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Check The Candy For Razor Blades

Do you remember when you were a kid, your parents had to check all the Halloween candy for razor blades and other bad stuff before you could eat it?

My parents never found a razor blade or anything else. I was always hoping for some excitement - but always came away empty handed.

My wife and I have a child on the way - our first. I'll probably check her candy for razor blades too - although I'm not sure why. I'm not sure if there is a real threat. Maybe I'll just too it because my dad did it. That's they way the world works.

People just like to do things the way everyone else does things...or the way they've always done things.

Well, in the instance of Halloween candy, it's probably OK. But when it comes to your marketing, you're asking for big trouble if you do things the way you always have...or the way everyone else does things.

Take, for example, marketing to your current customer list. Almost nobody does that. And in the rare case someone does, they usually mess it up.

You see, people are fairly infatuated by "industry norms." They like to stick to the norm. It's safe there - and it's normal. I know what it's like. My default mode is to follow the norm. It's Jim who often reminds me to veer left to avoid the oncoming normal ness.

But the truth is, "the norm" delivers normal results. And most small businesses fail. So if you're a small business who is following "the norm," you're lining up for failure.

Instead, if you want success, you have to go way past "the norm" and be exceptional. It's really not that difficult. You just have to forget about what everyone else is doing, and create your own rule book. Your only chance for success is to be a veritable mutant.

Back to marketing to your list. Simple advice: do it. A lot. You're biggest profits are lying right under your nose. Stay in touch with your friends, potential customers, and past customers as often as possible.

Dan Kennedy suggests a unique item to send to your list next month: Halloween bags...with your company logo or GPS written on it. Pretty nifty idea. In fact, he's even lined up a printer who is making them, so if anyone is interested, let us know and we'll get you the contact info.

The point is to touch your people...and somehow add value to their lives. If your customers have children, the Halloween bag is a good way to do that. But the list is endless...and somewhat unimportant. By virtue of doing anything, sending anything, saying anything, you will be far better off than your competitor.