Stay with me on this, the ‘penny may drop’ about half-way into the ... - in very general terms, this article is targeted at anyone involved in ... whether it be offline ... b
Stay with me on this, the ‘penny may drop’ about half-way into the article!
Target - in very general terms, this article is targeted at anyone involved in business, whether it be offline ‘real-world’ business, or online ‘cyber’ e-business.
Let’s define the title.
“jigsaw” - a puzzle with multiple parts which requires some element of skill to correctly piece them all together in the right way, making one complete ‘picture’.
“virus” - an infection which grows, replicates and spreads.
Make sense yet? No!
One of the key fundamental basics in business starts with this. Business is based on the law of ’Supply and Demand’.
In simple terms, this means that if people have a demand (need or want) for something, then someone (perhaps you, or other businesses) supply them.
In simpler terms…. Have a product or service that customers want, then provide them with it.
JIGSAW…. Now has 2 parts / pieces…. Product (or service) and customers (people who want / need it).
If YOU are the business supplying customers with what they want, you may look at other products which complement or contrast. You may also look at adding new ways to deliver your product or service, perhaps new markets / countries / demographics…..
You may also want to have different versions / types of your product…. Plus you may want to promote / market your company in new / additional ways.
Also, you may want to have added computer systems, take payments in different forms, different currencies….. translation (remember - stay with me on this!)
You have seen competitors using ‘800’ Freephone numbers….. You’ve read about fax-back services, call-centers, fulfillment services….. You want to get involved in these.
JIGSAW….. From the original (and simple) 2 parts / pieces….. Your jigsaw now has many more, even dozens (or more) of pieces. The simple puzzle is infected. It’s spreading and growing. .. It’s out of control.
The original focus you had, is now a distant blur. Even if you had as many arms as an octopus, you still wouldn’t piece together THIS puzzle.
Let’s take just one piece of a small, simple jigsaw puzzle, and call it “Advertising, Marketing, Promotion”. They all mean the same…. ‘spreading the word’.
This single piece can start like this. Put a simply poster in the back of your car, on a notice board, in a shop window.
Then, get business cards, then marketing ‘postcards’…….then leaflets, a brochure, a full-color glossy brochure….a catalogue…..CD Rom business cards, interactive multi-media…
Advertise in the local ‘free papers’, then a small ad in the town newspaper, then a half-page….full-page ad…. Full color……. Then a 10 second ad on radio….. Then 30 seconds…..
Then 20 seconds on local / cable TV….. Then 60 seconds….. And on…and on.
Get a domain name, a website, software, design, hosting, auto responders, mailing list, Flash, Audio, Video, Keywords, Meta Tags, Keyword Density, Pay Per Click, Search Engine Optimization…
Ask a few friends to hand out some leaflets for you, create a reseller program, an affiliate program, an introducer scheme, get the software, the systems, Advertising Agencies, Copywriters, Professional Marketers, International Business Promoters…..
Where will it all end? With an army of Armani suited Harvard Graduates jet-setting all over the planet, trying to sell your widget?
Once the virus infects, it spreads, it grows and it can get out of hand very quickly.
Your ‘Jigsaw Puzzle’ is infected, the infection has spread, and grown and replicated the couple of pieces you originally started with, and turned into something unmanageable.
Just as you cannot take antibiotics to cure a virus in health, there is no simple cure in business.
Prevention is the best cure.
Your Jigsaw Puzzle should start with the simplest of forms…. 2 pieces (remember the 2 parts to basic business? Supply & Demand - have a product or service which people want or need, and give it to them (well…. Sell it!).
Make sure the first two pieces of your puzzle fit together perfectly, before you even think about adding pieces.
Once the first 2 are set, then perhaps consider expanding your jigsaw puzzle but ONLY ONE PIECE AT A TIME.
Once that third piece fits, then move on. Don’t try adding multiple pieces all at the same time, and trying to fit them altogether in one go.
If you’re first few (2, 3 or 4) pieces of your puzzle don’t fit, then STOP.
Stop right there. Reassess the situation.
If you cannot get the pieces to fit correctly before moving on, then perhaps that piece of the jigsaw, doesn’t belong to your puzzle.
Many people fall flat on their face by ignoring this point.
If they cannot fit the pieces, they put them to one side, and get more pieces to try….. And some of them won’t fit, put them aside…. Get some others…
The final part of the article goes back to our army of Armani Suited Harvard Graduates… remember them?
The point of that paragraph was to illustrate how the ’infection’, if unchecked, will go on and on… where will it end?
Is your Jigsaw Puzzle ’infinite’? How far will you push your business? Is there a point where it’s just too much?
You may have carefully put together your jigsaw puzzle - completed - finished….. And you may not even realize it!