We all know “times there are a changin” as the virtual world becomes an integral part of your business’s marketing strategy (not to mention your life).
But it’s really not that different from the pre-Internet days, apart from a remarkable change in format. Sometimes old fashioned, hackneyed, over used maxims are still completely appropriate.
1. “Nothing ventured, nothing gained”
Still the first step you have to take when setting up your business. This will never change, the plunge into the great unknown.
2. “As ye sow, so shall ye reap.”
Manners matter and professional etiquette is still the only acceptable type of behaviour in the online business world. You still have to show up on time, play nice and “please” and “thanks yous” never go amiss. Establishing a reputation as a credible business person who is fair and dependable, is probably even more important than ever, as the Internet enables people to reach farther and provides them with a much longer memory.
3. “Burn the candle at both ends.”
Get the rest and sleep you need. Just because the world has shrunk and everything is running 24/7, doesn’t mean you can or should even try to keep up. You won’t function properly without sleep and your colleagues and clients will be grateful if you stopped storming about and screwing up. Honestly it’s for you own good. Functioning and awake we can put up with you. Unreasonable, obstinate and irrational, well, hide the fire arms.
4. “It’s all fun and games until someone loses an eye.”
Backup backup backup – I know a lot (OK more than 10) people who have lost data because they didn’t backup. Family photos — gone. Essay you’ve been researching for weeks (OK hours) — gone. Reports, invoices, documents blah blah blah — gone. Hard-drives don’t cost much, aren’t complicated to use and if you haven’t got room for one then use the Cloud. (I could wax lyrically here about Dropbox but will resist)
5. “A Jack of all trades and a master of none.”
No one can do everything. It’s your primary responsibility to focus on the success of the product or service that your business provides and to get the help you need to ensure success in the areas where you have little or no talent. Marketing, social media, human resources, accounting whatever. There is no need to do it all and your business could suffer because of your reluctance to delegate.
6.“Take it with a grain of salt.”
If one person says you’re doing it wrong – ignore them. If ten people tell you in a week – do something about it!
7.“Go the extra mile.”
I was initially reluctant to do this as I thought 1. who’d listen and 2. if I give my advice for free who’d hire me!? Upon reflection (and with further experience), now I’m in complete agreement. Give advice for free. Even better – give good quality, well thought out, honest advice for free. You’ll develop an excellent reputation as a reliable source and people will want you to provide them with a service because you have shown yourself to have the required knowledge base, the skills and the savvy. They’ll want you because, frankly you’re good at it and they have better things to do.
8. “All work and no play, makes Jack a dull boy.”
Disconnect from the Internet for a day, and go out an play – Digital free days/holidays/weekends away/etc aren’t skiving. They’re an opportunity to get away and reflect on your accomplishments, assess your future and they give you the impetus to come back to the office with renewed vigour.
The Internet has brought with it different ways of doing business but always remember: