One of my abiding summer memories when I was a little girl was building sandcastles on the beach. I must be honest, I'm not really a fan of the seaside, and finding sand amongst the pebbles on a Sussex beach is near impossible, but it was what we did. It was our weekend thing.
I'm lucky enough to still live near the sea, and I go for a power walk along the prom every morning, and then go back along again every evening. You can imagine how many sandcastles I see in the summer; dotted in between the groynes and (by the time I stride past at around 8pm) in various states of disrepair.
Is it the sea that's ruined them, or is it that they just weren't built properly in the first place, I wonder to myself idly? I was always told to pack the sand tightly into the bucket, and that the real trick was to make sure it was damp rather than wet or dry. It seemed to work for us, at least until my brother decided to kick our handiwork over, and we spent many happy hours building sandcastle cities.
It got me thinking.
Developing your business is kind of the same as building sandcastles. You need a structure, a framework, to start with and you need to fill it with lots of the right stuff. In this case, targeted calls, emails, meetings, networking events and marketing content; making sure that the framework is sturdy enough to withhold the pressure of the activity, and that the activity is part of a coherent and thought out plan so that when you check how successful you've been at the end of the week (putting the bucket on its head and turning out the sandcastle...holding your breath at the same time...), you can be sure that you did all the right things. Pursuing worthless leads, spending hours networking with the wrong people, or marketing an unclear message will all lead to a lacklustre castle. Or business.
It's easy, of course, to adjust what you do - but you only know that you need to adjust if you examine the results of what you do. So many businesses don't; merrily carrying on doing the same old same old, and wondering why they get the same old results. A big fat nothing.
Always reflect after a bizdev campaign. Always encourage feedback. Always know your numbers.
Always be successful.
PS. The Make More Money programme is designed to help with exactly the problem above. You can learn more, and sign up, here!