The current cold-weather has caused much alarm among gardeners and homeowners in the North Bay. We are experiencing freezing and below freezing temperatures at night, and it’s not all that warm during the daytime either. In fact, our temperatures in Sonoma were lower than in some of the Eastern states.
Their products like “cloud cover” that help to protect delicate citrus trees and other fruit bearing trees from frost and cold temperatures. My husband has a collection of orchids, cybidiums, many fruit trees, and variety of other plants that are not typically exposed to these extreme temperatures. He ensure their safety by covering them or moving them into a sheltered area close to the house to keep them within their comfort zone.
The Best Way To Survive and Thrive Is To Be Prepared
In business, it is also necessary to protect ourselves from threats. The best protection is creating strong relationships so that when the unexpected happens, the depth and breadth of our relationships keeps us anchored and engaged with our customers. I’m sure the like myself, your email inbox as well as your Snail mail box is full of offers for special deals during the holidays.
Individuals and businesses are suffering from frozen pipes, technical slowdowns due to the increased volume of traffic over the web, and an assortment of other inconveniences some of which are weather related and others that are seasonally at play.
This morning as I walked to my car which is parked outside, I was greeted with my red car covered in a network of ice and icicles. One side of the car was completely free of ice as I had parked it next to shrubbery which protected it and kept it warm. All of my windows on the other three sides of the car were frosted over and had about a quarter inch of ice covering them. I turned on the heat in the defroster front and back windows responding slowly, so I jumped out of the car and improvised the scraper from a coffee belly band that I had in my front seat. With a bit of windshield wiper fluid, my fabulous new Bosch windshield wipers and my improvised deicing, I was on my way in a few minutes. It makes me appreciate living in California all the more.
Being prepared for the worst and expecting the best is my philosophy in business. Having the right tools, and the understanding of how to use them is how I prepare for the worst and get the best results.
I recently joined a writing group. I am delighted with the supportive and friendly atmosphere we have created. Our leader was christened a benevolent dictator and as such, she shared some of the ground rules she uses in her writing workshops. In addition to her ground rules, we came up with some of our own and with some friendly chatter we picked the times and dates of when we will meet, how people are to participate, and who was going to bring refreshments. All in all, I felt energized and excited to be part of this group with my focus on giving and receiving useful feedback, and hopefully, completing the manuscript for at least one of the two books I have in progress. Our leader shared this one tidbit, the goal of the group is to leave wanting to write more, not less. I think that type of inspiration is what I hope to share with my clients and in building an effective author’s platform, business identity, or marketing plan. Working with grown-ups can be a lot of fun, especially when we honor our commitments and show up in the spirit of curiosity and generosity.
While it might be freezing cold outside, I have the opportunity to create a warm and safe environment in my business. Being prepared scares away the marketing monsters that are hidden under your bed or lurking in the dark corners of your mind or office. Having a warm heart is one of the best assets for building an authentic, and weatherproof, business. Getting to know what makes my clients feel warm and secure, and delivering what they want and need, keeps us connected and helps my clients to feel cozy and taking care of.
It’s not always all the fancy bells and whistles that get the job done. A mix of technology and direct interaction are my recommended recipe for customer care. Using the right method of communication for the type of information is important. I consider the nature of what I am communicating. If it is highly sensitive information, face-to-face is the best option. If there is a time factor, face-to-face or by phone or video call would be my choice. If the information is less critical or less dependent on time for action, email or online sharing via Google Docs and Dropbox may work fine if everyone involved knows and is comfortable with sharing using a particular method.
If I am at all concerned about how information can be interpreted or misinterpreted, I pick up the phone and make a call. A good friend who has been in sales for years recommends calling just to say hello to customers and those she would like to work with. A friendly hello is a gift you and I can give 365 days of the year. As you plan your marketing actions for the coming year, keep in mind that human kindness, caring, and treating people the way the you would like to be treated generates happiness for you and your customers.
Take a look at your business. If you find areas where you are weak or vulnerable, now is a good time to add your own version of cloud cover and protect those delicate relationships so they can flourish as the temperatures begin warming up. This is a great time to plan and plant your winter crop of marketing actions. If you take care of your customers now, they will be there to support you and blossom in the spring, summer, autumn and winter. Providing extra care today and every day can make sure that even when it’s cold outside, you are feeling the warmth of appreciation and on-going business.
The more I learn about engagement marketing, the easier it is to incorporate marketing actions that makes a difference into my business and into the operations of my clients. If the only time you hear from me is when I’m trying to get you to buy something it’s not going to take very long before you’re going to tune me out. Because I love to share tips and resources, I offer that content freely. Occasionally, I will make an offer to you. If you enjoy the knowledge and expertise that I have shared with you, the value I provide is apparent. Along the way, I have shown up, demonstrated my expertise, and enriched your life.
By now, you have a good idea about how I think about marketing. It is an integral part of business. Marketing is a conversation, with sending and receiving. The better I listen, the better I am at helping solve your marketing problems. The more organic I can make marketing for you, the easier and more likely it is for you to embrace and sustain actions over time. Like my writing friend said, my job is to inspire you to do more, not less.