I thought I’d write a little post about staying progressive. Maybe a reminder to stay ahead of the game. There are some businesses I see who like to sit back and ‘breath.’ I don’t think this is nearly ever good.
What I’m Talking About:
When you’ve finally opened the doors to your new business or you’re a well established business that’s been around for 20 years, I think there’s a time in anyone’s business where they just sit back and either reap the benefits or watch their business go down the tubes.
There are a bunch of different reasons this could happen, but what you have to be careful of is falling behind.
The Successful Business:
The business that’s successful really has to watch out. Why? Because someone’s going to come after your business. Take a piece of your pie. If you’re a successful business and think you can just rest on your laurels then you may be in trouble. I think you should always been looking for ways to stay on top. We’ve talked about businesses who’ve thought they were in an unbeatable position and failed.
The Unsuccessful Business:
The unsuccessful business often has the problem. Instead of trying to turn their business around, failing business owners tend to just complain, bitch and moan about how bad their business is. Even still businesses often place blame on the economy, other businesses or even their customers for why their business is going down the tubes. Here’s a quick tip; stop complaining and get your ‘stuff’ together!
What It Comes Down To:
I think it all comes down to marketing (and maybe some promotion.) The most effective way to grow your business comes down to two essential things;
- Having a product or service that someone wants, and
- Have your business be on the top of someone’s mind when they need that product or service.
Whether you business is failing or successful you have to make sure that these two ‘principles’ are being actively pursued.
Right now, I’m writing this post because I’m waiting for a few emails and I have some downtime. I could just as easily take a nap, play some video games or something equally as stupid. Instead, I’m trying to stay ahead of the game. This blog post (or any other thing you can think of) is the basis of marketing or branding and is the way to get your business ahead of the pack!
It doesn’t mean that you can’t take a ‘mental health day,’ or anything along those lines. I often go to three-hour lunches with friends. It’s a great ‘flexibility’ I have with my own business. My mentality about the whole thing is “Ima work 50/60 hours either way. It’s great that I can pick when those hours are.”
The other way I see it is, I’ve got to sit in my chair for those hours (per week,) if I’m not working on paying business, I better start working on how to get that paying business.
Some Things You Can Do!
Here’s somethings you can do to help your brand, win over new clients, and stay ahead of the pack:
Start A Blog:
Even if you don’t have a blog-type site, you can always sign up for a free WordPress or Blogspot site to get yourself out there. You can use your blog to help get more content on your social media. I even did an article about ‘inspiration for your blog posts.’
Engage Your Social Media:
We’ve talked about some social media types, but if you find yourself bored at work and on Facebook (or Twitter or Pinterest, etc), you might as well either engage your current social media customers or find articles on the vast world wide web to share with your current customers.
Create A Promotion:
I once worked with a locally owned Rita’s Italian Ice and I was talking to them about how to promote their business on Facebook. One of my tips was to have their worker post discounts on Facebook when the weather was crappy.
As long as you know to use a search engine, I’m sure you can search a promotion for you business type. When people as me what they can do I usually send them to LMGTFY.
The only piece of advice I want to give you is that you need to make the promotion to your potential customers WORTH IT! Don’t offer 5% off on a Saturday because no one is going to respond to it. When you’re thinking up a promotion, put yourself in the consumers shoes and think about if you would respond to the promotion.
Create A New Product:
On some of my ‘down time’ I think about a new product or service I can offer to get new clients. I talk about it a little in this article, but you could also do some research on the web to find out new things you can offer or sell. One day, out of ‘down time’ I created the Going Social Media Package for I Heart Blank, LLC.
Join A Group or Club:
I worked for a radio station for a number of years. In that time, I joined every club I could get my hands on. I wanted to brand myself and be in front of as many people as I could who could potentially use my services. In sales, I believe they call it the ‘three foot rule.’ Mostly, I just didn’t like cold-calls : ) Whether it’s a business group or a civic group (which technically you shouldn’t be discussing business in,) you can ‘sell’ your personality and help people to remember where (or who) you work for. I joined groups like my local Chamber Of Commerce, LeTip, Toastmasters, Kiwanis. Other groups include Rotary, BNI, MNG, young professional groups, Meetup groups, or any non-profit group in your area. .
I must confess, I wouldn’t recommend joining a civic group for the wrong reasons. Make sure you passionate about the cause and then join it.
Whether you business is successful or failing (you could make arguments for either) you may want to think about advertising.
Advertising a successful business can help you retain the customers you currently have. It costs way less to retain a customer/client than it is to get a new one.
I’ve used the analogy once before, but if your business is failing then not doing anything will certainly not turn things around for you. I’d be like if you had a hole in a boat and you didn’t want to try to fix it because you were afraid you were going to make the hole bigger. Guess what? Your boat is still going to sink!
Create A New Advertisement:
If you already have an advertising campaign, why don’t you take some time to think of a cool, creative new way to advertise to your clients. Again, search engines can really help! I recently got inspired to do a series of kinda-dumb ads that were a pretty good success.
Learn Something New:
Sometimes when I have some downtime, I turn to…learning. I try to learn a new skill or something that I can use to help my business grow…and get new clients.
For example, I recently decided I was going to learn how Mailchimp worked. I knew some of the basics of it, but I then l thought how I can better service my clients if I could integrate Mailchimp into WordPress and blog posts.
Stay progressive with your business or you might be in danger. Even though some of the suggestions above may be small, the synergy of all of them working together can help you to stay ahead of the pack in your field!