Tag Archives: Measure

Insanity is a root cause of business failures

stephen2By Stephen Rhodes

A friend of mine reminded me recently that Albert Einstein’s definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again, but expecting different results. Yet we often  think that doing what we always do will yield better results. If you feel yourself descending into the abyss consider these few suggestions.

1.Is what you are doing to market and promote your business really working? Measure the return on your marketing investment. What works and what doesn’t? Don’t be afraid to change approaches, even midstream.

insanity2.  Survey, measure results What? Was number one a challenge because you don’t measure the success of your marketing  program.  It doesn’t have to be complicated, but you need to understand what is working and what isn’t, so track sales related to a specific campaign and compare those results to the cost of running the campaign. If it costs more to run the campaign than …I think you get the idea.

3. Talk with your customers Don’t be afraid to talk with your customers, that would be face to face or even on a telephone.  Or use Social Media to create dialogue. Consider a blog. Share your expertise.  Talking to your customers is a good thing.

4. Find other experts in your industry You are not alone. There are experts everywhere online and you can subscribe to any number of blogs that could be useful to your business. Go to Google blog search (http://blogsearch.google.com/ ) and search for your areas of interest.

5. Check the pulse regularly Don’t wait until it is too late to discover your business is under-performing. Set out a plan and check monthly to ensure you are on target.  If you have three months of under-performance, you need to make a change. Be nimble, monitor your business and adjust accordingly.

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Filed under Managing, Marketing, social media, Uncategorized

Measure twice and cut once

By Stephen Rhodes

Measure twice and cut once. My Dad use to say that. And while his advice often came right after some woodworking blunder, we can all appreciate it for its common sense. It’s sound advice for a small business launch too.

sawing-woodLots of businesses are launched in a flurry to capitalize on some seemingly instant opportunity. Few of these are around for the duration.

A good business strategy is well thought out.

So what do we need to measure?

Start with a simple SWOT exercise. Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats.

Understand what your strengths and weaknesses are. What opportunities exist in the marketplace and what are the threats to success?

And then do the same analysis of your competition. Unless you have a completely unique product or service, it’s likely someone already owns the business you plan to take away. Understanding their strengths and weaknesses is important if you hope to position your company as something better.

Are the opportunities real? Opening a real estate business in the boom year of 1989 might have seemed like a good idea. By the spring of 1990, it wasn’t so attractive. Timing is important. Timing is everything, especially so today.

How competitive is the marketplace and how can you differentiate your business from the others? It’s so important that you stake out your turf succeed. Be the best at something.

What threat exists for your fledgling business once it is launched? What reaction will there be from your competitors? Realize that your competitors are likely to react to your entry into the marketplace and consider what they might do – lower prices for example – and how you might respond. If you are entering a mature marketplace, your competitor(s) has been around for a while and you are not likely the first to pose a threat. The response will be swift and aggressive.

There are many examples of giant killers in the marketplace, people who have successfully taken business away from a market leader. I would venture none did it without careful analysis.

Most of us wouldn’t make a major purchase without looking at all the options. Starting a business is a major investment. All the options need to be weighed and carefully analyzed.

You want your business to have a focus, a point of differentiation. You need to know your strengths and weakness and those of your competitor. Make sure the opportunity is real. Consider, what are the threats to success?

Measure. And then measure again.

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Filed under Stephen Rhodes, Strategic Planning