It’s a new year, which means 12 fresh months for you to help your business swim ... or sink.
However, not all businesses seem to want to thrive. Some even appear to want to fail. This post is therefore designed to appeal to organisations who want to go down with the Titanic this year.
Don’t listen to your customers and clients
It’s vital that you ignore your customers and clients if you want your business to fail this year. Are your clients asking for face-to-face meetings but you continue to email them? Are customers asking for regular updates but you don’t want to allocate the time and resource to do that? Are you receiving recommendations on how you could improve your customer service?
Disregard all this information and feedback and just keep doing what you’ve been doing; your customers and clients are bound to stick around if they aren’t being listened to, because let’s face it - it’s not like they have other options!
If for some strange reason you think that listening to your customers and clients might actually be a useful practice that could enhance your business offering and make you an invaluable service or product provider, we’ve curated a few resources that might help you:
- How listening to customers impacts the bottom line
- 7 ways to really listen to your customers
- How to listen to your customers
- How to improve your business ROI with social media listening
Don’t utilise the power of social media channels
Just because every man and their dog is using social media to get information, be connected, and share their views, doesn’t mean that you have to be using those channels.
If you don’t show up when a potential client, customer or employee Googles you or searches for you on Twitter, that doesn’t mean you don’t exist, it just means they should come and visit you at your offices or factory - no worries, they are sure to make the journey!
No LinkedIn profile or company page? Don’t stress, people will assume you are busy getting things done and that your skills, expertise and value speak for themselves. Who wants to broadcast how good they are anyway?
However, if you are curious about what all the fuss is about, we’ve pulled together a few links that illustrate how small businesses and large corporates alike can harness the power of social media to tell stories, connect with customers, and lead industry discussions. Just make sure you don’t actually implement any of the ideas - that’s not going to help your business fail!
- Don’t kill off your website – use it as the hub for your social media presence
- Why businesses should listen to customers on social media
- 5 reasons social media enables genuine education
- Introducing ‘10 more don’ts of corporate social media’
Don’t communicate with your key stakeholders or share company updates
It’s been said that if your customers, clients and other stakeholders perceive that your business isn’t doing anything, you’re not: perception is reality.
But that’s not entirely true. If you don’t communicate with your stakeholders they will just assume everything is going really well for the business because otherwise they’d hear from you… right?
If you feel like you might have to communicate with your stakeholders, you can click through to some of these links for tips and information - but be careful, most of these articles will only talk about how important it is that you communicate with the people upon whom your business depends, so please take it with a grain of salt:
- 7 ways to communicate with your stakeholders
- 10 tips to communicate effectively with stakeholders
- 21 great ideas for your next company newsletter
- 17 types of content people love to share
- A 5-step recipe to cook up delicious content
Whatever you do, definitely don’t think outside the box
It’s very important that you don’t implement any fun or creative ways to promote your business. Seriously, don’t try to think outside the box when it comes to communicating your point of difference - it will only end in tears for you and your stakeholders.
Customers, clients, media, staff and suppliers love getting big, boring documents filled with numbers they can’t use and jargon they don’t understand. They particularly hate stories that feature people, engaging visuals and useful tips, so steer clear of those, whatever you do.
There are some kooky businesses out there that are using creative ways to target and communicate with customers, which is allowing them to cut through the competition and get their brand noticed for all the right reasons - obviously we wouldn’t advise you to do that but the articles are worth reading so you can avoid any effective creative communications tools.
- Traditional vs creative communication
- How marketing will change in 2014: The creative forecast
- Why your business should be using infographics
- Infographics: All the rage, but a must-do for your business?
- 10 ways to use infographics
And most important of all, NEVER have a communications strategy and plan
If you want your business to fail this year, it is vital that you don’t have a strategy or plan to keep your efforts consistent and effective. We can’t stress this point enough: make sure all of your business communications are slapdash, irregular, off-message and distributed in ways that your stakeholders don’t appreciate.
Using a different voice and tone each time you communicate works a charm because people can never get an understanding of what your business is about. Make sure you don’t articulate the value you add and the results you achieve for clients, particularly in any organised way - that’s a big no no.
Just keep things loose and inconsistent, keep your customers guessing when they’ll hear from you next and make sure you are using different messages each time so they have no idea what your value proposition is all about.
Your competitors probably have a consistent communications strategy and plan already in place, so if you want to see what they are wasting their time with, here’s a few articles that might assist you:
- 6 must-haves for an effective communication plan
- 6 things that undermine a strategic communications plan
- Writing a business plan
Sink or swim? It’s up to you.
Idealog has been covering the most interesting people, businesses and issues from the fields of innovation, design, technology and urban development for over 12 years. And we're asking for your support so we can keep telling those stories, inspire more entrepreneurs to start their own businesses and keep pushing New Zealand forward. Give over $5 a month and you will not only be supporting New Zealand innovation, but you’ll also receive a print subscription, an Idealog t-shirt and a copy of the new book by David Downs and Dr. Michelle Dickinson, No. 8 Recharged (while stocks last).