Monday, February 29, 2016

Being Agile

As a small business owner you have a lot on your plate.  From human resources to budgeting you spend your whole day figuring things out.  Now I'm going to make things a little more complicated.  Turns out that using the same marketing day after day isn't the best use of your budget.

You cannot do the same thing year after year and expect growth.  Frankly, this leaves the door open for competition.

To stay ahead of the competition and grow your business you will need to always stay agile.  Always be learning, always be trying to improve and always listen.  So, how does one stay agile?

1. Always Be Listening

Listen to your customers, your employees and your friends.  You will get a lot of bad advice, of course, but there are going to be some priceless nuggets as well.  Especially from employees.  You need to give them enough freedom to try new things, and see if they can improve your company.  You also need to invest in them.  By educating them, either through internal or external training, you give them more room to help you grow.

2. Always Be Learning

You also need to be investing in yourself.  Listen to webinars, podcasts and virtual training.  Sign up for classes online.  Get a coach.  Attend a conference.  Find a mentor.  All of these are essential pieces in learning to be better.  Better at work and life.

3. Be Willing to Test Things

Also, know how to test your results.  Gut instincts can be very beneficial, but they can also be a trap.  I've seen countless people claim to have great websites only to discover that they don't once data is being gathered.  Sometimes they are very poor.

4. Don't Fall For Shiny Objects

This is my ultimate lesson.  There are many people out there selling things that worked once or twice, or maybe not at all.  They have great sales pitches, and sound good enough to be true.  Some of these will be, and will impact your business.  Others will be a waste of time and money.

Now, the true lesson is to always work on the basics.  The extras are just that, something to enhance your basics.  Every few months you will want to get back to the basics, and try to get better at that.  Make sure that they are ingrained in you, your employees and everyone at your company.  The basics can make you good.  The extras make you great.  Make sure that you are good before you try to be great.

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