As I was straightening out the many books on my bookshelves, I accidentally dropped the book entitled The Martha Rules – 10 Essentials for Achieving Success as You Start, Build, or Manage a Business.
I read this book several years ago and before I knew it, I found myself flipping through the pages again. Then I realized that what better way to start a New Year, a new month or a new quarter than by developing a marketing plan that ensures success in 2013 and beyond.
Here are the 10 Martha Rules that apply whether you are a new entrepreneur, a seasoned business owner or a recognized business mogul:
Rule #1 – What’s Passion Got To Do With It? Search and experiment until you find your passion, then this work will fulfill and empower you to create, build, devise, initiate, lead and serve.
Rule #2 – What’s the Big Idea? Walk in your customers’ shoes and ask the right questions before jumping into a Big Idea.
Rule #3 – Clarity: Zoom In and Out. It takes a telescope, a wide-angle lens, a microscope and the ability to use each appropriately to succeed as a business owner. Clear vision, a good accountant and lawyer, a pragmatic look at risk, and a frugal culture are key.
Rule #4 – Share, Connect, Build, and Manage. If making money is more important than your customers’ satisfaction and loyalty, then you may have not yet found the right business to build.
Rule #5 – All Dressed Up and Ready to Grow. Promotional creativity without common sense is costly, but common sense alone is boring. Clever, unexpected and creative advertising paired with publicity that captures media interest puts products in your customers’ hands.
Rule #6 – Quality: Every Decision, Every Day. Escape today’s status quo of dispensable, inferior, and even useless products. Corporate cultures should embrace and produce quality at every level because that equates to happy customers.
Rule #7 –Talent, Energy, Integrity, Optimism, and Generosity. Seek and hire only the best employees, who collaborate toward common goals and fully understand and respect your Big Idea.
Rule #8 – Gather the Good, Abandon the Bad, Clear Your Mind, and Move On. Resist panic. Stay in control no matter the business challenge. She said: “with common sense and determination, we can turn what looks like a disaster into a triumph.”
Rule #9 – Calculated Risks, Careless Chances. Long-shot chances, especially financial ones, tend to wake you out of a sound sleep. So when opportunity presents itself, realize it’s not the last time it will knock.
Rule #10 – Make It Beautiful. Listen, learn, innovate and become an authority for your customers and remember to always “make it beautiful.”
Martha Stewart, a Barnard College graduate, has made a career out of understanding her market. Joan Rivers, another Barnard College alum, wrote in her own biography something to the effect that, “If you appeal to the masses you dine with the classes. And if you reach for the classes you dine with the masses.” Martha could definitely say the same.
What has made Martha and Joan successful — it is simple. They learned the importance of:
- Being passionate.
- Coming up with the Big Idea.
- Hiring good people.
- Doing quality work.
- Taking risks and not chances.