Category Archives: revenue

Open Letter to Politicians and Candidates

Dear Politician/Candidate,

As a representative of and a consultant to small businesses and non-profit organizations I have some advice that will help you get elected, re-elected and, even more importantly, serve effectively.

First say what you mean and mean what you say.  Here are a few tips to help you with this:

  • Don’t cushion your statements with silly works such as “I would tell/say to you that I..”  Instead have the courage to say “I will”, “I believe”, “I want”, etc.
  • Don’t speak in the third person.  Instead of saying “My campaign/office/etc.”, just say “I”.
  • If you are going to talk about someone else (another candidate, elected official, business leader, etc.) don’t put an “a” in front of his/her name.  For example, don’t say “A Joe Biden” or “A Paul Ryan”.  If you use the “a” instead of just saying the name, you appear fearful, condescending or elitist.
  • Eliminate the unnecessary words.  Why has it become necessary to say “The American People”?  What other people would a politician/candidate be talking about?

We run businesses, we use jargon like this when we are unsure or feel the need to be evasive.  So when you use this language that is how we see you and we do not really want to elect someone who is unsure or evasive.

Be direct.  People running organizations and small businesses like to get to the meat course very quickly.  So, those of you who focus on the What and How will keep our attention longer and be more likely to get our vote. Here are some phrases that raise our suspicions or cause us to tune you out:

  • Small Businesses are the backbone of the country
  • Non-Profits are vital to meeting the needs of the underserved
  • Women need more voice, a seat at the table, etc.
  • Minorities deserve more opportunities, fair share, etc.

We know these things and we’ve heard them before.  What you can and are willing to do to make them more than phrases is what we are interested in.

We want revenue/donations.  This will help us:

  • Stay in operation
  • Hire employees
  • Have something to pay taxes on
  • Support your campaign

Small Business Owners and organization Executive Directors must have certain capabilities and do certain things to be successful.  We are looking for candidates that have the political equivalents.  We want to see:

  • An actual plan
  • Courage
  • Proof of concept
  • The financials
  • How you will get others to cooperate/participate/fund/etc.
  • Exit strategy (justification to let you stay for a long time and/or what will you do to ensure things keep going if you don’t get re-elected)

When Preparing Is Really Delaying

Delaying can be a pitfall for any person, organization or business.  Here is an excerpt from my book 101 Winning Marketing Actions For Small Businesses to help you understand when you may be delaying something important.  For organizations and agencies, the most common things to delay are reports and evaluations and anything involving research.

 

Action #13

Guard against spending too much time on “getting ready” instead of “doing”.

When doing something that is scary, risky, takes a lot of time, seems overwhelming or is boring/tedious it is tempting to put it off by “getting ready”. Some common delay tactics that are easily disguised as preparations are:

  • Buying supplies
  • Making lists
  • Getting others opinions
  • Reading inspirational stories or articles
  • Looking for an “easier” way
  • “Finding” time

Whenever you are faced with something you know you should do to market your business and you find yourself struggling to get started or to make progress, ask yourself if you are postponing by pretending to prepare. To help yourself decide, plug your situation and your activities into one of the following examples:

 

Example A – Making a Dessert

You have to make a dessert for a pot-luck dinner. You really want to make something unusual and impressive. You look through your recipes, but you don’t find one that quite fits. You ask some friends for suggestions. You look online for just the right dessert. You visit a bookstore or library and look through several books. You call a local bakery and ask for suggestions and prices. Now you have so much information you can’t make a choice. Finally, the day before the event you pull out an old recipe you have used many times and rush to the store to get the ingredients. You prepare your tried-and-true dessert and take it to the pot-luck dinner. You are dismayed to find that three other people brought the same dessert. Your dessert certainly did not stand out, you wasted a lot of time and you have to take two-thirds of it home.

 

Example B – Building a Birdhouse

Your mother tells you she wants a birdhouse for Mother’s Day. You think that building one for her will make it extra special. You search online for plans or kits, but there are so many choices. For inspiration you visit a local gift store that sells birdhouses. You go to a local hardware store and talk with a sales clerk about materials and kits. You buy some materials and a blueprint; you take them home to get started. You wait a few days until you can find time to build the birdhouse, but you can’t seem to set aside enough time. Finally, the Saturday before Mother’s Day you go to the gift store and buy one of their birdhouses. When your Mom opens the birdhouse, she smiles and says, “My friend Ella has one just like this.”

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