The business world can be extremely stressful, especially when you are an owner or entrepreneur. The pressure of satisfying the needs of employees, customers, and clients can be downright excruciating! In addition, recent economic downturn has the tendency to make all of life’s tasks all the more difficult.
Rather than curling up into a ball and hiding from the world, however, you obviously need to pursue forward in your professional endeavors. It can be helpful to take a little time each day to remind yourself of a few messages. Here are some great daily mantras for stressed out business owners and entrepreneurs:
- “Rome Wasn’t Built in a Day” – While this may be cliché, there is a real merit to it, especially for those type-A individuals who feel the need to do everything everyday. Occasionally, it can be useful to remind yourself that you can’t finish all of your tasks in a short amount of time. It is crucial to pace yourself in business, as in life.
- “It’s Just a Job” - Yes, we know. Your business is more than just a job to you; it’s your passion. But even if you love what you do, it’s still just your job. It’s not your spouse, lover, friend, or family member. It is simply your job.
- “I Deserve a Break” - You are not bad, lazy, or selfish if you take an hour for yourself everyday. Overworking yourself will impact your business negatively, not positively.
- “My Health Comes First” - Many busy businesspeople do not take enough time to work out or care for themselves physically. A lot of individuals prioritize work as being too important, especially for something as unproductive as the gym! However, adding physical fitness to your daily regimen will make a significant impact on both your body and mind.
- “I Did My Best” – Yes, this one may sound extremely busy. However, if you feel very stressed out after trying your hardest, it is important to remind yourself that you indeed did the best job that you are capable of doing.
Your overall marketing theme brands your business tremendously. A somber and sincere marketing theme can convey professionalism and rationalism. A silly and lighthearted marketing theme can convey warmth and humor.
Occasionally, you may feel the need to switch to a new marketing theme. Perhaps your business’ overall tone has shifted, or maybe you just don’t feel that your advertising angle is working anymore. Either way, switching to a new marketing theme can be a challenge. Here are some tips and techniques on how to make the transition a little bit simpler:
- Review and Plan – A solid strategy meeting or session is the first step to successfully transitioning to a new marketing theme. First, you must review what elements of your old strategy were not working. Then, you must have a clear and focused outline of what your new strategy will be. It is crucial that you have clearly identified your rationale for changing marketing themes. Otherwise, it is the equivalent of throwing darts blindfolded.
- Look at Other Businesses – We are not saying that you should steal another business’ successful marketing theme. However, imitation is the sincerest form of flattery. It is important that you can look at other successful marketing themes and then devise a way to customize them and make them your own. Always be original and never steal ideas, but don’t shy away from modeling your themes and strategies after those of successful companies that you admire.
- Ease Into the Transition – Gradually shift into your marketing theme; don’t do it instantaneously. If consumers have grown accustomed to looking at your company in a certain light, then it will be too sudden for them to suddenly see a completely different marketing scheme. Create transition ads that could fit into a serious or silly scheme, and then slowly shift into your new theme.
No matter what you do, just be sure to create a theme that you truly feel fits your company. And remember: It is never to late to makeover your company’s image.
Who doesn’t love an adorable little kid in a commercial? No matter who you are or where you are from, you probably cannot help but say “aw” when you see a cute little kid hawking a product.
Using children in your marketing materials can be a great strategy to win over myriad types of customers. A photo of a child or a video clip of children being happy with your product can be an extremely successful marketing strategy. Here are some tips and techniques on how to make kids work in your marketing materials:
- Be Creative – Be creative when creating marketing materials that feature children. Although this can be an incredibly ingenious strategy, it is still important that you use children in a way that is creative and logical. Just throwing pictures of kids into an ad without a clear intent or strategy can be disastrous, especially if you own a business that would not immediately be associated with children.
- Be Professional – If you are shooting a commercial or doing a photo shoot, be extremely sure to abide by child labor laws. Violating these laws can carry extremely harsh penalties. Even if you are using children that are relatives, keep all filming to less than two hours.
- Don’t Be Grating – While kids are cute, the voices of extremely small children can actually be somewhat grating to a lot of people. Thus, be sure to use kids who are older than ten if you are recording a radio spot or a commercial where the child will be doing the majority of the speaking. Furthermore, this ensures that your message is clearly heard: Because really, how many two year olds who you know can clearly say “free estimates for roofing and home repairs?”
- Shoot Your Own Family – People like entrepreneurs and business owners who they view as human. Don’t be afraid to inject yourself into your child-oriented marketing materials.
Even if you are abiding by child labor laws, kids can tend to get pretty cranky after a few hours on the set. Thus, be sure to have plenty of treats and entertainment around when shooting any photos or filmed spots.
Have you ever seen one of those “World’s Most Shocking Advertisements” shows? Plenty of companies have made a name for themselves by creating shocking, lewd, or bizarre commercials and marketing campaigns. Sometimes it works to boost sales and sometimes it does not. Before you embark on a shocking or “out-there” ad campaign, here are some things to consider.
- Interest Doesn’t Always Convert – What is important to remember about marketing is the principle of “conversion.” Conversion means the ratio of individuals who are aware of your company to the individuals who actually make a purchase. As in, if ten thousand individuals visit your website but only five hundred people buy your product, you would have a fairly low rate of conversion. How does this relate to “shock” marketing tactics? Well, these shocking strategies can often result in high levels of interest, but poor conversion rates. This is because people will be made aware of your company, but not necessarily of your company’s product or overall quality.
- …But Interest is Beneficial – Taking what you know about conversion into account, it is indeed important to take measures towards creating a well-known image for your brand. While it is indeed important to have a high rate of conversion, a business cannot achieve this if they don’t have a high amount of interest to begin with. Thus, if you choose to use “shock” marketing techniques, it’s important to ensure that plenty of information about your company is included within the ad.
- People Are Easily Offended – This may sound like an unfair understatement, but it is quite true. While you and your friends may value your open-minded senses of humor, most people are offended fairly easily. Hypersexual or incredibly crude ads rarely play well amongst religious or conservative types. While pushing the boundaries a bit can be a good thing, going overboard can backfire.
Don’t shy away from having fun with your ads. However, remember that any marketing efforts should always ultimately be about increasing sales and profits. Any ad idea that you feel may jeopardize sales should not be pursued.
“The Dow Drops To Record Lows”
“More Local Businesses Going Bankrupt”
“Deranged Space Aliens Invade New York City”
Perhaps that final headline was just a joke. But the first two are indeed representative of the real headlines that we read and see every day. In these tough times, it can be extraordinarily difficult to find any happiness during the workday, let alone any humor.
However, it has been proven time and time again that humor and laughter can be an extremely effective way of raising one’s overall demeanor and mental health. Thus, it is crucial that you strive to bring a little humor to the workplace. While it can be challenging to do this while maintaining professionalism, here are some tips on how to tactfully bring humor to the workplace:
- Lighten Up Morning Meetings – If your company or business has a daily morning meeting, try to liven it up. A daily joke or “funniest employee flub” can really set a positive and funny tone for the day. Do you have a hard time invoking your inner comedian? Do a Google search for great inoffensive jokes.
- Lift E-Mail Chain Bans – Plenty of companies place regulations on sending mass e-mails, even terminating those who do not oblige. If you have a ban like this in place, lift it immediately. As long as sexual, sexist, or derogatory jokes are not allowed, allowing employees to exchange jokes over e-mail can be an extremely positive thing. Reprimand individual employees who spend too much time e-mailing and not enough time working; don’t punish those who can balance both responsibly.
- Listen to Comedy – Do you spend your time in the office listening to talk radio, where political pundits spend endless hours screaming at each other? Do you listen to pulsing rock music that raises your blood pressure, or smooth jazz that puts you to sleep? These days, Satellite and iTunes radio both offer plenty of comedy stations. Playing these in the background while you work can be a great way to bring a little humor into your workday.
Bonus: Need a joke to break the ice at tomorrow’s meeting? Here’s one:
A boss tells his employee that he has to move to New York City. The employee is furious, and immediately exclaims, “New York City? But there’s nothing there besides loose women and taxi drivers!” The boss responds, “Look buddy, my wife was born and raised in New York City!”
The employee – clearly flustered – immediately says politely, “Oh, is that so? What was her route?”