March 2, 2011

Finding the Quick Wins

Don't Wanna Wait

A large cheeseburger with condiments is approximately 600 calories.  An hour of high impact aerobics for a 200lb man will burn about 600 calories. A slice of pumpkin pie is about 350 calories. An hour of ice skating for the same man will burn about 340 calories. We know we need to eat better, work out more and take better care of ourselves but (on average) we don’t do that. We eat the cheeseburgers and the pie then get acquainted with the couch.

Once Not Enough

One blog post on a brand new site may get a handful of visitors – aka your friends – and hardly seems worth the effort. Three posts a week for three years may gain new clients as well as thousands of visitors and connections all over the world. That’s 468 articles. That’s a lot of work and discipline.

If you have a Twitter account that follows 39 people and has 24 followers with an average of 5 tweets a week, it is doubtful you will get much out of the experience. If you spend three years engaged in the channel several times each day, you may see new business, new contacts, more help and a large connected active network of colleagues and friends. That’s about an hour a day or 20,000 tweets or just over 1,000 hours.

Open for Business

Unless you have won the lottery, have rich parents or are independently wealthy, you need new business all the time. It’s admirable to see some who as many clients as they will ever need but they represent the minority. The rest of us need to build our business every day. Not for a week, not once in a while, but every single day.

We want the customers now but can have trouble seeing the long term benefits of a sustained effort throughout the year. We wonder how these available channels can help us without realizing our contribution is critical to the equation. We want the quick wins to sustain our revenue line forever.

Downside of Now

As a marketing and media strategist, I am asked daily what I can do for a company right this moment. Can I increase revenue, improve product lines, enhance messaging and advance the customer base, today. No I cannot. This stuff takes time. If you are in business, you have made some mistakes and enjoyed some victories but neither happened in a day or a week. It would be arrogant for anyone to claim they can help you improve in those areas in a short amount of time. You may want to find some quick wins but they are fleeting and impossible to scale.

Humans are not built for strategy or long-term thinking. If things are bad, we want them to be good, right now. If money is tight, we want money, right now. If someone promises that this campaign will help us get us out of this slide, we are happy to listen, right now. We want the burgers and the pie without the waistline.

Which is better a quick win or sustained business growth?

Kneale Mann

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