Holding your nerve in uncertain times

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In an uncertain world it can be tempting to focus only on short term goals.

After all, with coronavirus lockdowns creating financial carnage, and a still undetermined Brexit looming on the horizon, it can feel pointless to plan.

If the world’s best pollsters cannot accurately forecast an election when it is mere days away what chance do small businesses have in predicting their future?

And when there are financial pressures to contend with, due to falling sales, or growing overheads, it is only natural to feel a sense of unease or even panic.

But it usually makes sense to hold your nerve.

Rushing into a re-brand, hastily updating your website design, or launching a rash marketing promotion can do more harm than good, and often creates a distraction just at the moment when deep focus and a steady hand are required.

Designing a brand identity, that communicates your unique customer value proposition, means following a well defined process from brief to execution.

Developing a website to engage your audience, and attract enquiries and sales, requires careful planning and a deep well of expertise.

Creating marketing campaigns that meet your strategic objectives need careful consideration to ensure your goals are really met (and vanity stats, which look good at first glance, but add little tangible value, are avoided).

It all takes time and persistence, but this is how great companies are made – and how they stay at the top of their game.

Behind every apparent “overnight success” is a thousand days of unseen graft.

Research has shown that long-term investment in building a brand consistently pays greater dividends than short-term marketing promotions.

Unless you are in the business of selling light-up fidget spinners, or some other passing fad, then it makes sense to put a foundation in place that will allow you to grow.

And having done so you will have the scope to employ tactics that allow you to quickly exploit opportunities as they arise, without compromising the integrity of your brand.

Because as Mike Tyson once said, “Everybody has a plan until they get punched in the mouth.”

A version of this article was published as part of a weekly column by Guy Cookson on marketing, design, trends and strategy in the Lancaster Guardian, Blackpool Gazette and Lancashire Post. See our brand, web design and marketing recent projects.

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