One of the benefits of having been around the block as often as I have is that I have had the privilege of working for and with a variety of different kinds of businesses. Big ones, small ones, successful ones and not so successful ones. Perhaps it’s because of what I do, but the one thing I have noticed time and time again is that baby businesses think like babies. It’s time that entrepreneurs learnt the basics of communications strategy.
I am of course being rude and overly simplistic, but the point is that just because you’re small doesn’t mean you shouldn’t do things properly. I know entrepreneurs are busy and focused on their core skills, but in order for a business to move from start up to sustainable it really needs to start behaving like a big business. Some processes are inevitable like payroll and tax, but communications tends to get ignored.
At best some smaller businesses give some thought to basic marketing, but very few embrace the big brand thinking required to create the positioning and reputation they really need to enable their business strategy.
At worst the boss has a brain fart and decides that the business needs a Facebook page and tasks the youngest, hippest person in the office to do it with zero strategy, zero budget and inevitably zero benefit. This then becomes to excuse to never look at comms again – “we tried it once but it didn’t work”.
There is research across the spectrum that shows the correlation between a strong reputation and business performance and yet this is viewed as something only corporates need to be concerned with. Of course this is not the case and given how cost effective basic communications is I really battle to understand why smaller businesses don’t invest here.