Most SME’s I see are run by a single person, without the benefit of any sort of advisory board beyond those with whom he/she has dinner sometimes, when they get the time.
The hats they wear make Josephs coat look bland.
CEO, CMO, CTO, COO, CFO, CSO,…. The list goes on, up to and including CCO (chief cleaning officer), CBW, (chief bottle washer) and CSK (chief shit kicker)
These multiple roles have always challenged small business leaders, their primary resource beyond domain capability has always been time, and that is non renewable. Recently the explosion of the time and expertise necessary to have a chance at competing effectively in the face of commoditising and transparent markets, aggressive competitive activity, increasing customer scale in B2B, and marketing automation, has multiplied the size of the marketing hat enormously.
Where does the time come from?
Focus and discipline.
- Focus on customers, and a niche where you can be significant. The old adage of big fish in little pools rather than the opposite hold truer than ever.
- Discipline to build a plan, assemble the resources to execute, then to execute with the agility necessary to respond instantly to new information, changes in the market, customer preferences, or whatever it may be, but not to be distracted from the broad objectives of the plan. The second part of discipline is to measure progress, not just against the plan, but more importantly, towards the objectives of the plan, the better to understand the next step.
Most SME’s I see have bits of both, not enough of either, so they are like empty drink cans bobbing around in a rough sea, unless they can keep upright, and plug the hole, eventually they sink.
Need some thoughts on how to identify and plug the holes?