When your body needs a tune up...It's easy to say that you'll take action, but words are just talk. To get your body fit you'll need to take action. It's the very same with database fitness; it's only going to happen when you have a plan in place and put that plan into action. Here are some points to ponder:
- Consider the goals you want to accomplish with your database. What is your motivation? Are you putting a desire for sales ahead of a desire to build relationships? Having clear and concise goals to get to know your target market is a primary step towards overall success. In this arena...you can not "fake it until you make it". If you have a sincere desire, product, or service and a true commitment to help others find solutions to their problems, success becomes you!
- Create a sensible routine. Be real....there are only 24-hours in any given day and most small business owners are “wearing many different hats” ……a job done by several people in a large corperation is typically done by one, in a small business. Add to that family and life situations ...for many even another full time job ....and what's left? When you take on a new physical fitness program, you must set aside time to visit the gym or some period to exercise....everyone knows those TV commercials that promise fitness with no exercise is simply not true! Use your assessment list from Step 2 to determine how much time you'll need to devote to marketing, promoting and managing your database. If you think 15 mins a day will be enough…then you must have an excellent admin staff...because that's about the amount of time it will take to TELL them what you need done. If you are doing it yourself, you probably need to revise your thought process.
- Go at your own pace, but be consistent. If you're just beginning to get your body fit after years of being dormant, I'll bet 5 mins of vigorous exercise will send you crawling to the pharmacy for an ice-bag...or a heat wrap....and you probably continue that exercise !! Growing your database from a few contacts to hundreds or thousands (of quality contacts) can be very painful (in the money and time you can squander) and there too you can become discouraged and lose momentum. Steady build wins the race. Look carefully at EVERY opportunity, everyday to build relationships with your target audience.... and then celebrate your database growth. Celebrate it as you would a successful outcome to your weigh-in!
- Build database activity into your daily routine...no matter what. Continuing from the advice to be consistent, take this into consideration: You've missed your scheduled physical fitness session (for whatever reason) and you must find a way to make up for that missed session. Now apply that commitment to meeting new people and growing your database. I was in awe when I first heard the story of a woman who started a business from her home and began making a serious income, but I learned she was blind and lived in an isolated area, that really bowled me over. Where is your target audience spending their time? Find a way to reach them, communicate with them, get in front of them and build a relationship with them.
- Allow time for follow-up and analysis. It's been well documented that seven or more "taps" may be required before a potential client will take action or convert into an active client. The time it takes to stay in touch and "tap" into members of your audience may take you beyond the scope of time that you set aside in your regular daily routine. Depending on your product or service, some follow-ups may require a face-to-face meeting, but in today's communication arena, an on-line meeting or a conference call can be very productive as well. Similar to the options you may have in the physical fitness arena, you may decide to visit the gym or just use a Wii to stay in shape....the key is to do it and do it again until you see positive results. Schedule a Database Fitness Consultation with me and we'll plan the best plan for you to continuously "tap" your audience on the shoulder ....without becoming a nuisance! To be sure of your progress, your system should allow you a method to analyze your activity. We'll talk more about that in Step #4....
- Put it on paper. If it’s not written, then it’s not real. Nuff' said.
Database fitness is a key element in growing your business. Especially in the B2B world, the big companies understand the importance of having a data management plan; but the small businesses and solopreneurs feel over-whelmed and under-budget when they even try to do it. Review this article from Marketing Professionals on what the large companies are being directed to do to maintain a healthy database …..
and then connect with me to see how you can do it too ….even on a challenged budget!