Some might say that taking shortcuts and cutting corners are the same.
I strongly disagree.
When you take a shortcut, you do less work to accomplish the same result. You work smarter, not harder; and you save overhead in the interest of netting more profit. Taking shortcuts eliminates waste and saves time and money.
Taking business shortcuts is a fantastic way to streamline your business—as long as you discipline yourself to get identical results, without cutting corners.
When you cut corners, you’re not finding simpler ways to accomplish important tasks. Instead, you’re eliminating important tasks…and therefore, compromising the quality of the results.
Let’s talk about the difference between taking business shortcuts and cutting corners, and look at some examples of how you can get more accomplished in less time, with spectacular results.
Shortcuts without Cutting Corners
Taking business shortcuts is all about getting from Point A to Point B more efficiently and with no sacrifice of quality. I recommend a shortcut-finding mission for every brand, no matter how large or small. Your operations can never be too efficient.
- Group Communication: For a long time, I was conducting one-on-one branding conversations with my audience members via phone or Skype. Then, I got the idea to speak to a number of my clients in webinars, answering their questions so that everyone (including others who had the same questions) could benefit from the answers. Now, I’m taking full advantage of the benefits offered by Facebook Live, and as the audience grows, so does my efficiency. Now I’m answering questions for a large number of people all at once, in just 30 minutes’ time, instead of spending all day talking to them one-one-one. And there’s an added perk to this process: Every call turns into a networking event for my participants. They meet other purpose-driven business owners who are willing to give their opinions, share experiences and work together to build brands.
- Systemisation: Every operation, protocol and procedure within your organisation has the potential to be systemised. If you’re having the same conversation with more than one customer, if you’re sending the same type of email or making the same type of phone call, if you’re putting new clients through the same screening process…then you have more than enough opportunities to cut down on your time investment and get right to the profit. Think in terms of recording procedures for replication in future, applicable situations. Avoid repeating processes ‘by hand.’ And then, after you’ve perfected each shortcut, think about marketing that system to a segment of your audience (or a new audience) that can benefit from its time-saving qualities.
- Delegation: We all have it: a list of things we despise doing. Maybe you don’t like math, so you put off balancing the company ledger. Or maybe you’re an introvert, so you avoid going to networking events, cold calling and ‘beating the pavement.’ Avoiding these crucial tasks qualifies as cutting corners…when a better idea would be assigning these tasks to an existing team member or hiring a dedicated employee who specialises in these types of projects. This is an example of when taking a shortcut will yield even better results than doing it the ‘long way.’
- Transcription: You’ve recorded that video and published it on YouTube. Now you’re done, and ready to move onto the next task, right? Not so fast. You know that you also have to write a blog, an email, and an article for that online magazine…and your PR consultant is encouraging you to write a book. There is a way you can accomplish all of this more quickly, and with superior brand message consistency. Hire a professional to transcribe that video into a Word document. Then hire a copywriter to create all of the written material you need to publish. Find just the right person, and he or she will be able to complete this job from start to finish. This is an example of a profitable shortcut. Cutting corners would mean that you completely blow off your need for relevant, informative written content for your audience.
- Email Management: Keep people informed with a continual flow of valuable content, and you’re unlikely to have to spend time answering individual requests for information. One way to accomplish this is with ‘serving’ emails, or a continuous chain of information going into your audience’s inboxes. You know your audience members better than anyone, so you know what will pique their interest (and keep it)…so give it to ALL of them, as often as every day. What’s more, use an email management system to avoid having to tangle with lists and segmented lists. That’s a shortcut that will pay.
- Team Consistency: If you’ve ever felt overwhelmed because you feel like every phone call, every email, every customer problem is forwarded to you, because you’re the only one who knows what’s going on, then you need to create this shortcut. Establish a branded language—a way of speaking that all of your team members can easily replicate and adopt, so that they’ll know what to say, on behalf of the brand, to every customer. Let go of the notion that you have to have your hands in everything, and learn to trust your most valuable brand ambassadors to propagate the message you’ve created. This shortcut will end up being more effective than handling it all on your own, and will certainly net more positive results than you having to ignore those questions you don’t have time to answer.
Learning to know the difference between taking shortcuts and cutting corners will open your mind to building a brand that thrives through efficiency. Know what’s important to the success of your brand, and find better ways to accomplish it…without ever compromising on results.
Interested in learning about more branding and marketing shortcuts? The ones that will reduce overhead, decrease stress, and increase free time and profits? Then you need to look into the B.R.A.N.D. Building Bootcamps, in which you’ll learn the three strategies I used to take my business from to £0 to £18,000 in just 12 weeks. Learn more and enrol here.