effectiveness small business

We're often told to keep one eye on where we're headed and the other on our competition. What if that's not the best thing for us?

I remember my first debate on effectiveness. I was doing post-graduate study and the question was if it was better to be effective or efficient. At the time I thought effectiveness was more important to business, most of the class said efficient. Effectiveness is, at its essence, doing the right thing right. My clients and broader audience value this in their business. The thing that we tend to think it depends upon is the effectiveness of our competitors and how our small business measures up to theirs. It doesn’t. I wanted to remind you why and what is important to determining the effectiveness of your small business.

Why your competitors’ effectiveness doesn’t matter to your small business

Your competitors rarely put money in your pockets or pay your bills. While for some, competition can spur them on, your competitor will be looking back at you trying to replicate or beat them and continuing on their way.

When you look at what your competitors are doing, you are relying on what they want to show online or tell you in conversation or comment. Is what they show you all of their reality? Is what they show really showing effectiveness?

What they show you and lead you to believe is a function of how effective they are, however, what you don’t always see is:effectiveness small business
– advertising
– hours/how they spend their day
– revenue is not the same as profit, and that
– metrics don’t always equal money.

While your competitor is in your industry, there is a good chance that you both serve a different type of client. While they might be exceptional with their client base, it may not translate to your own. Not to mention that your clients are yours because of you.

What is ‘effectiveness’ for your small business?

Effectiveness for a small business is more than just making sales and meeting targets. It’s having a business that meets your (and your business’) drivers – your needs, beliefs, values, and goals. An effective business also doesn’t feed the remaining driver – your fears, but it does help to overcome them. When a business achieves these, they are profitable and meet targets, not only because your goals are achieved.

When your business is effective for you, you can feel more confident, less fear, less imposter syndrome. Why? Because your business is doing the right thing right. It’s doing what you set out to achieve. It’s successful in more than just a financial way. And your business is a reflection of you.

What is effectiveness for your clients?

Earlier I mentioned that many years ago I chose effectiveness over efficiency, doing the right thing right. But who determines what is ‘right’ and what makes it right? Each and every client, each and every time. So how do you know what’s right? I often get asked this when I’m working on engaging social media (neuromarketing) with my clients. They want to know how they can discover what is right for their clients. The good thing is that once you work out what engages your clients for one thing, you can use it for so many others – like what they believe effectiveness.

So how do you know what is effectiveness for your clients? Hopefully they tell you in their feedback, reviews, or testimonials. They can say in their comments, shares, or recommendations when describing what it’s like to work with you. They will tell you your effectiveness and it will fit into one of the following five categories, which also happen to be what drives their behaviour at a deep psychological level:

  • Values
  • Beliefs
  • Goals
  • Needs
  • Overcome fears

Let’s have a look at some of them:

Fears Needs Beliefs Values Goals
Cost less than expected On-time Good quality Kind Felt supported
Didn’t waste my time Worked first time It was worthwhile Honest Felt good about myself
Made me feel safe Reliable Good service Knowledgeable staff It improved xyz
I felt heard/understood Trustworthy Approachable Clearly explained Felt welcomed
I didn’t feel stupid Straight talking Enthusiastic Professional Value for money


While all of these may not be ways your clients see effectiveness in your small business, they are some of the ways that businesses showeffectiveness small business john maxwell quote their effectiveness. Not all clients are concerned with getting the cheapest or best value for money and not all clients who see that as effectiveness are your best clients.

I hope you can see that these are the outcomes you should be aiming for to show and know the effectiveness of your small business. They are how your clients see you and your brand. Do you notice that in some cases they can be in direct opposition to how your competition services the same marketplace and that they rarely have anything to do with your competitors?

While Jeff Bezos said, “Your brand is what other people say about you when you’re not in the room,” I think it’s a measure of the effectiveness of your business and not just how good your marketing is. While good news travels fast, bad news travels faster (and further). It is what your clients say that matter most. They are the best gauge of your effectiveness as they become repeat customers and brand advocates.

If you would like to understand more about how your clients see your effectiveness and how you can use this to your advantage, you can book a free call with me and I can give you a personalised insight.


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