Having spent years in corporate marketing and five years helping small businesses with their marketing, the one thing that very few get right is getting honest about their reality.
(In the same vein, lying to someone you’ve asked to help grow your business is one of the worst mistakes you can make, but that’s a topic for another blog post.)
Honesty is still the best policy.
The ability to objectively evaluate one’s business is something that many business owners struggle with. It’s hard. Which is why our clients come away with objective opinions and analysis that not only helps them but allows for a genuine perspective.
Get honest about your capacity for new business
This is a challenge that a dear client of ours (who shall remain nameless, but agreed to let us share their experience) faced in 2016. When the client pushed past our suggestion to get their operations and service models in order before ramping up new business it caused a lot of confusion and poor service, and it cost them some customers.
Get honest about your brand.
Sure, everyone wants to be the Ritz Carlton of their category — we’ve even had clients say that. But when we take a thorough assessment of what they have and what their budget is, there is a disconnect. There is nothing wrong with being a Hilton or Marriott; they are both very successful brands who embrace what they are. They have their own flair and standards, and people identify with those attributes.
Get honest about what you pay your workers versus what you expect from them.
This one is huge. We often sit with business owners who lament their workers’ performance. $10.00-per-hour employees who have an ‘ownership mindset’ are few and far between. On the flip side, we’ve spoken to numerous employees during our strategic workshops, which are confidential one-on-one meetings, and we’ve heard employees were asked to perform duties way out of the scope of their work. One example is a receptionist who became the social media manager and was scolded for misspellings and dead links.
You want to grow happily? Follow this small business tip: get honest. Then move forward with a reality-based, goal-focused plan for your small business marketing.
**Our blog is a resource guide for educational and informational purposes. (And sometimes venting about topics such as sub-par experiences and/or individuals who wear Vibram Five Fingers to dinner parties. You know–the usual.) To write our articles, we use our experiences, the experiences of others and various other resources including but not limited to the wild wild web, the Encyclopedia Britannica (what? you didn’t buy the extended library collection of 1989?) and/or The Magic 8-ball. (Kidding. But maybe not.) That said, our advice doesn’t come with any guarantees. By visiting this site, you’re essentially signing a contract that says that you understand that we make no guarantees, and you won’t try to sue us or report us to your cousin, who just got his/her law degree and could use the practice. Because that would be awkward and not cool. 🙂