Surfing the Edge

Powering Small Business

The other day I came across a video online that grabbed my attention. It was a series of video clips of young men doing ridiculous stunts on the top of huge buildings. They were trying to out-do each other in each clip. One was doing somersaults down the ridge of a 100+ story building, stopping at the very edge of the roof. Another was leaning over an edge, waving his arms for balance, trying not to plummet 1,000 feet to the street below. Yet another climbed over the edge of a roof and held on with one hand. To be honest, the visuals freaked me out. I couldn’t watch much of it. Later I started to think about the video. In some ways it started to connect with me.

One of the things we find out when we start, or run, a small business, is that we are like these young daredevils. We view ourselves as almost super-human, able to attempt the ridiculous. Why is this? Why do we suddenly act out with abandon in our small business? When, in fact, we should do the opposite. We should take measured, calculated risks, drawing on our life experience and knowledge.

If we really look at it, a small business owner has a huge advantage in the marketplace. As consumers buy from companies and brands they are engaged with, a personal engagement in theory gives you the advantage in nearly every purchase decision. Yet, we flail about trying to get attention, trying to close business, trying to make payroll, the list is endless, and the flailing is tiring. So today, let’s reign in the edge walking theatrics and focus on what will actually help you succeed.

Brand messaging. Who are you? What are you? Have you clearly explained that on every consumer touch point? Do you even know what a USP is? If you don’t, how can you expect your customers to? What is it that makes you unique/special/awesome? Lay it out there. People need to know.

Marketing. Are you making a focused effort at putting the word out there? A website is not even a first step in marketing. It will never be found unless you begin a focused and consistent effort at promoting it. Again, this doe snot mean doing crazy things to get attention. Rather, write a lot of content about your business category, every single day. Share the content. Guest post on other blogs. Create a newsletter. Do some seo.

Product and Service. Is your product a superior product? Why? Is it a commodity? If so, are you a price leader? Why should people buy your product/service from you? Many reasons are possible;they know you personally, you have done business previously, or perhaps you have a strong usp. Whatever the reason, make note. This is a platform to scale your business. Think of this like you were baking cookies. One day you make the perfect cookie with just the right proportion of every ingredient – a secret formula if you will. Now you job turns from someone who tinkers at making cookies to a baker who can scale the recipe.

You see these points are taking the passion you have to start and run your small business and refining it. Your refined focus is much more powerful than just recklessly trying to do everything.

Rather than skating the edge, let’s take that enthusiasm and apply it toward moving your business forward. Always here for you. Give us a call, send an email, if we can help out.

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