Customers have never been harder to catch in Kansas City. Smartphones. Tablets. Streaming video. DVRs. Network TV. 500 cable channels. Video on demand. Your customers are watching their favorite programming on their time, in their own ways. They’re price shopping while standing in your store. They’re watching TV and surfing the web at the same time. What’s a KC small business owner to do?
Own something. You can’t possibly be everywhere, all the time. Don’t try. You’ll spread your budget too thin. Instead, own one thing and really own it. Smother it. Become the king of the hill. And the best part, you get to pick the hill. Pick the smartest media vechile and own it. Own one TV station. Own a billboard by your business. Own the sidewalks around your shop. Own morning drive on radio. Own Facebook. Own one day of the week. Then support your media ownership with complementary marketing and smart creative content that connects with your customers. Work on making every individual customer contact count.
You don’t have to catch all of Kansas City in mass. Plant your flag on the hill of your choosing and let your customers come to you.
You suck (at something) and that’s your leading edge for growth. Yes. You’re good enough, smart enough and darn it, people do like you, but your small business will never grow until you look deeper and admit that “you suck.” Once you know your suck-factor, you can address it. Small business owners tend to think that they can be great at a great many things. Take the ego down a notch and take a realistic look at what you do worst. Then search for the people with the specific skills in what you suck at.
Stop telling yourself that no one can do things as well as you can. You’re wrong, and it’s impeding your growth.
Scott Elser writes more about your "suck factor" in Inc. magazine.
To make friends.
It's really that simple (and complicated). But if we're not continually making friends with our Kansas City neighbors, then we're not going to be in business much longer.
Most small business owners loves the idea of social media, “it’s free!” Then reality hits, “this takes too much time.” And so those small biz social media accounts go fallow.
Can you invest 18 minutes a day? If so, Hootsuite put out a pretty smart social media plan for small businesses:
Browse and Engage: 6 minutes
Post: 3 minutes
Schedule: 3 minutes
Your first few days (weeks) will take more than 18 minutes a day. You’ll also need to spend time (and it could be a lot of time) building a content library. Photos. Videos. Articles. 140 character posts. Non-time sensitive content that you can use in your various feeds. But with a stocked content library, once you get into the routine 18 minutes a day should be all it takes to take advantage of this “free” media.
Video killed the radio station. Cable TV was primed to be the death of the networks. The internet, eReaders, iPads and dinosaur era publishers burned print to the ground. Now social media, digital gurus, YouTube and the app de jour is fixed to kill every media platform that has come before it.
Technologies are always changing. Where we spend our attention is constantly moving. But what we as consumers pay attention to, what we’re drawn to, and how we want to be treated doesn’t change.
Good, no make that, insanely great creative delivers no matter the format.
We’re constantly looking to make a human connection.
We’re forever looking for groups — tribes — to join.
We want respect, fair play and to be a winner.
We want to be entertained, “in the know” and in on the joke.
If you can deliver that, tell that story, then we’ll reward you with our business.
New technology and big data and tweets and info graphics and Vine videos… they’re all sexy-new, but they’re only tools. Dumb tools in a technologist’s hands. Power tools in the creative’s hand.