Great Business Success Is Like a Great Marriage: Stay ENGAGED

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(DGIwire) — Growing a business: Whew! No one ever said it would be easy. In fact, it is very much like a marriage: first the thrill of the hunt. Then the heady excitement of finding “the One” (one great idea or concept) and building a relationship with that One, day by day. That’s the “romance” stage when you’re structuring it to making it real—and good. Next comes the engagement. Whether you are proposing marriage or proposing business to potential customers, you are hoping for the big “yes.” Ah, therein lies the rub, as Shakespeare would say; and the dilemma can be Shakespearean, because if you don’t do the “engagement” part right you can lose it all.

It’s been widely documented—including by Forbes—that most small businesses fail within the first five years. However, midsized and even large multinational businesses also fail. Need we reference Atari, Circuit City, Polaroid, The Sharper Image and Borders? These are just part of a much longer list, says Business Insider. And then there’s a whole new list of brands in mortal danger, from J.C. Penney to Hostess Cupcakes to Hotmail—just a few of the “circling the drain” predictions also made by expert business watchers at Business Insider.

The reasons for the demise of a company, or its vulnerability to stagnation and eventual failure, are individual and complex. Some companies were like people in a long-term marriage, meaning they took their customers for granted and didn’t recognize their changing needs until it was too late. In many cases, a competitor came swooping in with just what that customer wanted or needed, and their spouse’s (customers’) affections went elsewhere and divorce was on the table.

Growing your business and thriving in this ever-more-complex, competitive and changeable business environment all comes down to the way you “engage.” Just ask an expert: public relations powerhouse Dian Griesel, Ph.D., founder and president of Dian Griesel International.

Her company is an award-winning media relations and news placement agency based in New York City. Interestingly, in her newest book, ENGAGE: Smart Ideas to Get More Media Coverage, Build Your Influence & Grow Your Business, Griesel shares 226 “smart ideas” that companies and their PR teams can use to capture the attention of their target audiences, build influence by establishing expert status and, as a result, power-up the growth of their business to the level they seek.

“In business, as in life, it becomes increasingly easy to slack off and find your company less sensitive to changes in the marketplace and to the needs and desires of your core customers,” says Dian. “If you want to avoid these pitfalls effectively, you need to either farm or hunt. In hunting, you go right for the target, the immediate sale, then ‘eat what you kill.’ With the right public relations, advertising and social media campaigns, that can work. However, you also must sow seeds, grow the plants (relationships), water them and let them grow. To help people employ both these strategies, I have filled ENGAGE with 226 smart ways to enhance your relationship with your target audiences.”

Sounds like a good book to pick up if you don’t ever want to find your company circling the drain—and some of those tips might help keep your personal relationships thriving too.

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