Here’s something a little different from the usual blog posts.
I hope you can add to it with your insights too.
You could call them insights, ideas or just plain old words, strung up to make sense.
1. It’s OK to Jump If You Know There’s a Rope Tied To Your Feet
There’s a lot of ignorance about websites (yes even today and it’s 2017)and what setting up a website entails. Never do it unless you know what you’re doing. If you want a quick way to get your website, try Redbox Easyweb. Trust me, it’s the best thing ever for small business owners.
2. Go Big or Go Home
Some people are afraid of using technology to market their business – they don’t want to put stuff on their website! They’re afraid of everything – competitors stealing their ideas, ripping off their products, copying their ideas.
Kalau takut, balik tidur – loosely translated ‘go big or go home’ …that’s what I saw on a big bike during a big bike motorcade once. It’s funny but so freaking true. The slogan was deftly illustrated by this real skanky cartoon of a scaredy cat biker, you know the the Gila-gila cartoon type.
3. The World’s Your Oyster Now, What The Heck Are You Waiting For?
Some people are not savvy enough to use the available (and often) free tools on the web to market their business. If you are not savvy but you choose to learn, help is on Google. All you need is google for the info and you will be a pro in no time. Look at a number of videos, wikis, blogs and websites online! Go to Pinterest or Youtube. The answers you want is already out there on the Internet.
4. Ask and Ye Shall Receive!
People don’t want to ask for fear of looking dumb. I guess this happens because we never had real formal, structured classes on using the web or downloading software (unlike driving lessons where there’s an actual syllabus).
Most of what we know is taught to us by savvier, geeky friends or through hit-and-miss or lots of errors. I lived in an age where the floppy disk was a BIG deal. A CD was a big deal. I’ve even used those old fashioned Macs before. But there’s no reason not to ask.
If you ask, you learn. If you don’t, you get burnt badly. If you want to ask about websites, come to our Tech Tuesday sessions – they’re once a month events where you get to ask all you want about websites and how to use them for your business.
5. We Are All Lazy But That’s Not New
Sometimes, people do ask. Yet even if they knew help is in Google, people are still inherently lazy and want to pick up the phone and call friends for answers they could’ve found themselves. I do it all the time. We like shortcuts in our lives. Plus our friends feel useful and smarter too. And when they do call you, you need to break it down to them in layman terms and avoid jargon because they really won’t understand.
6. Your Website Is Your Best Marketing Tool, I Swear
Not everyone ‘gets’ it about using a website as a marketing tool. Make that a scientific marketing tool. Why scientific? You can track and measure. You can change stuff and move things around. You can access some 1 billion or more potential customers if you are online.
But hey, who am I to argue if some people like being that regular mom-and-pop store in this little town? The town’s business keeps them happy. But the potential! The potential of growing business is moving online. If you’re not online, you’re missing out on lots of good things!
7. Be Ruthless Now, Not Sorry Later
Unqualified prospects are a waste of time and effort. So be ruthless with the people you meet. Not everyone is going to buy. Some never do and you don’t have to be offended. Some people unsubscribe from your newsletter but that’s OK. Better they unsubscribe than hang around and never read the newsletter that we put out monthly.
Just realise this: not everyone is a customer. Some people end up good friends but not really the best customers. So work that list smarter. Use smarter ways to filter the real prospects from the people who are time-wasters.
8. Get the CEO On Your Side
If you’re a corporate executive, this is for you. Make sure all levels of your team understand and take part in the website development process. It’s not the IT manager’s role. It is not relinquished responsibility. It is the whole company’s. The website is your business, your rice bowl. Keep that rice bowl a shared job.
A great CEO would personally take note of what’s in the website, sits in on meetings with the website developers and asks intelligent questions. He would not leave it to his staff because the website is the ‘face’ most people see before they even call or visit the real company. Most times, we get face-to-face meetings with the CEOs. And when the CEO makes the decision, you can bet it’s going to be a strong validation for you and your colleagues. So get him on your side.
9. Get Ready For The Future, Now
If you think you can still do business the old way, I hope you are ready for the next 2 years. I honestly hope you are.
Because at the rate things and technology run today, so many methods are popping up and even if you don’t give two hoots, at least take time to know them. If you know about them and don’t want to use them, fine. At least you have considered them.
But don’t dismiss them as newfangled technology mumbo-jumbo because there’s rubies in them. How to mine the rubies is up to you. The new ruby rush is on the Internet.
I’m not saying this because I live and breathe the Net. I am saying this because I see a lot of people putting their heads in the sand and trying to ignore the not-to-be-ignored. Technology is not for the young. It’s for those who want to learn. Period.
I know I said 9 valuable insights but here’s a bonus insight for you:
10. Get Rid of Lousy Customers
Yes, get rid of lousy customers. Lousy customers are a pain in the rear, always whine, never pay on time and always annoy you to no end with meaningless requests. A lousy customer will not refer customers to you. They will suck your time and patience like Count Dracula.
It sounds painful to get rid of them (hey, that’s money flying away) but your stress flies away too. It’s better you fire lousy customers because you can now take in better customers. We work on getting better customers every day because they will love you and send more (good) customers your way.
We have fired customers before because they were no longer aligned in terms of goals we had for them and their websites. Usually, these people have no understanding of strategy and sometimes they rely on their 20-year-olds to advise them on marketing issues. Sure, the young are energetic but they lack experience and knowledge. Just because young people are starting businesses doesn’t mean they’re actually good at it.
You’re in business because you want to be happy. And customers are not always right, especially lousy ones (usually it is the lousy ones who keep harping that in your face!). Don’t ever let anyone or any management book tell you that. You know better.
Now’s YOUR turn. 😉 We want to hear your insights about life, business, the many ways to bake bread, whatever. Sharing insights means everyone gets smarter, a bit at a time. Tell us what you’ve learnt over the years, what works, what’s controversial and what works like crazy.