Today is a milestone me as I help small businesses with their marketing.
Last month, I flew across the country to attend a meeting with my marketing peers and meet with some of the incredible leadership team from Duct Tape Marketing.
During the meeting I stated that I was going to meet some important milestones for my business by the end of February. Once I left the meeting, I broke out in a cold sweat realizing that I had not only committed to doing some incredible work, but publicly announced it in front of my peers (what in the world was I thinking)!
It's not quite the end of February and I'm proud to say that I've accomplished all the marketing milestones (including becoming a certified Duct Tape Marketing Consultant) I set off to do with a couple of days to spare. The long days were worth it.
What Does this have to do with my small business?
It has to do with making commitments to yourself, then keeping them. It has to do with making decisions and taking actions. It has to do with keeping yourself honest.
It may mean setting that process up, buying that machine, picking a customer (or community member) to surprise, reaching out to learn something new, or checking on your employees.
Your Small Business Monthly Promise Plan
First, make a monthly commitment to do something for your small business each month. Then tell someone what you're doing, like your peers.
Second, make a weekly plan of what it looks like. This means picturing yourself in a movie doing it, not just writing it down as an academic concept.
Third, post it somewhere you see it, like your phone screen (your cats or kids won't leave you for taking them off and you can tell them too why you're doing it).
Fourth, set time aside to do it on your calendar and treat it like an appointment, no deleting. This should be something that moves your company forward and it's as important as anything else.
Fifth, celebrate your successes when you accomplish your goals.
In consulting with one small business owner (20 employees), we actually set up a monthly goal announcement email to the entire company stating the (impressive) goal. We laid out the reasons for her goal, the plan to make it happen and that they would have a pizza lunch if she accomplished it. We found that the employees actually got involved in helping and keeping her on track. At the end of the month, they had their pizza lunch and a local family was helped with a business service they needed but couldn't afford. On to the next goal...
Epilogue : In the three months after her first community helping goal, she made 7x the cost back through referrals and from the press we got. Some of her peers were throwing shade around her giving things away (vs. discounting which we said was dumb) so we kept great analytics as always.