Did you know that modern-day marketing and other technologies can actually hurt business leaders and in the worst scenarios take them down and out of business altogether?
It's also true that when you invest in the right technologies by empowering your best people to choose them based on their needs, your technology can lift you up to new levels of success. But the former is more often the case based on my direct experience as a trusted strategic marketing and business development advisor for many years.
I know a fair amount about the technology world well because I've lived on the front lines working with the leading technologies for over twenty years. Somehow I love learning and working in any technology that helps me and my clients align the people to the plan of action for revenue and success.
Growing A Business Is Not Easy
Let's face it, starting and growing a small business isn't easy. And considering only about 3% of all businesses break through $1 million in revenue, you can see there must be a reason so many of us fail.
The biggest reason is a lack of good judgment as business owners and leaders. In the simplest sense, we do dumb things like blow precious start-up capital on fancy office furniture, or even worse, the software you think will "double your sales" even if it never can or will. We do many things wrong when it comes to technology because we don't know what we don't know about it, and we fear to ask for help or training or coaching because leaders with power don't like to feel or look stupid.
When it comes to today's technology, there are definitely some big blunders business leaders and owners make. The first and biggest is not being willing to learn the essential fundamentals of technology. If you can't speak the basic language of marketing automation, customer relationship management, search engines, social media management, content and lifecycle marketing, etc, how do you expect to lead the team who needs to respect you to do their job?
Another big mistake is winging it on technology or sticking your head in the sand pretending it will all go away when the power grid goes out. For example, I talk about not buying software in a seminar. It's based on a true story I've seen many times in which business owners buy software in a seminar and wonder why everyone back at the office is pissed.
None of this technology stuff will go away before you go out of business unless you get a grip on how marketing tech can hurt more than helping you.
Know the Fundamentals or Retire
It's essential for all business leaders to speak the fundamentals of technology and do what is suitable for their team. If not, you might as well retire.
Suitability is a term I borrow from my former business as an investment advisor and wealth manager for more than a decade. The investments we made for clients had to be "suitable" for their financial profile and needs. The same is true when business owners make investments in people or technology. It's all money and that money needs to have a return on investment unless you're a non-profit or have a big trust fund to deplete.
What I want to emphasize most is you as the owner and leader need to know enough to empower your people in marketing and sales so that they get what they need and are able to align and perform well. This is the primary way my strategic action planning process called Clarity makes an impact - we cut unnecessary costs and focus on empowering people with the technologies they choose to use to do their jobs.
You have to plan to make technology work for your company or business. This begins with everyone willing to be trained, coached and advisors who are not selling software or making a direct living by selling software. If the software is one of the biggest investments you make to empower people, and people you hire are by far the most important capital for you to grow without losing your mind or shirt, why would you buy software from Dundersoft while attending a motivational seminar?
You can see I'm using hyperbole to make a point - business owners and leaders need to learn what NOT to do. Then, like all great strategists, we can focus on what to do next.
That's how a life-long sales, marketing technologist, and business owner strategist approaches getting to more revenue and operational stability. Getting a grip on the tech is just part of the bigger strategic planning objectives we meet. But it's a big one that creates a lot of conscious and unconscious fear and mayhem. I know because I've eliminated this mayhem hundred of times from all kinds of companies.
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