I never drive anywhere without my trusty satnav these days – mainly because my sense of direction is non-existent. Last week, however, it took me 20 miles out of my way just to make a 3 minute time-saving. Technically it made the right decision of course, I had after all programmed it to take the quickest route rather than the shortest route. But the decision could obviously have benefited from a little intuition or, as some would say, I should have looked at a map!
Whilst some small business owners take rather too many decisions based purely on their ‘gut feel’, instinct in business should rarely be ignored. The chances are that if you have been in business for any length of time you will know a lot about your customers, your competitors and obviously, your products and services.
The key is to test your instincts and make decisions based on hard evidence with a healthy measure of ‘gut feel’ thrown in. It’s important to write down the results of your tests too so that you can develop and build on what has worked and modify what hasn’t.
Don’t allow your knowledge and experience in your business sector to close off opportunities though. Remain open-minded to new ideas and ways of working. At all costs avoid uttering that well-worn phrase ‘if it ain’t broke don’t fix it’ or ‘we’ve tried that and it didn’t work for us’ as this can simply stifle creativity.
There is no doubt that with the ever-increasing pace of change, particularly in the field of technology, it can be tempting to jump on every marketing band wagon going. Or to simply stick your head in the sand and think that change won’t affect your business. Somehow though you need to navigate a path between the two positions.In marketing terms that sometimes means going back to basics; simply mapping out your business objectives, target audiences and key messages. By paring down your business to the simple ideas you started with you will probably find that things become a whole lot clearer. Suddenly you can see why your social media campaign isn’t working and understand why a mobile app really is going to make a difference to your business.
There’s no shortage of people happy to tell you what you should be doing; listen by all means but add your own good measure of instinct when you are deciding what’s right for your business.