I always love to intro a new guest blogger to Small Business Owner, and today is no exception. Please extend a warm welcome to Bambi Gordon, co-owner of a number of businesses including Regional Events Australia, The Brew, and her ‘baby’ The Woo.
Maybe you’re just hanging with your partner and the dog arguing over whether to watch Two & A Half Men or just kill yourself now, and one of you comes up with a Great Idea.
Or you’ve been corralled into a small room with water, Minties, whiteboard and co-workers to apply the trade-marked secret steps of “creative problem solving” and mind maps to come up with a…Great Idea.
Great Ideas are a highly valued commodity and are widely considered to be the holy grail of marketing.
Unfortunately they are usually also a huge pile of doggy doo – a total waste of energy, resources and time – which in a small business can spell disaster.
You can usually recognise a Great Idea by the following criteria:
- The boss (or partner, courier, girl at the cafe) really likes them because they are ‘clever’ or ‘funky’ or ‘different’ – which of course they are blatantly not.
- They are perceived to be cost effective because they involve giving away stuff – in particular stuff that you get other businesses to give you like a bottle of wine, some form of gift basket or a week’s accommodation at a time-share resort.
- Great Ideas have magnetism. Once you have the initial Great Idea it usually attracts lot of other great ideas to it (usually the ones that got knocked back at last month’s planning meeting).
- Your Great Ideas often looks very much like whatever else is big in the news at the moment – like putting ‘I’ in front of a new product even if it’s not digital
- Seasonal and recurring themes are usually big in the World of the Great Idea …. Like, it’s our birthday but you get the gift. Free box of easter eggs with every car tyre sold.
Most importantly of all – Great Ideas are rarely strategic; which means they are NOT in fact a GREAT idea at all but just another directionless, ad hoc tactic that may or may not work to market your business.
Imagination, creativity, and inspiration are valuable resources for the business owner. But when it comes to marketing, step back from the white board and immerse yourself in the foundation of your business – your marketing strategy.
Focus narrowly upon your customers; who are they, what do you want to say to them and how do you want to say it. If a Great Idea comes along that directly addresses those questions, it really is Great.
Want to share some rubbish you’ve seen lately that was masquerading as a ‘great idea’?