Why working harder and smarter is best for small businesses
By Leanne Hoagland-Smith January 5, 2013 7:34PM
Leanne Hoagland-Smith. | Provided photo~Sun-Times Media
Many have heard the expression “work smarter and not harder.” This is an erroneous statement, especially for small business owners to sales professionals.
What this statement implies is if you just work smarter you will not have to work harder.
Does this really make sense?
For example, if you begin to learn from your mistakes regarding social media, you become smarter. Your efforts start generating new sales leads. Then do you stop? No, you probably work even harder to secure even more results.
What does make sense is to work smarter and then even harder.
Small business owners and professionals realize smarts alone will not:
• Find new sales leads
• Convert those sales leads
• Generate results from marketing to management to process improvement
Hard work is required and with more and more small business owners as solo entrepreneurs entering the marketplace, this hard work appears never ending.
What separates the very successful from the not successful is uniting smart work with hard work. Locally one small business owner who continues to grow his business through the combination of both hard and smart work is Rick Gosser of Gosser Corporate Sales.
Rick seems to be the never tired. He’s the Energizer Bunny, as he appears to be at most of the local business to business networking events. He coordinates with other small business owners to organize speed networking events.
Because his business is involved in corporate logo embroidery and does not outsource the logo embroidery, Rick also finds time to personally handle the embroidery. Add his passion of running to the mix and Rick is definitely working far harder today than ever before.
Another small business owner who embraces both working smarter and working harder is Marti Masterson. Marti and her husband have worked tirelessly in building the Masterson Insurance Agency in Valparaiso. She has been very active in community organizations, the Valparaiso Chamber of Commerce while still serving her clients. Again, she is another Energizer Bunny who keeps going and going and going.
When statements such as work smarter; not harder are embraced, they begin to generate a self-fulfilling prophecy that may not necessarily be a positive one. Some new to the business world, may begin to believe all business success is just a matter of being smarter.
This work smarter not harder belief is quite evident through social media.
Many small business professionals appear to believe being smarter means embracing social media through technology and leaving traditional marketing in the circular file. Yes it is much smarter not to mention easier to sit all day at the keyboard, engage with potential ideal customers and colleagues. However for most businesses, one must leave the office and physically meet with people.
To earn the sale is hard work and requires multiple contacts. Sales research suggests working harder is required given most sales are earned between the fourth and 12th contacts while most sales people (90 percent) give up after the third contact.
With 98.2 percent of all small businesses in the US in 2010 having 99 employees or less, those successful forward thinking leaders know that both working harder and working smarter are required to stay ahead of their competitors.
P.S. Thanks to all who supported me and allowed me the opportunity to be recognized as the Social Media Dame for 2012 in the State of Indiana.