Wow! It has been quite some time since I sat down and shared some thoughts! Has your world been that busy and seems out of your control or that you are just going through the motions? Probably the case for many of you who may work for or have your own small business. So many topics, so many different opinions and a very small amount of real facts. Everyone seems to be drawn to reality issues so the media saturates the airwaves and the market with any and all it can get its hands on. You in the meantime are trying to filter your way through it to find items relevant to your needs today or next week and to best utilize the limited time and resources you have.
Don’t fall into the trap of being sucked in to the every widening search for “truth” or answers or more likely just “dump”. It previous posts I have talked about planning and execution. Now it is even more important to have a plan (form is not as important as having a direction and steps to get there). What is needed from you to attain that plan, today, next week over the next month? Ask yourself does my product or service lend itself to social media participation? Will it spread my brand identity translating into new customers or opening opportunities? Or do I need a presence for feedback or for marketing? Your energy and resources need to prioritize the best and most cost effective method to reach your market. Social media can be cost effective but it consumes a lot of time ( a very valuable and scarce commodity). Do I need to enlist a third party group to handle that and what about the cost?
Add to this mix the cultural and demographic spread that may exist in your market and how they are reached. The younger generations seem to thrive on the social media avenue and while some of the older generation embrace it, there is still leeriness when using it. Let’s also mention that if your market is more global, what are the idiosyncrasies of some of the cultures or countries. There can be many factors that weigh in and they are different of course, depending on product or service.
In each and every case and in today’s fast paced instant information age, corrections/adjustments can be made often as long as they are seen as more of a course adjustment and not a complete redirecting. So we come back to the planning side of things and how well you analysed your market, selected your marketing approach and how effectively you monitor and manage your marketing strategy, prospects and customers. This is not rocket science but it can be overwhelming. Solid planning reduces the areas of concern and allows you to focus on implementation which is what translates into market presence and ultimately success.
So what is the first step? I would say take deep breath, pull out a note pad and list what you feel needs to be done (irrespective of where the resources will come from at this point). When you have completed the list, then go back and place a priority number on it (i.e. what’s most important or should I say what you believe is most important), make notes besides those that you can about resources (people who can do it, in your organization or that you know) and then when you feel it needs to be completed. You have a document that you can use to take the first step. Now in some cases you may feel that you are weakest in this area and will visit with some friends or possible hire a professional to visit with you about your ideas and possibly offer alternative ideas or resources. Whatever the case, many times action on even a rough plan will reduce the stress allow you to progress. This is not a yes/no type exercise and it is dynamic as it should be ongoing quarterly or at the least annually and it should cover more than just marketing. It does not need to consume days when it can be done in hours after the initial time when you have a better idea of how to work through it. One last note, there are many helpful hands out there who may have some valuable information for you, but you need to control the input, the cost and the time on your schedule. It is your business!