1. Business

Grow Small Business

Intro by Skip Cohen

Wandering through Sarah Petty’s blog I came across this post from a few years back and it’s so relevant to growing your business. While book reviews aren’t normally something we share on Marathon’s blog, this short post by Sarah will definitely plant some seeds. So much so that I just went to Amazon and ordered it myself.

Even if you’re a “one-man-band,” (no offense meant to female readers – it’s simply an expression) you need to be a “Linchpin.” Owning your own business doesn’t always leave time for pondering and indecision. As a linchpin, you should have most of the answers to virtually all of the problems/challenges. You also have a support team in the core of your network and they also need to be linchpins in their companies working to support you.

One great example would be your contact at your lab. You want to work to build the relationship with your contact, so when a problem comes up, explaining the issue and getting it resolved costs you minimal time.

“The secret of leadership is simple: Do what you believe in. Paint a picture of the future. Go there. People will follow.”

Seth Godin

By Sarah Petty

Grow Small Business:  Before the holidays, I excitedly responded to Seth Godin’s offer to pre-purchase his newest book, Linchpin, by making a donation to the Acumen Fund. I hope this was a hugely successful strategy for Godin because I also am a big believer in charitable marketing and why not? He wanted his book in the hands of 3,000 people who he knew would pre-buy ANYTHING he writes. So, why not let everyone benefit?  Those who make a donation, receive his book before the general public. The charity benefits by receiving probably over $100,000 and Godin wins because he gets his book into the hands of thousands of excited readers and bloggers. Let the google bots begin.

Here is where our journey starts. Godin has asked those of us who received the early edition to read, re-read and comment on his book (good and bad) on our blogs. After spending time glued to the book, I find that I can’t simply make one post about the book. Because at The Joy of Marketing, we teach small business marketing, specifically, BOUTIQUE marketing.  This book has so many ideas, thoughts and concepts that must be shared.  So, over the next few weeks, I will be commenting on different parts of the book and relating them to boutique business owners and their team.  Afterall, the way to grow small business is to find linchpins.

So what is a Linchpin anyway? Here is what Godin says about Becoming the Linchpin:

“The linchpin is an individual who can walk into chaos and create order, someone who can invent, connect, create, and make things happen.  Every worthwhile institution has indispensable people who make differences like these.”

Also, for a small boutique business to succeed, not only do you need to BE a linchpin, you need to constantly be finding those to hire. My four employees (one of whom is getting married and moving away) I would say are all linchpins. I don’t want an employee who needs to be told what to do every day or who is looking for a status quo job. I need a problem solver.

Unfortunately, it is hard to find those people when you are looking. All four of my team has come to me through either an internship or a trial project and they worked their way into a job. Those are the people I need and if I ever receive a resume from someone who can articulate why she can be a linchpin in my business, I want to meet her.

“If a Purple Cow is a product that’s worth talking about, the indispensable employee – I call her a linchpin – is a person who’s worth finding and keeping.”

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