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What is the Value of Buzzwords to Small Business Owners?


You have seen them, heard them, and used them. So have I. Buzzwords—there are a lot going around. Buzzwords are phrases that are shorthand for something meaningful in the culture at the moment. Harvested from television, thought leaders, politics, and the world at large, buzzwords are often a fast way of saying something more complicated.


Every so often you see an article listing the top ten or 20 most overused buzzwords. It is an easy, entertaining topic. But business buzzwords, whether overused or not, provide reminders of valuable ideas that could help your business.


Thinking outside the box and that kind of thing


Old and new, buzzwords have something for everyone. My job is to work with entrepreneurs to help them create value. Value is a big buzzword—but also the perfect word to define why someone should want to buy the product or service that someone else is selling.


Let’s take a look at some buzzwords of note, and what they might mean for you as an entrepreneur:


  • Win-win: This is a great phrase, which has been around a long time. It rolled into the culture with the alternative dispute resolution (ADR) movement, and techniques like negotiation, for people to get what they want without bankrupting their businesses through litigation. For the entrepreneur, win-win is all about building the product someone wants, and charging a fair price for that asset. Too often, small business owners develop a great service, and charge too little. Sure, you have customers, but selling at a perpetual loss eventually stifles or destroys your business. Be fair—to yourself, and others. Win-win—a great product or service sold at a profitable price—is something you should always aim for.


  • Core-competency: Thrown around a lot, especially in tech and human resource fields, core competency is an important word for the small business owner. Time and again, I ask my clients what they want to be doing, and I work with them on what they should be doing as the owner of their business. Way too often, they spend their time on tasks that could be done by others. As an entrepreneur, you must tend to your core competency—i.e., the work in your business that only you can do—and delegate the rest.


  • Think outside the box: This old term was practically a mantra for an incoming generation of innovators, tech talent, and business owners. For entrepreneurs, thinking outside the box is not a buzzword—it is a necessity if you want to stay relevant in the marketplace.


  • Storytelling: Although it is a new buzzword, storytelling is far older than the marketing industry. Storytelling is all about another buzzword, engagement. Humans are attuned to narrative of any length. For example, case studies are storytelling. The kind of engagement created by storytelling helps you explain your products and services, build a solid customer base, and draws your clients into an ongoing relationship with you and your brand.


  • Big Data: The term Big Data is often used by marketers telling you that you need more Big Data to know how to sell to your customer. But, Big Data is actually just a lot of information that we now have the technology to capture. To use Big Data, you have to be smart and know what data you really need—and how it can help you. I work with marketing automation and help my clients fine-tune their data needs, in order to personalize and enrich the buying experience of their customers.


  • Millennials and Boomers: Some buzzwords that describe your consumer audience are Millennials and Boomers. The Boomers were born after World War II and are pushing big changes in health care, retirement, and other services. Millennials were born between 1982 and 2004. These young adults grew up with tech and represent a strong market segment for goods and services. Strangely, no one talks much about the so-called Generation X, individuals born between about 1961 and 1981. Growing up on the cusp of the technology boom, Generation X’ers are in prime purchasing years and should not be ignored.


  • At the end of the day: Pithy but perfect, at the end of the day, is the goal of your business planning. Always understand the bigger picture, your goals, and how much money you need—and want—to make from your small business enterprise. With no horizon line, you have no idea where you are going. Create structure, get advice, and adjust your business goals as you, and the economy, change.

Making bank. It means earning a profit. When you want to make more money by working smarter not harder, call me at 585-633-7563.

Yours in profit,

Bob Britton

About the Author Bob Britton