Business Development – Get ready to mix things up

By Emilie Downs, CWCC Member

Yes, I know it’s trite, the definition of insanity is “doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.” This could be a pattern or habit that is an unrealized mistake.

What about repeating the same business strategies week after week and expecting new results? That’s something I hadn’t given much thought until recently. As business owners we talk about where we’re networking and how we spend our marketing and sales dollars. But how often do we switch it up? Perhaps trying a different angle or approach to business growth is all it takes.

My husband lost 50 pounds this year. How did he do it? Different workouts every day. “If you’re doing the same workout every day, you’re not going to get different results.”

What if we try toning our sales approach? If you never network, try visiting the Colorado Women’s Chamber of Commerce (hint it’s not just for women). If sales are typically one per customer, try cross-selling by asking or explaining what else you could do for them.

And marketing, (you knew I’d get to that, didn’t you?) Here’s a few ideas you can use:  

  • If you aren’t advertising, try a small direct mail campaign—that’s not a misnomer, ‘small’ and ‘direct mail’ can actually go together.
  • Maybe you always meant to optimize your web site for Google search and never got around to it? Take a closer look. Google yourself and see what comes up. Hopefully, if you type in your name or your company name, you’ll show up on the first page of results. But what if you type in your product or service type, like “widget consulting”? If you aren’t listed but your competitors are, it’s time to make a change. Your search engine optimization (SEO) campaign won’t become a taxing experience for you.
  • Maybe you’re frustrated with the confusion around your company name or image but still managing to ignore it; “Oh…I always thought you made widgets but actually you consult with widget owners. I should have referred Bob to your company but I sent him to Company X instead.” Argh! It drives you crazy but you don’t want to go through more pain to get it right. It doesn’t have to be a painful experience to refresh.

Emilie Downs is the Owner of Imago Visual, a graphic design and marketing company based in Denver, Colorado. With over 14 years of experience, Emilie helps her clients create brands and supporting marketing that reflect their company’s true brilliance and gives them confidence. Her award-winning designs have been featured in HOW and Print Design Annuals.  If you are ready to mix things up contact:   303-246-5358  or

8 responses to “Business Development – Get ready to mix things up

  1. Great advice, Emily — I hope this is just your first in a series!

  2. Wise words. We are all victims of habit. It’s easy: no thinking required.

  3. Emilie, so true. I am shy and found volunteering for groups I want to network helps me break the ice. Great post.

  4. Hi Emilie,

    I think your article really speaks to an important issue, especially for small business owners. And that is getting stuck in a rut. Just doing the same think over and over regardless of whether it helps to grow your small business or not.

    The challenge to being a small business owner is that you are both the thinker/strategist and the one who delivers the service. Those important business and marketing strategy things just get moved to the bottom of your to-do list because… you have to-do!

    I think the answer is in your last sentence “It doesn’t have to be a painful experience to refresh.” The secret is to change your mindset around those issues, figure out how to make the experience more positive and seek out others to help you!


  5. Completely agree. The bottom line is results. If you aren’t achieving your objectives, switch it up until something clicks. Consulting with a professional will help to minimize wasted time and money! Thanks for the post, Emilie 🙂

  6. As usual Emilie, you are right on. Thanks for reminding me, it is time to switch it up.

  7. Thanks for a great article, and for the reminder to switch it up!

  8. Having followed Emilie’s amazing insights for business strategies for many months on her website – I’d say, anyone
    in business should not even take the time to exhale, but
    link on to her archives and pull down those newsletters! Sage, funny, salient – all apply.

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