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How to be a Problem Solver - Part 2

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by Startacus Admin

Self Starter of the Week Amy Manuel writes the second of her two part blog on How to be a problem solver when starting and running a business. The first part of How to be a Problem Solver can be found via the handy link provided.

And so Amy returns and highlights her next three tips to help you and your business in the right direction...problem solving

#4. Open Up Your World

Having worked for the same company since my arrival to London from Australia 6 years previously, I had a great network. The only problem was, it was in the completely wrong industry and had nothing to do with small business which is where I wanted to focus.

Suddenly I was alone. I couldn’t afford to run my business in isolation of others because quite frankly I wouldn’t have a business (and it’s less fun!). So I had to find a way to connect with the relevant people.

1. Find someone to have a weekly phone call with: They don’t need to be someone in your sector. It’s even better if they do things differently to you. Just having them there will give you the objectivity you need and you’ll have someone to feel accountable to other than yourself so you’ll reach your goals quicker.

2. Find partners: Share marketing budgets. Share clients. Swap services and products.

3. Network at relevant events: Networking is a great marketing opportunity but do not try to sell. It’s about asking questions and listening to the answers. It’s a great chance to do your research and refine your Hero status. I have never been to a networking event that didn’t eventuate in to an opportunity, whether it was a referral, a new partnership or a guest blog post. And most importantly, I’ve established a much more relevant network. (And if you’re thinking networking isn’t for you, please refer to #6.)

#5. Ask Yourself WHY?

Ask yourself why you’re doing what you’re doing. No marketing-related activity is too small or too big for this question. If it doesn’t relate in any way to getting you to your bigger goals then stop doing it.

Just because you’ve been offered a last minute, teensy piece of “prime” advertising space in your local paper for a tenth of the “normal” rate, if it doesn’t help you get to your marketing goals then don’t do it.

And if you don’t have goals, write three down now and pin them up somewhere as a constant reminder. They should be:

  1. Measurable (quantify it to make it meaningful).

  2. Timely (have a deadline).

  3. Realistic (flying to the moon by December may not, unfortunately, be doable).

For example, “Get 1,000 Twitter followers by June 2014.” Simple.

Your goals will give you the basis on which to plan your overall marketing strategy (the big opportunities to focus on) and then your tactics (the specific activity you’re going to action).

#6. And above all, Punch Your Fears Where it Hurts

In marketing this means not being afraid to do things differently from your competitors and challenge your industry’s status quo. It is often said but perhaps the most difficult to overcome. As Sheryl Sandberg says in Lean In, “What would you do if you weren’t afraid?”

Amy is planning the launch of the e-learning program Content Cogs to enable businesses to take control of their own online marketing with confidence. In the meantime, you can catch her at her next workshop “Kick-start Your Online Marketing” on 13th November.

Also...To recap check out the first part of How to be a problem Solver. Cheers Amy and good luck with your new venture Content Cogs.

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Published on: 25th October 2013

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