Do You Want To Know the Secret Of Effective Marketing In Small Business?

Reading Time: 2 minutes

Just Start.

If there is one proven way to have effective marketing and jumpstart growth in your small business, it is: Action over anticipation.

We are wired for taking action – but often only under fear. We all know about the fight or flight response.

But given time, we also have a tendency for “false perfection”.

Why false?

Have you noticed that nature has no pure circles or squares or triangles? They are often oval or rhomboids – slightly bulging at edges.

It is our desire to be perfect hence, we create the perfect circle and squares.

While it is good in science, it is bad in business.

Here’s how:

Being perfect assumes that everything will go exactly as per planned. That whatever is planned will definitely result in the outcome which we want.

Really?

It is said that after the first two chess moves, there are a million options by which the game can turn out. And this only with 64 squares and two players.

Now think of the marketplace with thousands of customers and hundreds of suppliers.

Perfection often leads to analysis paralysis. The need to have a beautiful, logical solution leads to endless debates on the correct step to be taken.

Perfection often leads to analysis paralysis. Click To Tweet

In the end, nothing moves.

I learnt this lesson once.

My boss used to love asking questions. On every campaign, we used to design; he would ask ten questions. Once replied, they would lead to 10 more questions and so on. One day, I decided that I would start it as a pilot project, and we will keep answering his questions. After two months, he asked, “By the way, what happened to that X campaign?” I replied “well, we started as a pilot project and got some good learnings from it and now in a better position to answer your concerns” He paused for a while and then said “you did the right thing. Let’s go national”.

The market and the customer are the best ways to understand whether something works or not.

We can have endless boardroom discussions, but it has no comparison to the rich learnings in the market.

Nothing teaches you better than the marketplace. Click To Tweet

Taking Action does not mean that you launch a half-baked product or dump low-quality stuff in your channels.

Have a testing mindset within the team so that no one is wedded to a particular idea or an approach.

Help the team develop the testing mindset by asking the right questions in meetings.

Run pilot projects, do A/B testing, check in one channel before going national, but Start.

It means beyond a point, stop the endless planning. Just start.

If you have an option between Action and one more round of planning, Just Start Click To Tweet

Check this article for how an owner of a successful online business prioritizes Action over endless debates -> Slideshare CEO

What are You going to Start Today?

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Why you need a testing mindset?

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We all know the storyTesting mindset of Thomas Edison and how he made 1000 trials before he got it right and made the light bulb. Once a journalist asked him “what do you have to say about the 999 times you failed? Edison answered, “I learnt 999 ways Not to make a lightbulb.”

We know that Edison was a very shrewd businessman too.

What does this example mean to you?

For me, it shows the importance of a testing mindset. It shows the need to accept failures as a learning ground.

What happens if we don’t? A board room turns into a contest of blames rather than a hotbed of ideas.

What is a testing mindset?

It is a mindset, which looks at process, as something to test, with performance goals rather than outcome goals. Dr. Jim Loehr in his book New Toughness Training for Sports brings this out vividly. e.g. A golfer focuses on his swing and drive rather than his final score.

This has a couple of advantages: By developing performance goals, you will bring all the assumptions of the team on the table. The workflow and critical sub-steps become very clear. When the process is finally done, the focus shifts FROM who should take the credit or the blame TO which assumptions worked and which did not? Which work flow did well and which did not?

Do you get the difference?

This helps in shifting the mindset of your employees from internal competition to internal collaboration.

Your team is supposed to compete in the marketplace not within. Click To Tweet

It also helps in entrenching what works and removing what does not. Every project becomes a lightbulb which either shines (and you know exactly why) or does not (and you know exactly why).

How would you build this testing mindset in your business?