The most successful businesspeople work smart. They understand the difference between movement (being busy) and progress (being busy doing the right things.)
Hard work alone is not enough, which is why many of the hardest working people out there, get very average results.
As they say, “if hard work alone was the secret to success, our grandparents would all have been millionaires!”
The secret to business success
I have been fortunate enough to work with and associate with some exceptionally successful people. One of the common traits I have witnessed with all of them, is that they use a ‘test and measure’ approach to everything of importance in their life and their business. This test and measure approach is also the cornerstone of successful marketing; so I am going to use a marketing example, to show how it works.
For example, when I write marketing emails, I will test different headlines (sometimes called straplines) against each other and measure the feedback – keeping the most effective headline. Every element of the email is similarly tested and measured; everything from the number of words used, to the time and the day it’s sent. This can increase positive response rates by (literally) thousands of percent.
Test and measure for business success
In business, the most successful people constantly test and measure what they are doing. This is how they manage to grow their businesses so successfully; even during a recession! They study the feedback from everything they do and then set their sail accordingly. This guarantees they move forward and make regular, measurable progress. When something is not getting the results they want, they quickly seek to either improve it or replace it. If something works, they seek to maximise it’s potential.
As a direct result, their businesses grow faster and more reliably than their competitors and they can look to the future with excitement, instead of apprehension.
A new year of the same old year over & over again?
When we compare that approach to the way most businesses operate, we see a major difference!
The so-called ‘average’ business owner will work really hard, yet spend their time repeating what they feel comfortable with. For example, if they feel comfortable attending networking events and writing marketing letters, that’s how they will market their business – even if this is not the right marketing mix for their business, (which it isn’t for ANY business.) For these people, 1st January is not the start of a new year – it’s just an opportunity to relive the same old year over and over and over again!
The good news is that any of us can dramatically produce amazing results in our businesses (and in any area of our life for that matter,) when we adopt the test and measure approach. We owe it to ourselves to ensure that we are making the progress required, to get the rewards that our hard work merits.
If your business has reached a plateau or your sales have hit a ceiling, the temptation is to work harder or work longer hours or both. However, what you really need is an effective marketing strategy to work with.
Because, even if you row your boat REALLY HARD in the wrong direction, all that hard work will actually take you further away from where you want to be!
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