Have you “sharpened your saw” lately? Are you usually too busy for those important but not “urgent” tasks? Why not use that extra breathing space during the summer for sharpening your marketing saw – and boosting your business results!
Remember Steven Covey’s book “7 Habits of Effective People”? One of my favorites was Habit #7 – the importance to sharpening your saw.
Suppose you were to come upon someone in the woods working feverishly to saw down a tree.
“What are you doing?” you ask.
“Can’t you see?” comes the impatient reply. “I’m sawing down this tree.”
“You look exhausted!” you exclaim. “How long have you been at it?”
“Over five hours,” he returns, “and I’m beat! This is hard work.”
“Well why don’t you take a break for a few minutes and sharpen that saw?” you inquire. “I’m sure it would go a lot faster.”
“I don’t have time to sharpen the saw,” the man says emphatically. “I’m too busy sawing!”
(from Steven Covey’s 7 Habits of Highly Effective People)
And now consider how little time you’re likely to spend throughout the year to actually sharpen your saw? At least that’s what it looks like for many of the entrepreneurs I talk with.
We’re always so busy doing… doing… doing… that we don’t take enough time for developing better skills – aka, sharpening our saw. So why not use the last few weeks of summer to get our saws (businesses) in shape and ready for the fall!
Think of all those things that have been put on the back burner because they were not urgent… and we limp along, “making do”.
Here are a few ways you can leverage the summer to boost your marketing – and your biz results.
1. Mid-Year Review
I know we’re past the mid year but if you haven’t done this yet – you’re missing out on one of the BEST tools. In order to be most effective with our marketing, we need to take time out to review how we’re doing. And that’s our Mid-Year Marketing Review.
So take a few hours and take stock of where you are, where you want to go, and what it will take to get you to your goal.
Make it a treat for yourself – spend the day in a comfortable retreat-like environment, where you’re able to reflect and think without interruption. Be creative: a picnic table, the beach, your backyard, a favorite coffee shop or restaurant.
You’ll find that you come out refreshed and with a specific plan for what you need to do next to achieve your goals.
Remember the saying… “If you fail to plan, then you’re planning to fail!”
2. Re-Evaluate Your Goals
Speaking of goals… Are they still the same goals you had when you started the year, or should you make any changes. Go ahead and think about that, and make sure you focus in on the goals you want to pursue for the rest of the year.
If you have already accomplished your goals, create new and bigger goals. On the other hand if you’re nowhere near achieving them then “rightsize” them. I feel goals need to be an attainable stretch or they don’t really motivate.
3. Re-Evaluate Your Ideal Client Profile
Next, you should also evaluate your ideal client profile. Start by looking at all your clients this past year. Do you have enough or too many? Are they the “right” type or fit? Are you finding yourself unhappy with some of your clients? Are they not bringing you solid profit margins? Are they a challenge to find?
Now is a great time to realign and redefine the type of clients you want to have. You don’t HAVE to fire your non-ideal clients if you don’t want to.
But you may want to phase them out slowly by not taking on more of them and focusing more on taking on clients you’d love to work with and provide profitable business.
Remember if you’re trying to sell to everyone, it’s going to be tough and not so rewarding!
4. Tweak Your Networking Introduction
With September comes a flurry of networking events so now is the perfect time to tweak your networking introduction. Reflect back on what interest level you get when you tell people what you do. If you’re not getting positive reactions, your introduction may need some work. Then again, maybe you’ve been networking in the wrong places. Figure out which one’s the problem and fix it now!
Your networking introduction should be attracting further conversations and referral opportunities – if it’s not, then you’re not making the most of your opportunities.
Spend some time today and draft out a new answer to the “What do you do?” question.
As you can see, there are a number of things you can do now, while we’re still enjoying the slower summer pace, that will greatly impact your business success this fall. So take time to upgrade your marketing and you’ll be delighted with the results.