By Chuck Sink
Ironically, business urgency usually puts on the breaks. A desperate need for revenue is never a good reason to add stress and anxiety to a devoted team. Your business is bound by the same principles as everyone else’s and the reason your competitor may be cleaning your clock today is because it’s his time, not yours. He’s simply reaping benefits of plans and activities he put into play while you were focused on something else.
Maybe it’s you who’s cleaning clocks today. For that I say congratulations and keep up the good work. Let no moss grow on your heels!
I network a lot. I’m a member of the two biggest chambers of commerce in my state and am heavily involved in both. In addition, I attend at least 4 or 5 other networking & conference events per month outside of my chambers. These are some of the most common issues I’m hearing lately:
- Do social media really work for business? I just don’t understand it.
- I’ve been attending these events and haven’t gotten anything out of them… don’t get any leads…
- We do email once in a while but most people probably delete it.
- We’re looking for someone with solid industry contacts but can’t find anyone.
- We don’t have the budget and my time is stretched too thin.
Okay, I want to help. Let’s dive deeper and figure out a strategy that will really grow business. The moment my line of questioning goes into specifics about consistency of effort, volume of activity, time spent, money invested, persistence and patience, eye contact is often lost and sometimes the subject changes. That or myriad excuses are offered as if to cross each item off the list – a tried that, didn’t work attitude sometimes prevails. “I just need to find that ‘magic formula’ that works in my industry.” This is what I hear people screaming, if only between the lines.
The only magic you will find is in your belief system and the virtues you apply to your personal and business life. That’s the universal magic formula that works across every industry. You need to apply robust effort over time, sometimes a long time. The real issue is that everyone wants gratification and most don’t want to wait for it.
Your time may be now or maybe it will be in a year or two, maybe five. If you’re succeeding now, let that be your incentive to keep doing what works and fill in some gaps with activities that common sense and experience tell you will bolster your success in the future.
Should your business be struggling, there are factors and reasons that you can uncover and do something about – now. It has to be now. New strategies and, more importantly, activities and consistency of effort must be applied so your time will come sooner rather than later.
If your competitors seem to be doing better than you at the moment, it’s probably because they’ve done in the past what you may be avoiding today. Are they doing more networking, showing genuine interest in their connections? Do they share valuable information with customers and prospects on a weekly basis? Do they deploy an intelligent marketing strategy with time and budget commitments? Do they have harder-working salespeople and executives? Do they apply faith, virtues and hard work to daily business life?