The other night, as I was taking my medicine, I reflected on how easy it was to do compare to when I first started.
The medicine in question is an immunosuppressant drug called Cyclosporin. I had a lung transplant back in 2008 (rare lung disease called Lymphangioleiomyomatosis as you’re asking – see LAM Action for more on it) and I take cyclosporin to stop my body from rejecting the lung. It’s something I’ll have to take for ever.
Anyway, when I first started taking it, it was horrible. It smells just terrible. My stomach would do cartwheels as soon as I opened the package and the only way I could take it was by holding my nose. Yes it was that bad (and remember I’ve got children so I’ve done the nappy thing!) Several times my stomach flipped so much I was actually sick and so would have to take another dose of it. (The drug was originally isolated from a fungus found in a soil sample in Norway. That might explain the smell. See Wikipedia for more if you have an interest in such things)
But as time went on, I got more and more use to taking it and now it doesn’t bother me at all. If you’re at a networking event with me then you might notice me opening my pill box and quickly taking some of the cocktail of meds that keeps me alive, but it’s no big drama. I’ve got use to it and I am quite accomplished at it now.
And yes, there’s a business lesson here (why else would I be sharing this with you?!)
Think about something you have to do in business that you really don’t like and/or feel uncomfortable doing. Well, as I dish out a bit of tough love, sometimes you just have to bite the bullet and do it.
Yes, you can out-source things. But there’s a cost to that and if you are just starting out then maybe you don’t yet have the resources. Or maybe you haven’t found the right company to outsource it to. Trusting someone else can be difficult.
Or maybe it’s something that you can’t outsource and you have to do it yourself. There was no-one I could out-source taking my medicine to! I just had to learn to do it.
And now I can do it and it doesn’t bother me at all.
So what tasks in your business do you dread?
Can you outsource them? If you can and the cost of doing it makes sense then outsource.
If you can’t outsource then put on your big girl (or boy) pants and just do it. Ask for help from people who can do it and learn.
You might find that the more you do it, the easy it will become and you may even learn to love it. I used to hate public speaking but I love it now. Why else would I have stood on the 4th plinth in Trafalgar Square
I’ll tell you another time how I got over my public speaking fear, but in the meanwhile share with us what you want to get better at and we’ll look to running a session on it. The BWN is all about supporting your business growth.
(For another dose of tough love, read Steve Clarke’s blog called Can you please stop complaining!)
You see an effective marketing strategy WILL deliver leads, and if you are getting quality leads then guess what that leads to?
You guessed it, more customers.
But I do appreciate it can be tricky to factor in time to market your wares as well as to make and deliver them. So what can you do to make life easier?
Before you even think of aiming to make marketing easier to manage. Do you know what works?
If you don’t know this STOP right now. You see, you need to know what is working to deliver great leads and enquiries so that you can replicate that. So first of all concentrate on researching and analysing what works.
WHEN you know this information you can then use tools such as Hootsuite or Tweetdeck to schedule your social media. Taking into account when your ideal clients have the time to read your offerings, comment, reply, etc.
Next look at the real world marketing that works for you. Picking up the phone, public speaking networking, meetings, etc. What have the biggest impact and concentrate on making them deliver MORE to you.
For instance networking can only be effective if you dedicate to it. Know what you want beforehand. Attend regularly to build relationships so that people want to do business with you and most importantly follow up after EVERY event.
This approach needs to be applied to all areas of marketing that you have and constantly consider this…
What are you doing so that people are automatically keeping up to date with you and your business?
How can other people support your marketing strategy?
Affiliations, discounts, special offers for loyalty etc.
A VA could be a great resource for you too. What areas of your marketing could you outsource to someone else to do?
At The BWN we have a number of great VA’s that attend our events that would happily produce your newsletter, look after your social media and pick up the phone for you. (You can check them out here – https://www.thebusinesswomansnetwork.co.uk/the-business-women-of-the-bwn/)
Unless you are a larger company with a lovely thing called a “marketing budget” this is going to come down to you and if you don’t find a way to create a marketing strategy that fits into your busy life you will always have dips and troughs of customers. Now wouldn’t it be nicer to just have that steady flow of new customers heading to your door?
(This blog came out of a number of conversations with business women this week and has sparked this blog so thank you for sharing. And it has also sparked the next BWN Business Clinic with me – to learn more.)