Make your customers (and potential customers) find a special item around town or in your store
This is a classic trick that was highly successful in the 1960s that involved a highly publicised search for an item. Variations are still used today, usually as promotional stunts by radio stations on outside broadcasts but still valuable.
I remember my father taking me to a Trade Fair when I was 9 years old. It was in a huge 3 story building that covered most of the city block and had hundreds of trade stalls set up. Thousands of people everywhere (or so it seemed to a 9 year old).
The local radio station was there on an outdoor broadcast and regularly announced that if you could find the toy monkey you can win a prize (brought to you by xyz company).
Yes, I remember the idea very well because I won a prize. No, I didn’t see the toy monkey but my father did and he `accidentally’ bumped me into a corner where I had no choice but to see the cleverly hidden toy.
So, put a map on your website that shows a general area in town that you have hidden an item or if you have a large store area, hide a small but unusual item in amongst your shelves.
Just make sure that the hidden item is inexpensive and requires it to be handed in to receive a much more valuable prize, otherwise it may just go home in someone’s pocket. When the prize is claimed then you can give them back the hidden item as well (with your logo on it).
No, you are not being generous. It is because the item found by the winner is usually something that ends up being displayed at home by the winner. It makes for a conversation piece after the event, sometimes for years after. There is a story to be told – it includes you/your business and we know that people love to tell a story.
Remember to whip up the interest in the media.
You could also consider a joint treasure hunt with a few other businesses with complimentary products/services. This works well for towns with a small mall of shops etc. Of course media exposure within a joint venture is always more cost effective for everyone.
If you have any other ideas like this, leave a comment and share it with others…
Many of us struggle with managing our time effectively, or to put that another way, to be effective as each second ticks by. There are some simple habits that you can develop, and after that managing your time will be a breeze.
You’ve probably already heard about keeping a To Do list and/or a Diary. They are the tools you use, but – what do you put in them? The rest of this article describes what to record, and what to do with that information once you have it written down.
First, let’s recognise that there are two types of tasks – those that must be done at a certain time, for example a medical appointment, and those that just need to be completed as soon as possible, for example writing an article for today’s blog!
Your diary is used to record tasks that have to happen on a specific date and time, and to schedule time to allow you to work on the items on your To Do list.
In simple terms your To Do list is a list of tasks that you must complete. Obviously some tasks are more important than others, and it makes sense to move them up near the top of the list where they can be easily seen and therefore managed.
A task can always be high priority, or it can start off low and increase in priority as a deadline approaches. Be prepared to add and delete tasks from your list every day, and to move tasks up and down to reflect changing priorities in the real world.
The important factor is: what makes a high-priority task? Here is one way of determining the relative priority of tasks.
In general there are two aspects that apply to every task – simply how important the task is to you, and the urgency or factoring in the time component.
It we combine these, we have a two-dimensional map that looks like this:
|Urgent||Important and Urgent||Urgent but Not Important|
|Not Urgent||Important but Not Urgent||Not Important and Not Urgent|
It’s pretty obvious that tasks that are both important and urgent are the highest priority, and they need to be at the top of your list. Use the relative importance and urgency to actually sequence the tasks.
Only when you have completed these tasks do you consider moving to the next section of your To Do list. That section contains the important but not urgent tasks. (Some people question why we don’t move to the other urgent tasks – and that’s simply because they are not important.)
Your next priority are the urgent but not important tasks. These tasks may not be important to you (and if they were, they would be in one of the earlier sections of your list) though they probably are important to somebody. Note that sometimes tasks that start in this category become important to you, and so ‘migrate’ to be both urgent and important. Buying a birthday or anniversary present for your significant other would be important but not urgent unless you have not managed to buy the gift and it is now the day before the event! At that point buying that gift would be both important and urgent!
The last category are those tasks that are neither important nor urgent. Some people do not even record these tasks, they don’t even make it onto the list! I accept that some or even maybe most of these tasks may not be completed, though I do like to keep a record – but that’s just me.
What is certain is that if you prioritise your tasks in this way and you always work on your most important task then you will achieve far more, and experience far more gratification at the end of each day. To help you with this, here’s an extra bonus that describes how to work your list.
We already know that at the beginning of the day you start working on your top priority task. As you work on that task, one of two things will happen – either you will finish it, or you will reach a point where for whatever reason you can’t continue on this task. It may be that you are waiting for some component item to arrive, or maybe you now require some additional information, or any combination of the other 1,001 reasons why tasks ‘stall’.
Obviously, if you finish the task you record that in the appropriate way, and move to your next priority task. If you are only stalled you arrange the task so that it is easy to recommence work – that may be to record what you have just completed, what you are waiting for and why. You will know what you need to record, and then you “put the task down”, you move on to your next most important task.
As you work on that task, one of three things will happen: you will finish it, you will come to a point where you have to momentarily stop actually working on it, or the blockage relating to the higher priority task will be resolved. You already know what to do if either of the first two events occurs. If the blockage from a higher priority task is resolved then take a moment and if it makes sense to continue (for example because you are nearly finished it) then continue with the task and then instead of moving to the next lower priority task, recommence work on the now unblocked higher priority task.
Here’s an example, using “Task 1”, “Task 2”, “Task 3” and “Task 4” to represent your top priority tasks.
You start on Task 1, and reach a point where you now require additional information. You package Task 1 so it is easy to pick up again, and put it to one side. Now you start on Task 2, and in time for whatever reason you find that you must also stop work on it. You package Task 2, and put it to one side. The problem with Task 1 has not been resolved, so you start work on Task 3.
You now receive the information you need to continue with Task 1, so you package Task 3, put it to one side, and then recommence work on Task 1. You do not start work on Task 4 at this time.
When Task 1 is complete (or when it reaches another block) you first check Task 2 and Task 3 and only when you can’t work on those do you start work on Task 4.
That might sound more complex than it is, and I can assure you that it really is a simple strategy that will ensure that you are always getting the absolute best value out of every passing minute at any given time. Trial it for a month, and feel free to modify it to better suit what you do and how you work – and be sure to tell us about your experience! Just drop us a line at www.resultsinaminute.com/contact.
A business owner or manager must have an extensive business education, and be able to apply that education at a moment’s notice. Being in business without knowing what you’re doing is most likely to be an expensive pastime. Having an education without applying it is an indulgence.
Most mentors, managers and advisers will give you plenty of knowledge that they have gained over their career, and some will tell you what you could have or should have done in given situations. We’re different, we want to tell you what to do before you need to do it, and tell you in a way that is easy to bring to mind.
We want you to be able to bring the lesson to mind during the time when you need to apply it, after all that’s the point of knowing something – to be able to employ it.
There are many ways to ‘anchor’ thoughts in your mind so that they can reappear when you most need them, and we will use several in this site. Some we will explain, others we will just employ to best effect. The end result is that you will learn what you need to know and be able to employ it just when you need it.
One technique we use is to use words starting with ‘P’. Yes, other people have done this, but we have more words than the others, and we imbed them in your mind more effectively than they do. The way we do it you will be able to bring the concepts to mind any and every time you need them.
In previous articles we have already mentioned profit as an important word, and one that is important to your business. If you haven’t read our entry on that please take a moment to read it now.
From that article you will know that a potential client’s problem is important, so is your promise and your proof. Get them right and you will reduce your need to compete on price. Notice all the words starting with ‘P’? Make a mind map that connects these concepts in a way that makes sense to you, and that will make them even easier to recall.
Look for articles in future that take either a concept (like Publicity) or a subject (such as Performance) and provide you with a concise, easy to recall story that will be useful every time you need it in future.
We told you about the ‘P’ device to make things easier to recall, to bring back to mind. Did you notice the other techniques that are also employed here? It doesn’t matter (though we’d be happy to get your feedback) if you didn’t consciously notice them, they are there and they work. You’ll become aware – if you aren’t already – when you hear someone use a trigger word and your think “What was that ‘P’ word again”?”