About Playing It Safe in Business

  • Have you been sticking with the same target market without ever questioning your choice?

Perhaps you chose this target market years, even decades ago. You have a lot of experience working with them, but there is little or no challenge any more. In fact, you may find yourself resenting certain aspects about your clients. It’s like the boredom and predictability many long-married couples experience. There are no surprises or variety. If that’s true, it’s time to upgrade or revise your target market. Look at adding a whole new market slice to your current market or exploring new ways to serve. Start with examining any atypical clients you’ve had. When they have been a pleasure to work with, these outliers may be the beginning of a new market for you.

  • Have you been playing it safe by offering the same services and products without revision or addition?

Maybe you’re even actually selling to an outdated market that no longer exists. Your market is looking for new ideas. What can you do to update your offerings? Do you need to eliminate some items and add new ones? Do you need to think about combining services or combining products with services? What is the current market demanding and how can you fulfill that need?

  • Are you playing it safe in your marketing efforts?

Are you going to the same networking events and talking to the same people and not wanting to move out of that comfort zone? Are you sticking to the same old “tried and true” marketing efforts-even though diminishing returns has made them a waste of time? It’s time to consider some new approaches, focus, and methods. Do you need to explore some new networking venues? Does your website reflect favorably on your business? Do you have marketing materials that effectively present your business? What do you need to update, revise or revamp?

  • Have you developed cynical attitudes towards prospects, the current economy or your target market?

Do you feel defeatist, so you don’t take any risks or don’t go out of your way to win business? Have you gotten sloppy about follow-up or customer service? Have you lost your sense of caring about your clients? Look at the source of your irritation and negativity and see what it suggests. Often this means you might consider “firing” unpleasant clients or getting yourself an “attitude adjustment”. You may need to change unworkable circumstances or gain some new and inspiring knowledge. Take action to correct the cause of your unhelpful behavior. Don’t let it continue.

  • Do you spend your time rearranging the deck chairs?

Do you clean your office and organize your pens and avoid working with customers or marketing to new areas? Do you keep telling yourself that you can’t get anything done because your office is in a shambles? Do you spend your time on computer games, emails, chats, ans surfing the net? Do you convince yourself that there wasnÂ’t any real work to do anyway? Do you believe that your activities could bring you business down the road?

Get real about your motivations and acknowledge that you’re avoiding. Choose priority activities (marketing for instance) and put your major efforts there. Consign the “time wasting” stuff to “outside-work” hours.