In part one of a two part series, Matt Granfield brings you 20 ways on how best to keep a clean pair of dacks on in this volatile economic environment. Treat this as a cheat sheet for maintaining and creating harmonious business perspectives.

Part One

1. Make your customer service truly remarkable. No, seriously, you dont understand. Not good. Not brilliant: remarkable.

2. Find time to get active in your industry association. Offer to be secretary and do an amazing job. Do extra stuff that no one wants to do and do it really well. Youll be a captain of industry in six months.

3. Read everything you can get your hands on. Whether you are the head of marketing for Coke or an Iranian potato farmer, right now, this very second, there are 100 insightful people blogging about ways you can grow your business and 100 book titles on Amazon which youll be recommending to your friends as must-reads in 12 months time. Get an RSS reader and get to work 15 minutes early to read blogs.
There are new distribution channels popping up all the time, but you wont know about them if you dont read.

  • Dont believe everything you read.

4. Start a blog that establishes you as an expert in your area of expertise and publish something useful EVERY day. If you cant write, draw. If you cant draw, make videos. If you havent got a video camera, make audio recordings. If youre a deaf, blind mute thats no excuse – you and I both know that Helen Keller would have been the worlds most prolific blogger if she was alive today. Stop whinging. Get over it. Start blogging.

5. Stop watching f-king Lost.

6. Hire someone to do something that is taking up too much of your time. The more time you have to think about marketing your business, the better off the business will be. Be brave. Take a risk. Youre smart. Its the old adage — work ON the business, not IN the business. It will pay off now more than ever. Your competitors will be cutting back and youll be investing in idea capital. If you work in a large corporation and the powers that be wont spend a cent hiring someone new in this current economic climate, convince your boss its a good idea by taking a big pay cut now in return for a big bonus when your work pays off. If you dont believe in yourself enough to do that, what the f-k are you doing?

7. Engage your customers properly, start conversations with them online and offline (you know, like, when theyre in your store) and do it because you want to, not because its the latest fad. Smile like you mean it.

8. Create partnerships and do people favours. If youre a wedding photographer, set up a deal with a local catering firm to send each other work. If you are a local catering firm, find a boutique local winery and help them set up a restaurant in the vineyard on Sunday afternoons. If youre a boutique local winery start sending lots of free wine to local tour operators. If youre a local tour operator, get a local wedding photographer to take a professional photo of everyone at the end of the tour and email it to them with a thank you note. What goes around, comes around.

9. Ask everyone in your company what the best thing about your company is and make it better. Ask everyone in your company what the worst thing about your company is and fix it.

10. Make your company a great place to work, give your employees free lunch, love them, not literally, and they will tell all their Facebook friends how amazing you are and their friends will tell their friends. If you want to find people to blog about your product, the guy in the mail room, the girl behind the reception desk and the lady with the mop are the greatest brand evangelists youre ever going to find. Henry Ford paid all his workers double the award wage. Guess what they did with all their extra money? Bought cars. Think about that.

For Part Two click here.

Matt Granfield
BY Matt Granfield ON 17 October 2008
Matt Granfield is a writer, vagabond and volcanophobe from Brisbane. He was a newspaper reporter once upon a time, but gave it up when he realised there were more exciting things to write about than under-12s soccer finals. He also didn't like the feel of newsprint. These days Matt is a senior contributor for a number of Australian publications, mostly in the marketing and digital world, and his first book – a satirical look at popular culture called HipsterMattic – came out in November through Allen and Unwin.