By Abe Kasbo
So I went to a magazine launch party tonight. I needed to eat…we arrived late and I went in search of shrimp. By the way, the food was great, the event was wonderful and it seems like these guys just might cut through the clutter in their space and produce a good product. I am rooting for them. While the food satisfied my hunger, there was something à gauche and I couldn’t put my finger on it.
I finally figured out that either something is strange in the world of networking or I missed something. I know all about the 30 second elevator speech deal, but I have never seen put into practice with more precision and speed like I had earlier this evening. I felt like I was in an episode of “business speed dating on steroids.” So after 5 or so of these business come-ons (roughly less than satifying 150 seconds), I headed for the bar, glass of wine, and a sanity check…and thought to myself “why are these guys telling me about themselves, how many clients they have, or how much business they have instead of telling me how relevant their business is to their clients?” After all everyone is in business because the market needs their service(s).
The success of any business relies on several elements, one of which is relevancy to the market and consumer. If you’re a small business ($5 Million to $250 Million in revenues), you must continuously strive to stay ahead of your clients. This can certainly be done through marketing, but it can also be done through other avenues such as innovation or new product role out and so on.
So how do we stay relevant? Here are some ideas. From a marketing point of view, craft programs that deliver the value of your business from the client’s point of view. Engage the clients through meaningful interactions, be it on or offline. And if you have not embraced the internet (Note: if you have a website, it does’t mean you’ve embraced the internet, it means you have a website) you may want to consider what strategies are available to either increase sales, brand awareness etc. How well do you utilize search engine optimization? What do you with social networking / online communities? Online directories? What about blogging? And there’s more…Offline, how are you competing and on what? Price? Service? Both? Are any of these relevant?
What other ways can you make your business more relevant? Well, if you can answer that, then you’re off to a great start!