double your businessTo double your sales and profits, you need to envision your firm’s success. Emulate athletes who use visualization and intense focus to attain their goals. To see a strong future for your firm, use the “Painted Picture” positive thinking tactic. In a quiet place away from the office, imagine touring your incredibly successful firm.

Marketing and your internal culture

Achieving your goals requires a strong corporate culture. Establish an engaging, distinctive work environment. Think of Google’s electric atmosphere. Make your office space as open as possible so your employees feel close to each other and can work together. Avoid silos. Create a “‘Can You Imagine?’ wall” where people can post their ideas about what your firm will look like in three years. Make sure your employees are happy, since satisfied staff members work harder to achieve corporate goals. Treat each staff member as a valued business partner. Share financial information with your workforce. Diligently energize your employees and get them on your side.

Intense Marketing, Focus and Stamina

To grow you need to Undertake “focused actions for fast growth”:

• “Focused hiring” – Use efficient recruiting and interviewing to find and hire the best employees, people who will share your vision.

• “Focused communication” – To make the most of great employees, you must communicate clearly with them about your company’s goals and activities, what their responsibilities are and what specific contributions you expect them to make. Quality communication starts with active listening. Do not avoid conflict. Get things out in the open. Honestly discuss any points of contention without injecting your emotions. To defuse the conversation, but still get vexatious issues on the table, use such phrases and questions as “I feel…” and “How do you feel?” Always offer feedback.

• “Focused meetings” – Make all meetings meaningful. Don’t waste your staff members’ time with meandering sessions. Have a firm agenda. Begin on time; finish early. Get everyone to participate. Hold these purposeful meetings: quarterly or annual retreats, “board of advisers” sessions where you discuss how your company will attain its goals, “business area review” meetings to cover how various units are faring, and short daily “huddle” groups where leaders reach every staffer with positive “key metrics” about how the firm is doing. Finish such huddle meetings with a dorky but fun group cheer.

Now the most important part of any growth strategy

• “Focused marketing” – To avoid wasteful marketing, target legitimate prospects for your products or services. Cut your advertising costs by bartering for ad space or broadcast time. If this is not practical, negotiate for the best deals. To spread your message at low cost, put your logo and company name on the clothes you and your employees wear, and flaunt them whenever and wherever you can. “Parketing” is another worthwhile technique. Park “branded vehicles” in busy locations where lots of people will see your commercial messages. Get workers enthusiastically involved in marketing by giving them specific tasks to check off daily.

“Focused public relations offline & online” – The success of your efforts to publicize your products or services depends on giving story concepts to the media. Don’t hire PR people.

Instead, find salespeople who are not afraid to pitch to strangers and who can deal with rejection. Do not propose your stories to editors; they are in the story-rejection business. Your best targets are reporters and writers who must come up with new story ideas all the time. Possible angles for your stories include “your sales approach or strategy,” “your personal entrepreneur story,” and “stories about specific employees.” Pitch your stories by phone with a script. Use email to follow up later.

Marketing is about generating growth. Unfortunately, while it is relatively easy to measure the economic performance of an acquisition, it is notoriously difficult to measure the economic contribution of marketing. In a sense, marketing is like eating. Just as people who don’t eat at all sooner or later die, so firms that don’t market at all sooner or later fail. Yet it’s relatively easy to calculate how much one needs to eat, but vexingly difficult to calculate how much one needs to market — but talk to us and we can tell you!