Dear Small business owner, what you are wanting to spread is an idea. Marketing is not the answer you seek.
In the world of networks today your growth is all about how deeply can you make people believe in your idea and invite/ inspire them to spread it for you. This is especially true for small businesses.
This post captures the 2 (two) most important learnings while working with small business owners to spread their ideas:
#1: Build a strong narrative. (Narrative is not marketing)
The narrative about your small business is not marketing. The narrative is your belief in the value that you are creating and the perception of that value in your customer’s belief.
Remember, narratives take time and effort to build. They are possibly the most important investment you make in your brand. Once your customer believes in the value the same way that you do, you will not have to worry about churn/ business loss due to smaller/ trivial factors.
The most important factor about a narrative is consistency of message and design.
#2: How many times by design do you speak with your customers? (Increase frequency)
The most important metric going forward will be ‘number of conversations’ that lead to ‘sales’. Everything around you is a conversation. Whatsapp, Linkedin, facebook, YouTube, twitter are all conversations.
The fundamental of being human is being able to converse. Small businesses fall into the trap of big budget paid marketing. That’s marketing, not a conversation. Conversations have the advantage of getting the human sub-conscious to come forth a lot more often.
Double your sales in 2018. Go big.
About the author: Paritosh is the CEO, UNCV. The UNCV Small and Emerging Business Hub helps SME owners answer their most challenging questions and introduce them with people for business growth.
Are you ready to grow sales in 2018? Several SMEs sure are!
In 2017 I took a conscious decision to work closely with SME owners and their teams. For emerging business owners the stakes are high. With high stakes comes huge responsibility to choose only the ‘must-haves’ and deliver results.
So how can SMEs 2X their sales in 2018?
The three winning must-have’s are the following:
- Get more meetings and drive business
- Create processes that increase customer engagement and inspire existing customers to refer more business
- A powerful narrative about your business led by the founder/ CEO/ top management
So how do you get more meetings?
The answer to the question above is ‘business networking’. In 2017 I worked with several SME owners and their teams to ensure that everyone in the team plays the role of an ‘opportunity creator’. These ‘opportunities’ are then filtered by the Sales teams to drive business.
The first step in opportunity creation is ‘Linkedin’. My company UNCV has trained hundreds of employees and business leaders on how to spread your businesses’ influence and build your personal authority.
Several business leaders today entrust UNCV to manage their Linkedin profiles and amplify their influence and authority.
How do you automate customer engagement and generate more referrals?
The answer to the question above is deep understanding of the customer. Why does the customer care for your service/ product? And how can you leverage tools like Chat applications, Email automation, CRM and Social media to engage customers.
I found that most SME owners do not know their customers as personally as they ideally must. This personal connection/ understanding is an unfair advantage that an emerging company can establish as a method in the company.
Thankfully most SME owners that I have worked with are eager and willing to invest in processes and technology to solve these critical business problems.
How do you create a narrative that’s understood by your customers?
Infact when we manage the Linkedin profiles of SME owners, the most important value that gets created is the narrative that creates a major perceptive shift in potential customer networks.
I wish you 2X sales in 2018. Go big.
Trust is the fundamental that sustains and grows business in India.
Trust Before We Transact
The Indian business ecosystem is driven by relationships. We transact a lot more basis the ‘comfort’ that we enjoy in our relationships. The fine layer of trust that exists in our business fabric is what drives growth.
Trust comes in several formats.
- If you are a global technology giant like Google, facebook, YouTube, people would adopt to your service simply because the larger number of people they know around them are using this service. Remember, its because of the “people around them”.
Of-course there’s all the talk of single-user-utility, India works on trust. I say this with 100% confidence in my understanding of India.
- In my second startup, I raised the first INR 5lacs (approx $8000) from a gentleman who possibly knew its not going to work, but he invested in me. He placed his trust and hence his money on me (Paritosh).
- Most early stage angel investment in India happens of-course on business logic, but a lot more on the trust in people driving the vision and execution.
- I know of a senior executive who recently took over a companies operations (that was shutting down). The first money that he raised to make it possible was simply basis the trust he enjoys with the people who have seen him over the years.
Thousands and possibly millions of such small and interesting stories exist in our society.
Build Trust and How?
The first thing that you must do as a business in India is to invest in building this layer of trust with hires, partners and customers. This one investment done right will go a long way in your business success in India.
Trust is people. Hire people basis the trust they enjoy in their respective communities. On-board partners that enjoy a similar trust in the business circles.
- #1: Make trust as the fundamental factor for how you transact in India.
- #2: Communicate trust. Across all your public and internal communication, establish trust. As the TATA Group, it works.