by Skip Cohen
I shared this post in 2013, but it's so good that it deserves the spotlight one more time. It's a new year, but February is already here. Before you know it, we'll be out of the "slow season." The slow season is only about incoming revenue - NOT how busy you should be fine-tuning your business for the year ahead.
The big questions now should be, "How can I grow my business in 2020?" "What do I need to do differently from last year?" "What worked in 2019?"...and the list goes on and on.
Back in my Polaroid days, I put together some terrific programs for retailers. I got a lot of good feedback, and people would ask me how I came up with the ideas. The truth is they had NOTHING to do with my creativity, but asking the right questions and listening.
One favorite question was to ask a camera dealer, "What would it take for you to double your business with Polaroid next year?" Once I picked them up off the floor, the answers just flowed. They needed more advertising, dating, special promotions, etc. I'd ask a similar question of the sales reps - "If your quota doubled, what would you need to make your number?"
The answers to how to grow your business are all out there - but you have to think through the right questions.
While wandering through cyberspace, I found a site called Quoteland and, after a little mining, uncovered the following gem from Charles Chic Thompson. While he added some humor to the concept, think about each of his ten points. More than likely, you'll agree he's dead on and maybe even track down one of his books.
I hope you agree the timing is perfect. It's January 29, and everyone should be focused on building a strong foundation for success in 2020. Let's find ways to make you thrive in 2020 and not just survive!
Top 10 Creative Rules of Thumb
1. The best way to get great ideas is to get lots of ideas and throw the bad ones away.
2. Create ideas that are 15 minutes ahead of their time…not light years ahead.
3. Always look for a second right answer.
4. If at first you don’t succeed, take a break.
5. Write down your ideas before you forget them.
6. If everyone says you are wrong, you’re one step ahead.
If everyone laughs at you, you’re two steps ahead.
7. The answer to your problem “pre-exists.”
You need to ask the right question to reveal the answer.
8. When you ask a dumb question, you get a smart answer.
9. Never solve a problem from its original perspective.
10. Visualize your problem as solved before solving it.
Check out "Why?" one of the most popular features on the SCU Blog. It's a very simple concept - one image, one artist and one short sound bite. Each artist shares what makes the image one of their most favorite. We're over 100 artists featured since the project started. Click on the link above and you can scroll through all of the episodes to date.