More and more it appears true that the only way businesses today, whether large or small, are going to survive and thrive is through accelerated innovation. Your business, even if you’re an independent professional or small firm, needs to stay on the leading edge…or die.
Ask yourself if you’ve done any of the following in the past six months…
- improved or refined your marketing messages
- developed one or more competitive, new services
- expanded your outreach to current clients and customers
- discovered new ways to connect with prospective clients
- developed or improved your Internet/web presence
- partnered with other business owners to multiply your reach
There’s an old saying…”if you’re not moving up, you’re moving down, and that there’s no such thing as hovering.” You can’t remain stagnant and hope to compete in today’s economy. And the very worst thing you can do is to hope that the economy will somehow, someday improve.
Here’s a scary thought for you….
What if it doesn’t for a very long time? The current economic downturn has been around for over two years with not a lot of light visible at the end of the tunnel. The war in Iraq isn’t helping much. The stock market is still in the doldrums. Negative news abounds.
But now for the good news…
A lot of businesses are doing just fine, thank you very much. And they’re not doing fine because they are lucky so and-so’s. They’ve adopted a strategy of Accelerated Innovation. And it isn’t a one-time flash-in-the-pan. It’s simply the only way to do business these days. They’re taking consistent, effective action to get to be known as the leaders in their particular fields.
- continually improve their marketing messages…They realize that clients are moving targets. What appealed to them today might be different tomorrow. So, they reassess their messages and communicate what’s relevant, right now. They zero in on the issues, challenges, problems and pain that are most prevalent.
- develop competitive new services…The wonderful advantage professional service businesses have is that they can create new services on a dime. Very little expenditure of time or money is required; it just takes some insight, creativity, and effort to put their ideas into action. They don’t settle for their existing services because they’ve come to know that the most profitable one may be the next one they develop.
- expand their contact with current clients…It always costs less to sell current clients new services than to find new clients. Successful businesses have established ongoing client contact programs, and continually offer something new. What are you doing to keep your clients happy and loyal?
- find new ways to connect with prospective new clients…They grow their mailing and e-mailing lists, providing free samples of valuable information and sending content-rich e-zines. They focus on providing value and gaining credibility so when prospects are ready, they’re seen as the vendor of choice.
- develop or improve their Internet/web presence…They realize that there is no more efficient vehicle than the Internet to get word of their services out. And they’re not complacent…rather, they’re restless…always looking for a better way to present their services. If your site and your message are stale, it’s time for a facelift.
- partner with other business owners…The concept of joint-venture partnering has never been more relevant than now. Smart business owners are not just selling their own services…they’re selling each other’s services as well…and reaching a much wider audience. Partnering through strategic alliances, host-beneficiary arrangements, co-sponsored workshops, internet-affiliate deals, endorsed letters, etc., are some of the powerful ways to do this. If you’re waiting around for something to change in this economy, you’re going to be very disappointed with your results in the coming year.
Additional Thoughts on Accelerated Innovation
We’ve discussed some of the innovative marketing strategies smart professionals are using to accelerate results. But how do you get moving on all this stuff without getting overwhelmed? Consider…
- doing one thing at a time…It’s recommended that you create a big “Master List” of all the things you could do in your business to accelerate your marketing. Any time you read a business book, or hear a new idea, write it down on this list and review the list weekly, at minimum.
- prioritizing and focusing…You can’t do everything on the list, but just doing one or two a month can yield massive rewards, eventually. Review your list and determine which items will likely have the best return. Also, work at implementing the simple things as quickly as possible.
- creating an action plan…Complex projects can take time and so, require planning. An action plan is simply a list of things you need to do in some form of chronological order. Keep it to a page or less. Better still, make it part of your agenda process. Refer to it every day and add items to your daily to do-list. Chip away at the most important priority, one step at a time, until it’s complete or resolved. That way you’ll always be working on the most important thing on your list at all times.
- getting/keeping a coach/advisor/mentor…The coaching/business advisory field is growing by leaps and bounds for a very simple reason – it works! Having someone who is as committed to your goals and success as you are is a very powerful thing. Set very specific goals for accomplishment, and have your coach/advisor help you keep to your action plans, and support you when you get stuck.
- becoming a fanatic…You’re not going to get far in your business if you just want to lay back and simply daydream about your success. Jump in with both feet, and do ten times more on a project than you normally would. Push your envelope, push your boundaries and you’ll see significant, corresponding results.
And that’s worth thinking about…