Have you had the experience of finding the ideal solution for growing your business only to discover the business didn’t deliver?
Several months ago, I read an intriguing article in Entrepreneur magazine about a company that provided a unique online service to small business entrepreneurs. It interested me enough to further research the company. They were impressive. Not only did I want more information, I was ready to buy!
After completing the “contact us” form, I waited excitedly to hear how I might get started. The date was May 18, 2012. On August 8, 2012, I finally got a response. Can you imagine my surprise? In a business culture where we stand in front of our microwave yelling, “Hurry up!” a 3-month response time is excessive. How could a company featured in a highly acclaimed magazine be so ill prepared to take advantage of such an incredible PR opportunity?
They had all the makings of an established organization ready to deliver on their promises. They were ready to sell – just not ready to deliver. The good PR karma created by Entrepreneur magazine was exhausted by their inability to follow up on the many requests that undoubtedly came their way. Talk about major brand damage!
Whether you’re preparing to launch a new initiative through a PR, Facebook, Linkedin, direct mail, and/or email campaign, don’t let this happen to you. Make sure you’re ready for your small business to shine during your next initiative with these starter questions:
- What is the intended outcome of your initiative?
- What is the potential response?
- How will your business manage an increase in inquiries via web, phone, and/or email?
- What are the key selling points your team needs to know?
- What information do you need to gather from those making inquiries?
- Who else on your team needs to be aware of your initiative to make sure you’re prepared to deliver? (For instance, if your website experienced an increase in hits, could your server handle it or would your website shut down preventing new inquiries? Your web designer can make sure this doesn’t happen.)
- What is your plan for following-up?
Now it’s your turn. Have you recently launched a key initiative for your small business? How did you prepare to ensure your business delivered?
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