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How do you keep up?

Creative Commons License photo credit: fazen

How do you keep up?

I was speaking to a group of small business owners the other day about websites and (to their surprise) mobile technology and how it should affect their internet strategy – or at least, provoke them to have one.

After (probably) scaring them a bit, that was the last question I was asked: “How do you keep up?”

Meaning – how is a small business owner who has to deal with sales, marketing, managing their staff, sweeping the floor, doing the books, promoting their business on Talk Like a Pirate Day and 117 other things – how does THAT person keep up with all that stuff, let alone have their fingers on the pulse of all this new mobile technology, their website, etc?

And how do they manage to find the time to keep their website updated?

If you don’t, you’re training your customers to not visit it.

Additional question I might hear from coaching clients: How do I keep up with all that stuff, plus the things you suggest that I should be doing???

Short answer: You don’t keep up with it all. So don’t sweat it.

Long answer: If it was easy, anyone could do it. Keep reading.

But what provoked the question?

Perhaps the fear of the unknown or the huge amount of change I laid in front of them.


So how do you keep up?

You really don’t. One thing adds to another thing, adds to another thing.

That’s one of the reasons my email newsletter signs off with “Do at least one thing today to get, or keep, a client.”

Set aside a little bit of time every single day, just like you do to work out, play golf, relax with a hot cuppa and the paper, and so on.

Put this “one thing a day” time in your calendar. The earlier in the day, the better. That way the crisis of the moment doesn’t come along and knock you off the rails.

  • Maybe today you spend 15 minutes writing 2 blog posts, or an email for your email newsletter.
  • Or you contact (or delegate it) 1 customer a day who hasn’t spent money with you lately.
  • Or you contact your newest customer and ask them what they think about what you’re doing for them and why they chose you. Keep going in reverse order till you get to the customer you’ve had the longest.
  • Or you contact the customer you’ve had the longest and ask them why they still use you. Again, keep going in reverse order till you get to your first customer.
  • Or you read a chapter from a marketing, strategy, operations, social media (etc) book. Or a blog that offers similar assistance.

One thing a day. Same way you eat an elephant.

Then what?

If these things start getting traction, maybe they get more than 15 minutes a day. Maybe you hire someone to do them, or delegate them to a staffer you already have. Or you do less of the stuff that isn’t really having an impact. Or you automate what you can of the tasks that are now paying off. Or the ones you can’t stop doing that don’t appear to be making a difference.

Maybe you ask each department (if you have them) to do the same thing. Or you ask each of your employees.

Do one thing a day. 5 minutes, 15 minutes, whatever you can manage at first.

When you push water from 211 degrees F to 212 degrees F, amazing things happen.

One thing a day may be all it takes for your business to do the same kind of thing.

Once you spawn a culture of continuous improvement, hang on tight.

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