March 17, 2010
I am the farthest thing from a hockey fan.
And although our monthly email newsletter is titled “Hat Trick” it is more of a play on the hockey phrase as it relates to our name than it is a “tip of the hat” to the game. To be perfectly honest, that is probably all I know about the game – except for one other thing.
The great Wayne Gretzky once said something that has become one of my favorite quotes. He said, “Don’t skate to where the puck is…skate to where the puck will be.”
I love that quote because it says so much in so little. It speaks to me personally in how I try to live my life, but also how I hope we continue to run our business. It puts a focus where it should be. It is the definition of wisdom exemplified: knowing the outcome before it will happen.
So how can we get into this mindset with our business? How can we continue to operate as we need to today, but watch and know where our “puck” will be in the future? Well, would you believe our marketing efforts can help? Here are some thoughts on how.
Plan your marketing for where you want to go, not for where you are today.
It’s hard, I know, when you are muddling in the day-to-day issues of a business to stop and plan, but that is exactly what makes the difference between a long-term, successful business and one that’s short-lived. Market to the type of client you think will help your business long-term. You can certainly “sell” to those you do business with now (and do whatever a client may ask of you), but marketing is a proactive effort – so spend your effort (and your money) on where you see your business going, not on where it is today.
Budget for where you want to go, not for where you are today.
Now this one is easier said than done, but if you have planned correctly as we stated above, then you should have the confidence to spend the money you need to to move the ball forward. I don’t mean spending large sums of money as if you are where you expect to be 10 years from now, but spend to get yourself further down the path. Times are tough, I know first hand, but now is when you can “out-skate” your competition if you know (and are confident) which direction to go.
Speak to where you want to go, not to where you are today.
In your language (both written and verbal) speak like you want your business to be – not necessarily like it is today. Start setting the groundwork now. You will find that people will instinctively pick up on what you are say about yourself – and sharing the message of where you are going will allow those around you to help get you there faster.
Much like hockey, being good at business is about thinking two steps ahead and being at the right place at the right time. Allow your marketing efforts to help you get there. And much like hockey, everyone needs a coach (even the great Wayne Gretzky), so if we can help you in any way – just give us a ring.