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Sow now and reap later

I swear a little too much sometimes and it's not so good for kids to hear because ... well, you get it.

But then I came upon a clever idea that I presented to the children one morning when I hit my big toe on the bedpost and they gleefully pointed out;”It's not nice to swear.”

I grimaced for a while and then I got that super-smart, revolutionary and in every way completely new idea in my head. I simply said that the day they can explain what GDP means, they too can swear all they want.

A few days later, my eleven year old daughter came around with a sagely smile and said:”Now I know. GDP is the value of all goods and services a country procera ... prodicer ... pro ... oh, shit!”

She got me good!

Now let's talk about what kinds of seeds you can sow in your world.

It starts with a seed ...

Who received your business card last week?
I assume that you have a useful business card? You have printed interesting tips/valid information on it so that people will want to keep it, havn’t you? If you have, you can stick it under a windshield wiper or give it to anyone you meet. There are lots of people out there who probably need what you have to offer or know someone who needs it. If you hand out five cards a day, you can make one thousand five hundred new contacts a year. And if you have employees, your staff can do the same. Now you have got a ... what's it called ... a sowing machine with turbo gear!

What business partners do you want to have in six months from now?
There are many other players out there who have the same customers as you. How can you help each other? Do they know that your solution is available? An e-mail message to them will help you to find out what they think.

What is your main problem right now?
Write it down and put the note on the fridge, on the wall, in the bathroom or in the entrance so you will always have it in front of you. Encourage others to take note of the problem and come up with ideas. Your suppliers, your customers, your partners may well have the solution you're looking for.

What things can you give away to attract customers in the long run?
Do you have a newsletter, electronic or physical? Are you mailing it to the customers you want to have six months from now? On paper if they prefer to get a printed version? I hope you're not sending it by e-mail because that feels cheap and intrusive. If you have a good newsletter that can offer help to people, it's easier for them to remember you when you call them in April.

Have you removed the deadly words?
What do you do to sort out the words, ”I” ,”we” and ”our” in your marketing and how can you replace them with words like ”you” ,”your” and ”your”? Never forget that customers aren't interested in how good you think you are. They just want to know what you can do for them.

Do it now!

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.

230 000 prescribes to his free newsletter "The 5 minute marketer"
Every week some 230,000 prescribers gets his free newsletter about 5 minute marketing.

"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.