Online and Download

So, in a very honest and direct reason we don’t give editable files to clients is that we don’t want to give away the recipe with the meal. We know the reason a client wants an edible file is to make derivative works and reduce costs by using our work as a template.

Another reason is that it is illegal for us to give fonts to our clients. We purchase licenses for a lot of fonts every year, and we license many more through our software licenses. The license we have for fonts does not include having them installed on multiple devices at multiple locations. We simply cannot give a client all the tools he would need to edit the files. Likewise, our license for stock art precludes us from giving away editable forms of what we have purchased. Yes, this all does matter a lot for companies and individuals that make their living from selling created goods. We need to respect that.

A third reason is the way many design companies make money. Yes, we all are in this to make money. When Kona Impact makes a sign, for example, we do not charge a separate design fee, and we recoup a portion of those costs on every sign we sell. Likewise, we often charge a loss leader cost for setting up business cards, and then we make some of that back when the cards are printed and reprinted.

This brings us to the crux of the issue:

What is the client buying when he or she starts a design project?

Let’s take a brochure as an example.

In most cases at Kona Impact, the client pays a design fee and a printing fee and expects a box of brochures as the product. In fact, when we begin a brochure project, we discuss printing with the client and give him or her price quotes. There are conceivably three prices:

  1. Supply client with an editable file template. This is often a very high price quote because the client will require a license for the font and a license for any stock art. Likewise, we will not make any money on the printing or future revisions, so our all of our costs and profits need to be recouped and made at a one-time sales point. Finally, we would in effect be teaching our craft and techniques, so the cost has to be very high.
  2. Supply client with a non-editable print-ready file. This is often a PDF that is ready for a specific printer. Note that each printer will have different sizes and file specs, so the client needs to decide this before beginning a project where it will be printed. This is certainly less expensive to the client than supply an editable template, but the design cost would be higher than a design plus print project.
  3. Design and print a brochure. This is probably 95% of our print projects. We provide a quote for the design and printing of a brochure. The client saves money overall because of a reduced design fee, and our access to trade printers allows us to get exceptional printing rates.

We don’t like telling clients that we will not give them a working or editable file, as they inevitable reply that they have “paid for the work.” The truth is they have paid for a product, which is a brochure, website or sign, and not for the instruction manual and tools to replicate the product. There is a huge difference.

We recommend that clients ask for what they want when they begin discussions with a design company. Make it clear that you want to pay for an editable or working file upon completion. You might also want to specify that no stock art or non-system fonts are used to avoid licensing issues. Expect to pay a lot more if you are working with a professional design company, and expect that the provider might not want the job at the price you’re willing to pay.

Get these issues out in the open at the onset if they are important to you; to wait until a project is done might results is a flat out “no, we don’t give editable files away ever” or an issue with revisions or licensing.

Kona Impact | 329-6077

Three New Kona Business: Find Something Special and Do It!

At Kona Impact we work with four hundred or so businesses a year. This includes off-island companies, some of the largest employers on Hawaii Island and a lot of small, single person businesses. At times I learn a lot from all my clients.  I also get to share a lot of what I have learned from running a business on this big rock in the middle of the ocean.

Many of the small businesses we work with are in start-up mode. They have an idea, sometimes not much more than some back-of-an-envelope notes. Many times they’ll have a full business plan.

One of the first questions we ask is, “how are you different from everyone else?” That is, if you are selling burgers, how are you different from Splashers, Island Ono Grill, Annie’s and the other burger shops in town? If an entrepreneur can’t answer that question in a good 30-second elevator speech, the business needs to be re-thought.

Here are three businesses we’ve worked with lately that have the idea of differentiation mastered. They have all thought about how they could be the go-to business for what they do.

Pacific Grill Services – 808-987-0128

If you make a list of what every household in Hawaii has, you’re likely to a propane grill on it. If you make a list of the things we like the clean the least, our grills have to be in the top five.

Mike and his wife started Pacific Grill Services last summer with the goal of providing non-toxic deep cleaning and repair services for grills. He went all in and has been hitting the pavement with his services and pitching them to all the right people in the right places.

This is a great example of creating a category or fulfilling an unmet need. I love the idea, and more important, I love how Mike has started to establish a reputation as the grill cleaning and repair guru in Kona.

Ehu and Kai – 808-328-8775

This is not a new business, but, instead, it’s a business in the transition from one generation to another. Ehu and Kai rents kayaks at Kealakekua Bay. They also offer guided catamaran tours.

Ok, you think, there are plenty of kayak rental places between Kailua-Kona and Kealakekua Bay. Yes, but you have to stop at these places, strap a kayak to your vehicle, drive 10 miles to the bay and then take the kayak off your vehicle, launch it into the water and then do the same thing when you’re done.

With Ehu and Kai, you can drive to their location at the bay, get into your kayak, enjoy some time on the water and then return your kayak to their location on the bay. No driving with a kayak on your vehicle or dealing with the hassles of loading or unloading.

This is another example of a highly differentiated business.

Island Holistic Healing – 808-209-8002

Dr. Tancheff, a chiropractor in Waikoloa, has two important points of differentiation: services and location.

One of the inexorable trends in healing these days is looking both East and West for answers. Pain, as we know, can have many causes and it makes sense to look at non-surgical and non-drug approaches first. Dr. Tancheff is uniquely qualified to help people explore these options through his understanding of physiotherapy and holistic therapies.

Island Holistic Healing is located in Waikoloa Village, home to a growing population of island residents, and his office is just a ten-minute drive from the Waikoloa resort areas. He is the only person offering this type of service within twenty miles.

If you are thinking of a new business idea, consider first how you can have a product or service in a location that offers you some advantages over the competition. Pacific Grill Service created a category; Ehu and Kai has a much better poduct/location, and Island Holistic Healing has unique services and a great location.

If you can’t find at least one meaningful thing that make you different, you might want to rethink your business plan. Note: working harder, longer and more efficiently are not points of differentiation; they are a recipe for burnout and failure in my opinion. Find some things that create a nearly insurmountable barrier to completion and you’ll find success faster and be able to maintain it longer.

Kona Impact | 329-6077

2015 IRONMAN World Championships: Kona Business Owner’s Perspective

We hear the same old tired complaining every year about the IRONMAN in Kona. Here are the complaints I hear every year:

  1. “The athletes don’t spend any money here.”
  2. “Many businesses have to close on IRONMAN day.”
  3. “IRONMAN is a huge business, and it takes advantage of the goodness of the people of Kona.”
  4. “The athletes are rude, arrogant and a safety hazard.”

“The IRONMAN athletes don’t spend any money here”
This is the biggest and most easily refuted claim of the naysayers. There are a few thousand athletes and probably a few thousand of their family, friends and supporters in Kona for one to two weeks. Where are they staying? Condos, hotels, B&Bs. What are they eating? Food and beverages from restaurants and locally-owned grocery stores like KTA and Sack ‘N Save. What are they driving? Cars rented from the airport. Now go deeper. Every cleaner, waiter, shop attendant and car lot worker had two (or more) solid weeks of work.

Kona Impact was busy for two weeks making signs and installing graphics for IRONMAN sponsors. Every restaurant owner I have talked to (some of the most well-known restaurants in town) said that IRONMAN is a huge boost for business. Even businesses like the music shop that rents audio gear for the event and the tour companies that see a big IRONMAN boost benefit.

So, the idea that IRONMAN has only a small impact on our economy is complete and utter baloney. It makes no sense and is just plain out false. If the average participant and family member just spent $2000 (which is highly conservative), you’re looking at many millions of dollars a year in direct spending.

“Many businesses have to close on IRONMAN day.”
This is true. Yes, Kona Impact was closed. The locally-owned office supply store we use in the Old Industrial was closed, and several other places were inaccessible as well. The real question concerns impact. If I couldn’t buy a ream of paper at my preferred office supply store on a Saturday (traditionally their slowest day), did they lose a sale? No, I would just wait until Monday or plan ahead and buy on the Friday. This office supply store, by the way, saw several hundred dollars of business from Kona Impact in the weeks leading up to IRONMAN as we completed projects for sponsors—a definite plus.

Sure, if you wanted to go to Target on Ironman day, it was difficult. My response: get over it. IRONMAN is one day, and you’ll do just fine without shopping at Target one day of the year.

“IRONMAN is a huge business and it takes advantage of the goodness of the people of Kona.”
Yes, IRONMAN is a HUGE business, worth several hundred millions of dollars. And, yes, the people of Kona are good people. Are they being taken advantage of? Most certainly not. Thousands of people from Kona volunteer, cheer on the athletes and take part in IRONMAN in different ways. Nobody is forced to volunteer; they do so because they want to help out and be part of the event. We do so because we like it.

Everyone in the Kona community benefits from the additional taxes paid on food, lodging and purchases. Most benefit from the exposure Kona gets from the IRONMAN, which helps attract tourists and helps our economy year-round.

I’d also add the IRONMAN Foundation has been responsible for many tens of thousands (perhaps hundreds?) of dollars to the Kona community. I have worked on park build projects that have been partially funded by the Foundation and I know they helped fund a van for PATH and have made several other community contributions a year.

“The athletes are rude, arrogant and a safety hazard.”
Agreed! So are some of the residents of Kona! And so are some of the tourists that come here! I can drive a bit slower or more cautiously around the time of IRONMAN and still be happy. I also do the same around the holidays and in February when the snowbirds come. When I see an elderly person driving slowly or erratically, I give him extra space. I can certainly do the same for the few weeks when the athletes are training and racing here.

My feelings as a business owner and a resident are the same: IRONMAN is great for Kona’s image and economy. I am certainly willing to accept that I may be inconvenienced for a day or two if it means my neighbor can buy a few extra bags of groceries, and if my fellow business owners can make some extra money.

To all of those who complain year-after-year, stay home. Go to Hilo for the weekend. Read a good book. Work in your garden. Let your friends, neighbors and community enjoy the fun, volunteer and run their businesses.

Kona Impact | 329-6077

What Would Make Your Business Exceptional?

I came across an interview with Lee Paterson of Hula Daddy Coffee on YouTube a few days ago. The gist of the interview is how Hula Daddy went from inception to one of the world’s top-rated coffees in just ten years. What’s even more striking to me is how he wants to improve the level of Kona coffee through sharing what he’s learned with others in the coffee industry.

He mentions (around the 4:00 mark on the video) that Hula Daddy was not satisfied with their quality and sales after a few years, so they made a list of 25 things that would make for exceptional, gourmet coffee. After a year of working the items on their list, their product improved, and since then they have sold out of their coffee every year.

I have started to make a list of three things that would be on my list for several industries. I’ll start with Kona Impact

Kona Impact

  1. Complete all banner, real estate and basic signage orders within 24 hours.
  2. Return all email and calls within 1 hour.
  3. Offer rush service, when possible, at no additional cost to the client.

My Bank

  1. A walk-in-the-door to being face-to-face with a teller time of fewer than 8 minutes.
  2. Open until 6 pm on weekdays.
  3. Better use of technology including better phone apps and website.


  1. Exceptional knowledge of the Kona real estate market.
  2. Willingness to tell clients if a bad deal is a bad deal.
  3. Return calls and email within an hour.

Property Manager

  1. Weekly inspection and walk around of property.
  2. Holds providers-rubbish removal, building cleaning, landscaper, etc.—accountable for the quality of work.
  3. Responsive to emergencies—electrical, plumbing, ect.—within an hour.

Take Out Lunch Place Down the Street

  1. Phone in/pick up ordering
  2. “Fast” menu of items that take less than 8 minutes from order to prepare.
  3. Daily specials and new items to keep me coming back.

It’s fairly easy to make this kind of list for many businesses, as they come from experience. For example, we’ve had three property managers, two exceptional, and one horrible. We have a lot learned from all three.

I have been working on Kona Impact’s Top 25 list, and I have about 15 things right now. Most of the things we already do, some are ways I think we can do things better or more consistently.

I encourage you to watch the Hula Daddy video and see how Lee set some goals, identified how to accomplish them and then shared what he had learned with others.

Kona Impact | 329-6077


Developing a Content Strategy for Your Business

Ok, here is how deep, dark secret of Google, Bing and Yahoo work:

They index content on the internet. They analyze that content. When someone searches for something, the search engines match the search with content. The better the match, the more likely it will be shown high on the search engine results pages. An abundance of high-quality content will result in a higher number of website visitors. No content will equate to very few visitors from search engines.

Yes, it is that simple! Content!

What is content?

Content is essentially words on your website, photos, and video. The biggest contributor to your search engine visibility is, by far, words on your page. Sure, there are other factors, but if you can do one thing right, it should be to have ample, useful content on your website.

content marketing strategy

How to win

If you can produce good, high-quality content that is better than anyone else, you will have good search engine visibility. If your competitors do a better job, they win!

Note: there are hundreds of factors that go into search engine visibility, but if you can have a winning content strategy, you will have essentially covered the most important ones.

What is a content strategy?

A content strategy is a plan to produce and disseminate content on your website and other online locations, such as Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and others.

How can a business develop and effective content strategy?

At Kona Impact, we look at it as a repetitive four-step process.

  1. Analyze strengths, weaknesses, and opportunities. If you are a snorkeling business in Hawaii, for example, you’ll want to look at creating content around snorkeling, Hawaii travel and ocean ecology. You’ll then want to develop a set of key topics or ideas related to your business. Research what competitors are producing and what you find online. It often helps to work with a professional search engine marketing company like Kona Impact, as we have years of experience doing this. We also have some tools and access to databases that most novices don’t.
  2. Look closely at your resources. If you hate writing, find someone in your businesses that doesn’t. Make sure he or she can write well, is aligned with the goals of your business and has the time and focus on creating great content. In our experience, the young, just-out-of-college employee will lack the maturity and business savvy to be a good content creator. Likewise, someone who says “Facebook” and “Instagram” often in your planning is NOT who you want. These are not content creation tools; they are content dispersion tools and should only be a very small part of your planning.
  3. Make a plan. We recommend weekly or twice weekly posts to your website. For most this is two to five paragraphs of blogging. If done consistently, this will add between 50 and 100 pages a year to your website! Be sure to give your content creators clear, focused goals and the time to create good content. Again, working with a company that helps businesses on their content strategy can save you a lot of stress and money. You’ll get better results, too. A few hours of working with a consultant is a very wise investment.
  4.  Monitor. Be sure to review the quantity and quality of visitors you get to your website. Ask every new client how they found you. Keep track of employee and your time as you implement your plan. Also, be sure to take a long-term perspective; change and growing a business take time and persistence.

A content strategy is not for everyone.

I liken a content strategy to getting in shape. It is far easier to keep the status quo than to change. Change takes effort and, to be honest; the results are often slow in coming. If you hate writing, and everyone in your organization does, find a Plan B to grow your business. If you are developing a content strategy but you’re not sure what one is or why it’s important, learn, or find a Plan B.  If want results with no effort, don’t start, as you’ll be doomed to failure.

Developing and implementing a strategy is a process, and it is best suited to businesses that see the value and realize what they are doing now is not optimal.  They must also be willing to invest resources to achieve optimal success.

Kona Impact | 329-6077