01 Dec Working With A Dull Blade?
Are you creating opportunities for your operation?
When selling a product or service, a web property represents a powerful opportunity to excite, engage and educate an interested person in your offering. Web sites are tools and as Stephen Covey says in “The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People”, “We need to sharpen our saw.” This is a truism for each of us, however, of all marketing materials, it is especially true of web sites.
You may be familiar with the story of the lumberjack and his saw. Two men work side by side cutting down trees day after day for our pencils. One works very hard. He works so hard, in fact, that he never stops to sharpen his saw for fear of losing time. You see, they are paid per tree felled. Every night he sharpens his saw. When he starts in the morning his saw is nice and sharp and he can cut one tree an hour. However, by the time he reaches lunch four trees later, his saw is beginning to dull and by the end of the day it takes more than twice as long to saw a tree. After each 10 hour day he has dropped 7 trees.
The second lumberjack, who also works very hard but a little smarter sharpens his saw after each tree felled. He sits and sharpens for 15 minutes after each tree. The first four trees take 5 hours and the next four trees take 5 hours. Now you’re thinking that’s only the difference of one tree, 8 to 7 or about a 14.3% increase every day. If we take it over a week it’s 40 trees to 35, a month (4 weeks) 160 to 140. After a year (50 weeks – they need vacation, too.) 2,000 to 1,750. Looking at it in this light, who wouldn’t stop every hour to sharpen their saw? We all do that every day. We don’t stop to examine the bigger picture of our actions. We simply work hard on the task in front of us.
We tend to avoid working on our own business, instead spending time only on clients and “paying” work. Oftentimes it is a web site or marketing materials that are shelved for another time. This will limit our organization’s ability to grow in both the short term and long term. If you’ve ever lived or spent time somewhere that requires wood burning for heat, you know that it behooves you to add to the woodpile consistently. A little at a time can pay a great reward. This is mixing the metaphor a bit, but consistent smart work with good tools usually does the trick.
Have you taken the time lately to sharpen up what you have to say on your web site? Have you changed your product offerings or altered the way you provide your service? Received an award or reached a milestone? Thought about or changed your logo?
Each situation creates the opportunity to reach out to your customers with useful and interesting information about what is happening in your neck of the woods.
Web sites are up 24 hours a day. Your visitor is an existing customer, an interested prospect or brand new to your company and this person has chosen to learn more about your business. You are at a golden point of contact with a customer and provided with the opportunity to make a good impression. Help them achieve what they’ve come for, mainly, to learn about how you do business.
Engage them. Entertain them. Educate them. Excite their imaginations.
Sharpen your approach. Invest in your business, your employees and your clients, don’t just work for them. By taking some time to assess how you can improve your marketing, hence your businesses face, you will be creating opportunities to improve how you do business and add a little wood to the pile.
As the old saying goes, “Work smart, not hard.”