It’s the little things in business

4 min read
Peter Bird
One of the founders working on a lap top

I’m going to run you through how to best execute an idea by considering the importance of the little things that make a project, idea or creative vision run smoothly.

Working in a predominantly creative industry means that I am surrounded by people who have great ideas (most of the time!) but who often forget to consider the logistics involved to achieve and sustain their concepts. (However, in truth it’s probably a good thing that they aren’t restricted by such thoughts, as that can often stifle the creative thinker.)

This is where I come in; as a Managing Director it is my job to consider all the little things that enable us to execute a great idea, well.

Watb Office

I’m going to run you through how to best execute an idea by considering the importance of the little things that make a project, idea or creative vision run smoothly.

Working in a predominantly creative industry means that I am surrounded by people who have great ideas (most of the time!) but who often forget to consider the logistics involved to achieve and sustain their concepts. (However, in truth it’s probably a good thing that they aren’t restricted by such thoughts, as that can often stifle the creative thinker.)

This is where I come in; as a Managing Director it is my job to consider all the little things that enable us to execute a great idea, well.

The team working in the Watb Office

If you can handle working long hours (and if you are thinking of starting a business, then you best be prepared for that) you can always commit time over finances. That way, if the idea doesn’t get traction or winds up being unachievable, all you have lost is time… on to the next brilliant idea. However, once you have become a bit more established as a company you will be unable to willingly give your time to a project in the same way.

It is here that you need to draw on your knowledge of the little things that have developed your business so far. By taking note of what worked or didn’t in the past will enable you to sustain the current business proposition better. By understanding your business inside out, being aware of what you’re working on at all times, what’s coming next and how much of that time, those resources and funds you will have at your disposal, you should be able to make an educated decision on how to best move forward with a great idea.

In short, there are several things to consider to ensure you make (hopefully) right decisions for your business.

In this order:

  • ‘Trust your gut instinct’, yet remember to question it thoroughly. If it seems like a great idea and everybody is behind it then it’s definitely worth progressing it to the next stage. That said it’s important to think ‘why’ do we all like it? Will the idea benefit your company? After the initial excitement has worn off and no one has managed to put enough doubt in to the equation, then that should suggest it’s a good idea and worth pursuing.

From this we can consider the little things (to execute the idea).

  • ‘Know your finances’. It’s got to be the quickest way to a yes or no. If you know how much is going in and out of your company and how much you have in reserve, then you can make an informed decision quickly. That said, if you don’t have the money, ask whether it is worth the gamble of borrowing the money? – considering your gut instinct.
  • ‘Man power’. You may have the cash, but do you have the capacity? This can be a defining factor, so you need to know your schedules. Some people may be happy to work overtime for your business. People may be up for ‘time for equity’ if they think it could work. Time for equity ensures people are more likely to put the effort in to making something work because they share the risks/rewards with you. It’s a great way to see how sure people are about their own idea too.
  • ‘Resources are vital’. You might have all the above in abundance, but I would hesitate on moving forwards until you know that you have the suitable resources required for a project and/or you can dedicate your available resources to something. Remember to bear in mind whether there is likely to be hidden expenses, out-sourcing, renting, legals, or certificates etc.

Essentially, we try to adopt the ‘Lean Start-Up Fail Fast’ approach – http://theleanstartup.com/principles. When you are satisfied that all lights are green on an idea, you will experience the terrifying yet exhilarating panic and delight that comes with being able to say ‘we made this happen.’ Our little saying we refer to from proposition to execution, just to keep things real because that’s how we work here at WATB, is ‘would you rather try and fail or live with never knowing?’ Take it with a pinch of salt though, not literally.

Social Media Management Software

In order to promote your business and reach consumers that spend an entire 24 hours a week online, you need to make sure that you have a viable social media strategy in place.

By posting unique and interesting content on your social media platforms, and by actively engaging with followers, you can start to turn this into a funnel for generating leads.

In order to stay on top of your social media strategy, it’s important to have some form of social media management software to do some of the heavy lifting. Software such as this is imperative for scheduling, tracking and monitoring social media content.

At its best, social media management software can help you not only plan your content months in advance, but also remain reactive by letting you tune into ongoing news stories or trending topics.

Screenshot of Hootsuite's homepage

We recommend: Hootsuite

There are a whole bunch of social media management companies out there and all of them offer roughly the same sort of package but Hootsuite is the only one that offers an actually free service (as opposed to just a free trial period).

They do try to hide it on their website though so make sure you follow this link in order to get to the right page.

The free version of this software lets you:

  • Manage up to three social media profiles from a choice of channels including Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest and LinkedIn
  • Schedule up to 30 posts in advance at any point in time
  • Track follower growth, likes and comments
  • Integrate two RSS feeds in order to find and share compelling content
  • Access Hootsuite’s online help center and community forum

Of course, there’s also a number of paid-for packages that you can buy from Hootsuite that give you access to a great number of services including higher ad spend budgets, automated post scheduling and custom analytics.

But if you’re a small business looking to get started, the free version of the software should be comprehensive enough to allow you to get your social media strategy in motion.

Website Tracking Software

We’ve said before that the secret to a successful lead generation strategy is to keep analysing and refining your methods. Well, website tracking software is the best way to conduct this analysis.

By digging into the analytics of your visitors’ actions, you can start to gain a better picture of why people come to your site, what they want from it, what they dislike about it and how you can improve upon their experience next time.

There are a wide variety of services that can fall into the category of website tracking software, including heatmaps, funnels, user polls, surveys, visitor recordings and more.

Basically, any kind of software that collects data about the ways in which your visitors interact with your site can be considered website tracking software.

Screenshot of Hotjar's homepage

We recommend: Hotjar

Whereas there are a multitude of smaller software companies that focus in on just one website tracking service, Hotjar offers an array of useful tools.

Hotjar tools include:

  • Click, move, scroll, download and share heatmaps that can also be split by device type
  • Visitor recordings that allow you to replay sessions of real site visitors
  • Conversion funnels that identify on which page and at which step the most visitors are leaving your site
  • Form analysis that can help you to discover which fields take too long to fill, which are left blank and why your visitors abandon your form and page
  • A customizable widget that allows you to create pop-up feedback polls
  • Responsive surveys that can be distributed through web links and emails, or featured your site just before your visitors abandon the page in order to discover what their concerns are
  • The ability to recruit test users in order to get instant feedback on your site

Hotjar’s free service is able to collect data from 2000 page views a day and will give you access to up to 300 visitor recordings and 3 heatmaps, forms, funnels, polls and surveys. Unlimited users can be added to your account and Hotjar will also store your data for a full year.

While we’d normally recommend free services when possible, it’s probably worth paying for Hotjar’s Plus plan to begin with.

For just under £25 a month you can collect data from 10,000 page views a day and have unlimited services and reports. Plus there’s even a 15-day free trial for you to test out whether you like their software or not.

Remember

Lead generation doesn’t have to be an expensive endeavour.

What’s important is that you put real effort into all of your interactions with potential leads - whether that’s through educational and informative blog posts, social media interactions or even just a chat on the phone.

If you believe in your business’ ability to help its customers then all you have to do is let that shine through.

Ultimately, these tools are just there to help you meet potential leads on their level. The rest is up to you.

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