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How to kick yourself in the ass once a month

If you have worked for a while and everything works pretty good, then the feeling of complacency usually kicks in. This will mean that you think everything is under control, that you don't have to fight for your business anymore. The orders keep coming. You are busy and you feel happy and satisfied. You are accustomed to the good times. You're getting a little disrespectful. You whine because you have to do something that you don't usually do and you bitch about ungrateful customers who want to have everything delivered yesterday.

This usually happens sooner or later. But it won't come as a bolt of lightning from a clear blue sky. It'll sneak up on you. You lose an order because you didn't send a quotation in time. You don't see the warning signs. A week later, you lose a partner that you did not call back to answer his questions because they're “always so complicated”. Another week later, you find several mails that you didn't bother answer even though it's from customers who wants to collaborate with you or perhaps become a dealer and contribute to your company's growth.

If you're smart you will hear the alarm bells going off in situations like these and do something about it. Most people don't.

Complacency appeals to all your lazy sides. Be casual, kick back and have fun. Complacency wants you to relax and give away your business to your competitors instead (sometimes I think our competitors are the ones who have invented complacency).

I have also suffered from this and I was so scared that I wrote this list to myself, copied it and pasted it on my calendar - a copy for each month.

Here is the list:
• You are employed by your customers. Without customers, no business.
• What can you do this month to help customers break down with happiness?
• Customers can and will leave you when they want - what do you do to prevent it?

It's a simple list, but it makes me kick the complacency in the ass every month.

About the author

Stefan Ekberg has worked in marketing for small business for 20 years and has written around 30 books on how small business owners can market themselves with limited resources. . In 2012 Stefan was nominated as Entrepreneur of the Year in Stockholm.

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"The 5 minute marketer" - the book
You run a small business and you want to get ahead of the competition, but how can you give resources to marketing when you're short on time and the budget is tight? The solution is here! The 5-Minute Marketer is packed with 395 tried-and-tested ways to market your business in 5 minutes or less.