We live in a world of speed. We want everything 5 minutes ago. We throw a fit if Google is slow. Our pupils dilate if we have to wait for a download. A red light is an eternity, a traffic jam an outrage.
We hate to wait.
Technology, incredible blessing that it is, has conditioned us for speed. Ironically, sometimes even technology can’t keep up with our expectations anymore. But a problem arises when we try to translate that speed of response to building a business.
Many small business owners find this out the hard way. They start a Facebook page and open a Twitter account. They sporadically slap up content and sales pitches and expect the dollars to come pouring in. But the sales don’t appear, leaving many owners disappointed and confused.
So what’s the problem? The “problem” is there are no short cuts. Social media, blogging, a website are all tools, not magic. Clientele still needs to be built. And that’s a product of time, not speed. Quality and consistency still matter.
Basically, work is still work. You have to build relationships with your prospective clients, make the sales calls, and offer real value, incentives, and tangible benefits (information, samples, entertainment, etc.). You’ve got to put in the hours, and do the dirty work.
The steps to success are still the same; you just have more platforms to play with.
So, by all means, use technology. But don’t be deceived by its speed. Remember it’s a tool, not a miracle cure. Don’t expect overnight success. Use social media to engage and dialogue with prospective customers; educate them about your product or service. Start a blog, collect email addresses, build your lists, set up a stellar website, give away prizes.
But all the while, have a steady business plan and solid goals, tempered by reasonable expectations. It may not feel like the fast lane, but your business is more likely to reach its destination in one piece.