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Or we feel a bit stuck or are generally failing to get the results we want.
I think we'd all agree that running your own business has its ups and downs. And it's easy to say that the "downs" bring us wonderful learning opportunities. And that it's not the "down" itself that matters, it's how we deal with it that matters. But at the time ... well, let's just say we might not be quite so upbeat!
I've seen people literally throw up their arms and say "That's it, it was a rubbish idea, it's all over, why did I ever think anyone would be interested in it or me, in fact I'm rubbish, I'm jolly well packing it in." (language edited to protect the delicate minded).
Well, here's the truth. Launching a product or service, creating a business, is a complex task.
In earlier posts I've talked about clarity, adaptability and perseverance. Guess what? Gaining clarity can take time, mainly because it comes in great part by experience over time. Adaptability means being agile and willing enough to make changes as a result of that experience. Perseverance means never giving up even in the face of adversity.
In terms of marketing your business, this means always being alert to what's happening or not happening so that you can take action â€¦ make changes, ask for help.
Often, if you have done some degree of planning and preparation before leaping into actually doing your marketing, all that is required in some fine tuning. Though granted, there may be a chain of fine tuning required, a whole series of small changes and improvements.
So, learn how to become your own troubleshooter. Get used to mapping out your marketing activities and their results. Look for barriers and gaps places where your prospective customers get stuck or fall into black holes.
Because, often that's what's happening. You may have made boatloads of people aware of what you do and a proportion of them are interested in what you do, but, maybe, you are just not yet igniting their desire to take things further. Maybe you haven't made it clear exactly what the next step is. Or maybe you've managed to sow a few seeds of confusion. Maybe you just haven't made it easy enough for them to find out more.
Someone once said that if you make 100 changes of 1% to something then that's as good as changing something 100%, only a lot easier (or words to that effect do let me know if you know who that person was!).
This process of mapping and troubleshooting is a great way to improve your marketing and make your business more successful.
You can start this on your own or work though it with someone else. Once you are focused and looking at your business and processes with your eyes open, you will gain knowledge and inspiration for action from all sorts of people and places. Seek out mentors who can help you, invest in boosting your knowledge and skills.
And, of course, put this to work take action, fine tune and then watch what happens, learn and repeat as necessary!
Seth Godin on how to get your ideas to spread
I've recently been doing some research for an education project and reading Seth Godin's book
New on the Noisegate Media blog
A round up of my posts on the Noisegate Media blog - all about writing, content management and web marketing.
Nurturing student enterprise
A couple of weeks ago I went along to THE Store in Dunstable (the new hub for Central Bedfordshire College's