Go ahead, dream small

There’s a time and place to go big, lord knows we get told how small we are often enough.

Score CardBut when it comes to marketing your small business I would trade big dreams and pages of killer ideas for one little strategy brilliantly and consistently executed. Small business owners get so caught up in the “web 3.0 idea of the day” that they never get around to doing the sometimes overlooked blue collar work that actually makes a difference – you know, networking with peers, writing an article, calling up strategic partners, making one more sales call, taking a journalist out for coffee. It’s the sum total of these seemingly small actions that create a big dream and not really the other way around.

The key is to understand the work that makes a difference, remained focused and plug away. Chasing the new thing will drive you crazy and never allow you feel what momentum does for a small business. I know this advice isn’t terribly sexy, it’s a little like telling you that the only way to get good at your marketing business is to practice, but in a way, that’s it.

Here’s a tip if you find the allure of the noisy new thing is too loud to stay focused on what needs doing. Create a scorecard with no more than ten marketing related action items on it. Rate each of those items for importance – give a new sales presentation five points and a new blog post two for example. Both of those marketing related activities will pay off, but one is clearly more important than the other. Now, set a goal of twenty points every day. (The blog post and sales presentation would have netted you seven.) By turning your little marketing tasks into a game you get two benefits. 1) You might actually keep focused on winning the game by completing important actions and 2) if you find yourself with some free time, you might dive into an important marketing task instead of wasting your time reading email.

This little concept can apply to every single person in your organization. In fact, spending the time to figure out the most important little actions each of your staff should take on a daily basis could be one of the most important tasks you could undertake.

Now go out there and dream a little smaller.


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