Traction Thinking: A Marketing Manifesto

Something all successful business owners have is a real focus and the discipline to maintain it. 

You see, you MIGHT succeed if you’re unfocused, but it’ll be by accident.

You’ll wander aimlessly, and the lessons you’ll learn will be more painful and harder-won.

Simply put, if there’s any secret to small business success, it’s focus.

But when I say focus, I do not mean myopia.

I know that as a small business owner, at any given time, you are juggling a million things.

What I mean by focus is, there’s one metric you’re focused on above all else.

Which is the primary goal of this section. I’m going to teach you how to focus on the right thing, at the right time, with the right mindset.

Let’s begin…

Lesson 2

Focus on One Metric at a Time

Here at GorillaDesk, we set some pretty aggressive growth goals.

The litmus test we use to determine if we’re on track to achieve those goals is the clarity with which each team member understands and tracks their key performance indicator (KPI).

If it’s on the tip of their tongues and aligned with our growth goals, we are on track.

If they don’t know what their KPI is, if it’s the wrong KPI for our growth goal, if they’re tracking too many KPIs, or if they don’t know what the current value is, we know we’re off track.

You see, picking ONE KPI allows you to run experiments quickly and compare the results more effectively, which is what marketing is all about… experimentation.

Re-read that last sentence, because it’s super important.

The essence of marketing is experimentation.

And the way you succeed at running experiments is by choosing one KPI.

Unfortunately, focusing on one KPI is not enough.

You also need to draw a line in the sand.

This means you need to pick a specific number, set it as your target, and have enough confidence that if you hit it, your company will propel forward.

Now, picking a specific number for your KPI is extremely hard.

We’ve seen many businesses struggle with this, ourselves included.

And what ends up happening is they avoid picking a number altogether…

Which is worse than picking no number at all.

Because if you don’t have a target, you won’t have something to aim for.

Here’s an all too common example…

Let’s say you decide to run your first marketing experiment. 

If the experiment falls flat on its face, you’re going to know it was a failure.

Conversely, if your experiment is insanely successful, you’re going to know that as well.

But that RARELY ever happens.

Often, the results of your marketing experiments fall somewhere in the middle, which makes it important to have a specific number in mind.

Here’s why…

If you don’t select a specific number, you won’t know what to do…

Should you pivot (try something else), patch (tweak something small), or persevere (keep the experiment going)?

This is a bad spot to be in, and a place many far too many small business owners find themselves in when they first start marketing: a place of indecision.

Luckily, I’ve made it super simple for you to determine which metric you should track.

And it all boils down to which stage you’re in.

You see, it doesn’t matter what industry you’re in—pest control, pool service, or something in between—all local service businesses share the same business model more or less.

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