Is your small business not big enough? Rely on speed. Not rich enough? Rely on personalization. Prioritize speed to market and personalization for all things related to marketing, service and delivering the product.
It is impossible for an entrepreneur to win based on smarts, size and money. There is always another business with more smarts, better research, a bigger team and more money.
If you have top of mind: speed to market and personalization, it is tough for your competitors to compete when you move like lightning and include extreme personalization. Many small businesses have turned into large businesses based on speed to market and personalization but then move away from the very thing that grew their brand and reputation.
When you deliver products and services before expected, the buyer will be pleasently surprised and scratch their head in amazement and appreciation. If you can personalize your marketing, product delivery or follow up; your customers will feel very special.
It is that feeling of "special" that inspires customers to share and refer your products or services. Your customers will want others to experience this feeling of "special".
While they may seem basic, here are the reminders for how to improve speed to market and personalization:
Remove distractions. Prioritize with speed to market and personalization in mind.
Remember that progress is preferred over perfection.
Be proactive vs. waiting for others.
Focus and maximize the talents and experience of your team. Avoid products which are "ok".
Be mindful of the five essentials to business success.
Technology can be as much a barrier as a solution, choose carefully.
Basic tools for speed to market and personalization.
> Hubspot for all-in-one inbound marketing. (All in one, fast and easy.)
> Basic telephone (VOIP) (Get up with the times.)
> Smartphone (This will be the Swiss Army Knife for marketing.)
> Social media (Use the same as what your customers use.)
> Skype (Hundreds of millions are using Skype.)
> Slydial (This is a secret marketing weapon.)
> FedEx (Don't take it for granted.)
> Quick delivery postcards (Great service.)
> One day gift baskets (Margaret is personally involved to ensure a smile.)
> Mindmap (software for quick planning)
If your business is meeting expectations, you need to improve efficiencies at every level and blow them away. If potential customers do not know how much you care, your business is not engaging and remains a thing vs people.
The first goal is to remove the barriers: "What is keeping you and your team from moving like lightning?" "Why don't potential buyers know you don't just sell widgets, that you care about their business and/or quality of life?"
Take Google as an Example:
Think about the trend that Google has taken over the last year. Their search engine updates have names like "instant search" or "caffeine". The results are more personalized to the searcher and the local marketplace they are interested in. Google is applying the "Speed to Market & Personalization" mantra very well.
If you are creating unique, one of a kind products, or offer the type of services which require patience, you can still apply speed to market and personalization to your marketing tactics. Any entrepreneur can gain an advantage with this mantra.
This is leap year. You have the gift of one extra day. Take that day to integrate the priority of speed to market and personalization in every aspect of your business plan.