Back to Basics

Blog Challenge

It was brought to my attention that April is the month where you can rise to the challenge of doing a blog a day for a month.  Seeing as I have struggled to do a blog a week lately,  I thought it would be good discipline.  So thank you to Jan of My Local Business Online.

I have decided to blog intuitively, rather than stress about which hot business and marketing issues will seize the moment.

This morning finds me in a very nostalgic mood.  Yes I am now old enough to be a grumpy old woman.  I will resist the grumpy part.

Having had a debate on Facebook (yes just embraced this new technology, but only for business) with Jan about bands we adored in our youth and waking up to the news this morning about basic skills, or lack of, was enough to inspire me.

It is freezing cold, of course it was always sunny when I was younger – groan

It is quite heart breaking that schools have now become target driven and the real sense of education has been lost.  My education was far from perfect, it was far too academic, which held me back, as It took me a while to find my forte, business studies was not on our curriculum.  However English was central to all our subjects, as was Maths and we were taught to feel ashamed if we had poor grammar and spelling.

The economic struggles we face now are endemic of the seventies and eighties, again our parents did not have much money and similar social and economic problems faced them. However, our priorities were to live decently, honestly and the basics in life were always there for us as a point of reference.

Then the good times came, along with technological revolution, both in hardware and software and a whole new online world was born.  Some fell into it with open arms as their childhood fantasies that Tomorrow’s World always taunted them with, finally came to life.  Some of us resisted initially, because they liked anonymity and talking to real people, but still toppled over nonetheless.  We have to, if you are running a business you can’t afford to be unknown and what we have at our finger tips is truly amazing.

I found that social media really is social if used correctly and doesn’t turn everyone into ego maniacs, just those that would have been anyway.  My children have very good social skills and confidence due to their online conversations, far beyond what we possessed.  Yes it has its problems, but only those that exist in the real world which still keeps it real.

The one negative that our new world has created, particularly in business, is that now we forget about the basics in life, which has been brought home to me a few times this week. We have a tendency to over complicate the obvious, focus on the  wrong things and think the answers all lie in our new technology.

One example is marketing and social media, jumping on the band wagon and opening accounts and using them even if they are not right for your business.

Gurus peddle it to businesses with promises of thousands of likes and followers and expensive courses.  This is not to say these courses are not valuable, I have learned through them myself, but choose wisely.  Don’t get hung up on numbers, algorithms change continually, just act naturally it will come in time.

Social media is not a fad, but can be seen that way.  Learn about it a step at a time.  It should be part of your overall marketing strategy, not standing alone and you need to give it time – time to work (few months) and time each day.  It will not deliver instant sales and is not self perpetuating.

Other basics we miss out on in business.  We still need old-fashioned face to face engagement and discussion, that goes beyond the hard sell.  Some people in business can’t resist this temptation and forget that building relationships is far more important.  They will whirlwind through networking events and groups until they feel they have exhausted them, then move on.  What about peer support, friendship and those opportunities that may just come along when you least expect it?

Old fashioned mail, cards are still effective as ways to prospect or thank clients.

Demonstrations and talks are more fun than tweeting.  Getting that instant feedback is valuable.

I think we should introduce a back to basics no technology day, where we fill it with meetings, talks, demos, writing letters and thank you cards and you are not allowed to check emails, or access social media for 24 hours, could you cope?

Yes technology has changed the way we do business and even the way we live.  However, we must not forget the fundamentals of quality, hard work, trust, integrity, caring, sharing and just being you.

Final question

Do you find it irritating, or even rude, when people check their phones during meetings both networking and one to ones, or have I really turned into a grumpy old woman?

Sent from mi couch……..

2 more blogs to follow to catch up…