How to Get Your Marketing In Shape

??? heza via Flickr

I’ve written before about exercise as it relates to owning a business. (The Math of Exercise) In fact, if I were to write a general how to book about running a business I would include chapters on health, nutrition and exercise.

It’s not that I’m some sort of health nut, it’s just that running a business is a demanding job and, particularly as I get older, one that requires more and more physical and mental stamina. So, in addition to marketing, management and money, you’ve got to maintain the machine that is your body.

So, that got me thinking about how and why small business marketers burn out so often when it comes to the act of marketing implementation. What dawned on me is that, to many, it’s a lot like going to the gym.

It’s something they know they should do, but it’s also something they don’t always feel like doing.

I try to exercise five or six times a week anymore and I know the keys to keeping me motivated are variety and planning. I run, ride, lift, and practice yoga on a somewhat planned, but varied routine. I mix up my runs, for example with speed, hills and long, slow runs. I enter a handful of races to give myself training objectives. And, I plan total shut down days off.

Although it’s probably starting to feel like it, this post isn’t so much about sharing my workout routine as it is about equating this proven style of workout to getting marketing done in your business.

What if you applied that same mixed, but planned, routine to getting your marketing in shape?

What if you set some short terms goals and objectives and then created a cross training approach to meeting them?

What if you planned to tackle different kinds of marketing actions on different days? Monday is tweak the web site day, Tuesday is call five past customers day, Wednesday is for writing sales letters, Thursday is your day off, Friday is the day you dive into upping your social network participation and Saturday is the day you take a chunk of time focused only on writing content.

This approach would ensure that the right actions are being taken, eliminate some of the stress that comes from knowing you should be doing marketing, and eventually add up to a habitual routine that got your marketing into great condition.

This approach would also put a stop to the “sprint or do nothing” mentality that comes about from no plan or system for moving marketing forward. To me, equating growing a business to running a marathon isn’t much of a stretch at all. Anyone that’s trained for a marathon knows that you must have a plan, move forward gradually and consistently and build momentum by mixing up your training to stay motivated. I think that describes a pretty darn effective way to look at building marketing momentum as well.

Of course, many athletes know that the advice and accountability that comes with hiring a coach or trainer is the ultimate way to get to the next level!

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The Art of Negotiation

Being unskilled in negotiations can cost you in many ways. The natural inclination to compromise may not always be the best tactic in negotiations. Whether you’re negotiating a big sale or trying to get a repairman to your office more quickly, good negotiating skills will serve your business well.

Experts suggest the following:

Practice negotiating in all types of interactions. Test different techniques and see how your results differ.

Know your own negotiating style and try to learn skills that will compensate for current weaknesses.

Even when you’re negotiating with a large organization, take the time to learn the name of the person you’re dealing with and enlist that person as an ally to help you get what you want.

Take the time to find out the needs of the other party, and work to negotiate a settlement that helps both parties fulfill their needs.

When making concessions during a negotiation, be sure that you are conceding in increments similar to the other party.

Be sure you are negotiating with the right person. You are just wasting time trying to negotiate with someone who does not have the authority to give you what you want.

Have a Profitably Day,

Don MacLeod
Ideas4Rent Marketing
www.ideas4rent.com