You can’t make this stuff up. Farmers in Krasnogorsk, an agricultural region northwest of Moscow, have outfitted their cows with virtual reality goggles. “The Moscow region agricultural administration cited Dutch and Scottish research suggesting that a calming atmosphere increases diary production,” according to the Moscow Times. The high-tech glasses are designed to trick cows into thinking they’re in a lush, grassy summer field. How’s that for a creative approach to increase production for small business growth?
Of course, having owned a small farm with 30 fenced acres of actual pasture, I wonder what happens when those cows try to graze on concrete. Apparently, perception these days trumps reality. Just like with people, cows seem susceptible to a creatively contrived reality. It looks like you can now lead a horse (or cow) to water and actually make them drink (the Kool-Aid). Sounds like the internet.
How much is that clever stunt really costing you?
Admittedly, while there’s not much that shocks me these days, the fact that farmers are outfitting bovines with VR headgear did. Especially since it’s in Russia. The jury’s still out on whether conning these cows will produce more milk. Somehow, it seems hard to believe any amount of extra milk is going to cover the cost of this high-tech gear. That’s always an interesting quandary for small business owners to consider.
How much is a stunt, or an investment, or a deception, going to cost you in the long-run? It’s easy to jump all in when some self-proclaimed guru claims a proven success strategy. I get sad each time I meet a well-meaning small business owner who has invested considerable time and money on ill-conceived “promises”. Of course, it’s also uplifting to work with those undeterred by mistakes, ready to give it another go with solid, professional support.
It’s tempting to invent an angle for media exposure. It’s alluring when someone speaks with total confidence about the shortcut they offer for your success. It’s easy to stretch the truth just a little to land a big client or sell a crowd.
Sadly, duped media members remember; promises of tricks for quick success line promoters’ pockets, not yours; and little lies not only undermine your credibility, but also sully your soul.
It’s not just that, though. Before you jump into a scheme that seems to good to be true, consider the money needed to get there and the time you’ll lose when it fails. Smart small business growth doesn’t come from quick fixes. It takes time, effort and consistency to succeed. Those gazelle successes you read about are one in a million – probably more.
I’m not saying VR headsets won’t increase milk production, although do find the whole idea laughable. What I wonder is if anyone has calculated the return on investment. Sure, it’s likely being subsidized by a think tank or the government, but the cost is real. Small business owners can’t afford to invest in strategies that will never earn back their cost.
Honesty reigns with small business growth
Sure, you might see a bump in sales or revenue by conning your employees, vendors, prospects and/or clients. Long-term success, however, requires a forthright and honest approach. After all, today’s world embraces authenticity. This means most object to manipulative selling. People might take a while to figure out they’ve been fooled, but often react with a vengeance, maligning you online once they realize the deception.
Whether they’re right or wrong, there are countless people ready to share their critical tale because, well, it’s a Kool-Aid thing on social media these days. You can’t control what people say about you. What you can control is how they feel about you. Doing this right starts with a policy of being upfront, truthful and dedicated to offering only what you have the knowledge and capacity to provide.
It’s easy to feel desperate when finances are tight. Sometimes this leads even the most well-intentioned business owners to promise what they can’t deliver. Don’t do this.
Anyone who’s living in fear of not having enough money to cover monthly expenses makes poor choices. Give you and your business a chance by ensuring you have funds set aside to cover the ramp-up phase and slow income months. Cash flow issues can cripple a business. It also muddles your mind.
Virtual reality isn’t a cure
Cows might enjoy believing their concrete cell is a grassy hillside. For us humans, though, it’s only a matter of time before most realize what they’re being fed is a hoax.
It’s tempting to promise what you think people want. Usually what they need is something very different. If you focus on saying “yes” rather than thinking through what’s best for you and the people you serve, you and your small business growth will suffer. Be smarter by developing marketing strategies that serve both you and all the people you touch.
Wise small business marketing is about understanding what your customers want and delivering it with honesty and excellence. Don’t try to paint a picture that’s untrue. Hone in on where your best talents lie and be the best you.
Need some help defining your strengths and opportunities? Consider how you could save time, money and headaches with seasoned, professional support geared toward small business issues. You might want to check out a Marketing Recommendations & Strategies Report or one of my other introductory services, starting at $275. Virtual reality goggles not included.