I am guessing that many of you, like me, are master procrastinators. Case in point: I am writing this editorial letter on the day it is due. While some things, like my editorial letter, can be accomplished correctly and effectively even at the eleventh hour, there are some aspects of running a company that could negatively affect your business if you put off implementing them.
One of those areas is marketing. In his article “Marketing for the Now” (page 30), Brad Good of the Good Marketing Group notes that when many businesses get started, creating a marketing plan often gets pushed to the “do it later” list. In his estimation, this is a grave mistake: “Without advertising and marketing — without creating awareness or updating the public on your latest products and capabilities — there is no rent payment, utility bill payment, payroll funding or phone bill payment,” he writes. In other words, a business cannot succeed unless people can find it, and a marketing plan is key to getting the word out. Good compares having a marketing plan to having a plan for paying the electricity bill — just as a business cannot run effectively without electricity, it also cannot run effectively without marketing.
Customer service is another aspect of running a business that simply cannot be put off. In his article “Focus on the Follow-Up” (page 26), Kelly Thompson of Moti-Vitality LLC pinpoints one aspect of customer service that he considers the most important part of the sales process: the follow-up visit. “In my experience, hardly anyone does them — but that is precisely one of the biggest reasons why you should be doing them,” he writes. “No one else is, and your customers will be blown away.” In Thompson’s opinion, there are no good reasons not to schedule follow-up visits with each and every customer, and therefore, no good reasons not to incorporate them into your sales process as soon as possible.
Of course, every business is different, and each requires strategies, whether for customer service, marketing or other aspects, that are tailored to its unique characteristics. But whatever strategy you are looking to implement or facet of your business you are hoping to improve, I encourage you to act now — don’t let it wait until an unspecified “later” to take action. Create a plan, put it on a timeline and begin taking steps to put it into action. It’s only February — there is still plenty of time to make 2015 better than 2014. And perhaps, with these words, I can encourage myself to implement my own strategies to avoid procrastination.