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One of the key concerns of business development for many SMEs is how to continue to grow during the recession. As Richard Reed from Innocent Drinks explains – it might be that your business doesn’t grow at all, but if you focus on the fundamental goals of your business – you will survive; and that’s the most important thing.
It’s often said that economic downturns and recessions make sound companies stronger, eliminating weaker competition. In the last 12 months, how has your business scaled back? And do you think that the business as a whole is better for it?
The one thing we don’t need is any more leadership courses. We’ve all been there.
So what is required?
Well, what we need is a focus on what matters. What matters is what happens as a result of your leadership: the results. We will be measured on our results and not our good intentions.
Yes, you need a VISION, a blue skies picture of what success might look like, and yes, you probably need a MISSION, some clearly defined numbers around what you might be doing when you hit that mission (turnover, profit, number of staff, number of clients) and the other levels of the business planning process (strategy, milestones, performance indicators). And that’s the easy, predictable stuff.
But the key to making the leadership ‘effective’ is around action.
So, I would say that LEADERSHIP is about VISION (and mission, etc) and DECISIONS and ACTIONS and RESULTS and OUTCOMES/BENEFITS.
Too much so-called leadership ’activity’ focuses on the needs of the group and not on the needs of the ‘client/customer base’.
When you focus on the end point (Covey’s “Start with the end in mind” concept) then the role of leadership becomes clear. Add some task-focused urgency to the equation (Who is going to do what by when? What are the quick fixes? What are the slower-burning actions?) and you start cooking on gas!
Leadership is needed not just in the boardroom. Action-focused leadership is what is needed more than ever in all your dealings with your customers. Create your customer leadership programme now.
Traditional business is about money for services, cash for a product. Increasingly, businesses online are adopting the Freemium model, a concept defined by Chris Anderson of Wired Magazine.
In this video, Freemium expert Peter Froburg talks about the best examples of this model and how it can really work for online businesses in the 21st century.
When thinking about how you attract people to your business, have you factored a “freemium” level offering in? Is it appropriate for your business? Have you tried it? All good questions.
I have seen some things. I have seen a celebrity open a supermarket and to declare it “The best supermarket I have ever been to” and then I saw him wax lyrical about his latest project as swooning young girls lined up to meet him in the foyer without entering the newly opened store in question. I have seen a launch event cancelled because the star that had been booked for the event was in court.
I did not see the latest wave of the desperate and insufferable enter a jungle in Australia in the name of entertainment, egotism and career revitalisation. However, I am sure that in the next year, many of them will be cashing in on their time in the jungle shared with creeps, crawlies and lest we forget, all those bugs, spiders and snakes too!
Hiring a celebrity to promote your business or event can be risky. The eventual termination of Kerry Katona’s contract with Iceland is a prime example of how things can go awry.
Of course a small business won’t have the resources to fly in David Hasselhoff or Christopher Biggins. So what can you do when your budget doesn’t stretch to someone who used to be in Eastenders but is now in The Bill?
Well, you could always take the route chosen by a newly launched enterprise around the corner from our Bristol office. A former Woolworths store has just been re-opened under the name of ‘Woolies’. Within the building is an indoor market with a range of stalls offering fresh meat, footwear and flowers. The new venture was opened in style by none other than a Del Boy impersonator. So convincing was the look-alike, one local blog reported ‘Actor David Jason was also present.’
A celebrity fresh out of the jungle will come at a premium and so why not go for the next best thing? With a tongue-in-cheek booking of a look-alike, you will be sure to save vital marketing funds and have some fun in the process. Make your launch event a hassle(-hoff) free experience!
Online video is a powerful medium that cannot be ignored. Just as social media for business has taken off, so has online video as a powerful way to communicate ideas and information to prospective or existing customers. In this video, Pooky Media, explain how you can take the business world by storm by creating powerful videos in Second Life.
As a small business owner, are you using video as a way to communicate with customers or clients? What is your experience with this type of communication?
Getting more people to your website is obviously going to do great things for your business. You don’t need to be IT savvy or an SEO geek to improve how you get found online. With the growth of social media, you can gain more attention with less effort and slowly but surely get your business name to the front page of Google.
A key point made in this video is that you need to focus on tracking results so that you can refine what you are doing to get better results. How have you managed to track your web presence and growth?