At the #smalbizfest event held yesterday there were a couple of consistent yet contradictory themes across each of the key presenters (and the MC). I find it can be hard for small business owner to convert the messages from executives of large corporates with big budgets or successful business owners who started in a space much different than it is today.
I have always maintained that you need to be a little bit crazy to start a business, but yesterday we were encouraged to be insane. Insanely simple when it comes to product development and insanely helpful when building content marketing!
In a world where information overload is rampant, simplicity can be one of the hardest points to reach quickly for the small business owner / start-up. #Ken Segall (ex Apple Executive and author of #Insanely Simple) demonstrated how the simplicity approach worked for Apple in comparison to its competitors. Thats great in theory but we don’t necessarily have the budget of Apple nor the luxury of covering the costs of failures!
Firstly – how do you enter a market with a simple range of products and services when you don’t yet know what might work? Typically start-ups take the ‘more is better’ approach when it comes to products and services on offer because let’s face it – we will accept any client we can get if it means money in the bank!
The braver approach is to limit the number of products and services you offer – find your niche and be willing to say ‘no’ to sales from clients who don’t fit your ideal target market – now that’s tough! An approach somewhere in between would be to try as many options as you can when starting up and use your data, your numbers and feedback to help you grow in the places where your ideal customers are responding.
The second message was about building your on-line real estate and being insanely helpful to the people who connect with you. You start by owning/securing/buying all the spaces where you could operate and communicate (your name and business name), across all web and social media spaces.
You then occupy those spaces with information that is free and useful to the people who are your potential customers. #Valerie Khoo (#Australian Writers’ Centre) believes the biggest asset your business has is your database. A good database used well will create consistent sales whenever you communicate. In theory this sounds amazing. The practicality comes when allocating the time you need to spend generating the information to build the database and provide the content the people on your database expect and value. In the time ‘on’ vs time ‘in’ your business this is another big chunk of space you need to allow time for.
The presentations where insightful and motivating and I love leaving an event wriggling in my seat ready to start on the massive to do list I have just created for myself to improve my business performance. Starting with this blog and the encouragement for you to join my newsletter to build my database and I will be insanely useful to all of you on your business journey. Sign up here