Jim's Marketing Blog

Marketing ideas to help you grow your business

How’s business?

how's business

I’d like to share an idea with you, which will help you grow your business faster and with more clarity, than ever before. I need to start by asking you a question.

If I were to ask you, ‘how’s business?’, what would your answer be?

You might say business is great or maybe that business is poor. You could say that business is frantic or perhaps that business is slow. I’d like you to think about your answer for a moment.

Compared to what?

If you answered that business is great, poor, frantic or slow – what are you basing your answer on? For example, if you answered that business is great, business is great compared to what?

  • Are you comparing business to the way things were this time yesterday, last month, last quarter or this time last year?
  • Are you comparing your business to how you think your competitors are doing or how you imagine small businesses in general are doing?

Whatever your answer, I have a suggestion for you

Make future comparisons, based on the model of your ideal business. Here’s how it works.

Start by asking yourself the following question: If my business was perfect in every way, what would it look like?

Then, write your answer down in detail. Include things like:

  • How many hours you would work each day.
  • What you would charge for your services or products.
  • What type of clients or customers you would work with.
  • Where your business would be located.
  • How much you would earn from the business each year.
  • How you would dress for work.
  • What technology you would use.

You get the idea. Keep writing and add as much detail as possible.

Never again mistake movement for progress

Once you have created your ideal business on paper, do one thing every day, which will take you one step closer to it. This is the key behind all progress. Know what you want, then move toward it.

When faced with business decisions and opportunities, you will find it easier to make the best decisions, knowing exactly what your target / goal is. You will never again mistake movement for progress or work hard rowing your boat in the wrong direction.

I hope you found this useful.

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  1. Hi Jim,

    I answer that question in relation to my plans – longer-term and my yearly plan. And you’re right, the answer is entirely dependent on how things are going relative to those plans and my goals.

    Results can be a bit tricky. When I’m not getting the results I want, I try to step back to determine if I need to tweak, change or let go of those plans.

    As always, thanks for the great content,

  2. I’ve only been a student of your work for a short time, yet your ideas and the way you deliver them visually, is having a big impression on my thinking. The ideas you share like this article, are workable, not just empty buzz words.

    Jim… thank you for what you do and how you do it.


  3. Jim – good and helpful post, as always.

    A related comment I would add is when I ask my sales people or a colleague “How’s their business?”, one of the most frequent answers I get is soemthing along the lines of:
    “It’s Stable” ,
    “It’s Steady”, or
    “It’s So So”.

    This is a MYTH !!!!

    A cursory understanding of calculus is all that’s required to know that your business (or any function of time) is never Steady or Flat (for longer than one second at the top or bottom or the curve.)

    You are either getting better or you are getting worse. It’s that simple. If you cant say definitively that you are getting better, chances are you are actually probably getting worse.

    • Hey, Jeffrey. As I mentioned on Goggle+ earlier, I’m glad you shared these ideas here.

      You’re totally correct – Business are in a constant state of flux. Any business owner thinking they are remaining steady, is always losing ground.

      Thanks for the feedback, Jeffrey, and for re sharing your thoughts here on the blog.

  4. That’s a great useful tip, Jim.

  5. Richard Ashton

    June 26, 2013 at 08:56

    it’s funny but in my 10 years in business I have never asked that question.. The business happened. Can’t help thinking this question would have saved me a lot of time in the past.

    Will be setting some time aside today for this.


  6. As always you got ,me thinking with this.

    Thanks for the knowledge and inspiration.

Comments are closed.