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Everything You Do as a Small Business Will Either Help You, or Hurt You

by | Business, Marketing

There’s a simple, yet often overlooked axiom of running and marketing a small business. Everything you do either helps or hurts.

Literally, everything.

The reason for this is that everything you do is either public-facing or works itself out in public-facing ways.

Changed your pricing recently? People will—at least over time—see that.

Change the way you package your product or service? People notice.

Change your holiday business hours? People notice, and form opinions based on that.

Record a marketing video recently? How was the video? The audio? Was it scripted, or did it come across as genuine?

This is why I say everything is marketing. These are related concepts. As you make changes in your business, keep this in mind. As you strive to make better decisions for your business, keep this in mind.

Every little decision helps form public opinion about your brand.

Awareness

One way to keep you from falling victim to a negative public persona is the simple awareness of this problem.

But not only your awareness as the owner and/or decision-maker, but the awareness of the team as well. I get that this thinking is somewhat intuitive, but trust me, it’s the furthest thing from the mind of someone who is head-down, doing the work.

Until this becomes part of your company’s culture, it will not be at the forefront of your employee’s minds.

Create a culture of awareness around public persona in decision making, product development, marketing, etc. From the CEO to the janitor, this should be a priority. (Don’t believe me? What was your opinion of the last public restroom you were in? It makes a difference.)

Testing

Often, you can head this off at the forefront by doing some testing. Focus groups, beta groups, regular surveys, and net promoter scores are a great way to know if your company is handling things right.

These methods ensure you are being proactive, not merely reactive when it comes to your PR.

Let me just underscore this.

It’s a lot easier to account for a potential problem in testing than it is to resolve a potential problem in production.

This rings true whether you’re in the foodservice industry, the web design industry, or the medical industry.

Don’t neglect the opportunities to have you fix potential problems before they get out into “the wild.”

Execution

Finally, don’t neglect execution.

In other words—you can only test so much!

Eventually, you have to put something out there. Make the change. Make the decision. Change the price. Launch the product. Release the video.

But do so informed of the pitfalls, and ready to react and respond to the fallout. Also, be ready to react and respond to praise!

Sure, things can hurt—but let’s not forget the most important part of the equation. Things can help!

Most things you do, if you’re aware of this axiom and regularly testing for the pitfalls, will end up helping you. And that’s exactly what you want.

Not sure about the blind spots in your business? There may be things right now that are holding you back from making the necessary decisions.

If you’re having issues with your public identity when it comes to your product and/or brand, we would love to help. Start the conversation here.

To your success!

— Steve

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