How can training a puppy be helpful for business development?

Walking my dog recently, I realised how similar having a new puppy is to starting marketing at a new business.

Helping growing businesses implement and develop their marketing strategy is what I do (and more importantly enjoy) as a marketing consultant, just as much as I love having a new puppy to train.

Photo by Chevanon Photography from Pexels

Photo by Chevanon Photography from Pexels

However, both are not easy for several reasons:

Seek external help

🐶 Our puppy started to pull on the lead, so we sought advice from reputable sources and purchased a “magic” lead. This did the trick instantly and he stopped pulling. In business we cannot be a master of all trades. We know our product and our market, but we may not know HR, Finance, IT, or Marketing. So external help is always a good option for tackling areas of the business you don’t have expertise in.

Measure and evaluate

🐶On our first walk, some kind soul loudly revved his engine and scared the dog witless – so much so that he hated traffic for weeks. Just like in business; if you try something once and it doesn’t work it does not mean it won’t work in the future. So we tried again and made progress. Therefore, if you try an initiative and it doesn’t work, measure, evaluate and resolve to do better next time.

Back to basics

🐶 We’d licked the recall and thought our job was done and then he didn’t come back one day! Similarly, as in business when the pipeline might not be what it was and suddenly the enquiries have dipped, we went back to basics. We retraced our steps and reviewed our basic strategies and realigned our next steps. Sometimes the day-to-day of running a business causes deviation and we get sucked into areas that might not be as profitable, or bring in the right amount of leads. So, have good metrics in place to ensure you can regularly measure if the business goes off track.

Teamwork is critical

🐶 The dog is a family pet and he started to be naughty for some of us whilst behaving for others. So rather than assume that one of us would take on the training role, we all take part, so we can all control him. Whilst in business everyone needs their roles defined; and though we typically only need one MD, teamwork is critical in working together towards common goals and values. How can we get to the same result if we all have different end games?

Clear objectives

🐶 Finally, I have now watched our puppy charging madly across muddy fields in an endless pursuit for who knows what on several occasions. Eventually he ends up running in interminable circles until he is so tired, he flakes out, covered in all sorts. This reminds me of the tendency in business to go blindly after anything and everything with no thought for the actual end game. Throwing the plan out of the window in pursuit of short-term satisfaction. Just like the puppy, in that scenario we often end up exhausted and making little positive progress – covered in the proverbial mire of unfulfilled expectation. How much better it is to chase after a defined objective!

So, apologies for the deviance into dog stories. Sometimes it is useful to remind ourselves of the basic principles of business development and marketing strategies that help successful businesses grow and develop. A useful article published by Forbes on the four elements of strategic business development can also be found here.

If anyone would like to chat about how I can help them implement marketing into their business, please email me or call 07966 192597.

If anyone has any more #dog analogies – it would be great to see what you can come up with!

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