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How Do You Get Outside The Box?


Over the years, when I’ve been talking to prospective clients, I’ve been asked many times what I know of their industry.

Sometimes I know plenty, and other times I know nothing.  Either way, it doesn’t matter.

My skill in life is as a marketer.  That’s what I’ve done for the last two and a half decades, across a huge number of companies, industry sectors, company sizes, company structures and so on.  The principles of business and the principles of marketing stay the same, no matter what.  My skill (well, the skill of any professional marketer) is to assess the company and its business against my knowledge and experience and decide what needs to be done, taking everything into consideration, to get the company where its owner wants it to go.  I then have to work with the business owner to navigate the many twists and turns along the way, giving my guidance where I can and when its appropriate.

This week, the railway line at Dawlish collapsed with the battering of the gales and the huge waves.  I doubt any structural engineer or building company would have had that particular experience before, but their years of knowledge and experience allows them to look at the situation and work out what needs to be done to get the railway back on its tracks again.

And I guess it’s the same with you and your particular set of knowledge and experience: you can apply it to any set of circumstances that come your way within your knowledge field.


Your business consists of your operational side (that’s the bit you’re good at because that’s the bit you “do”), your financial side, and your marketing and sales side.  Over all of these is the general shape, direction and running of the business.  And sometimes, as business owners, when we’re right in the thick of the day to day running of our business, we can forget to look up and see our business from a different perspective.  In fact, we can get so emotionally tied to our business that it’s hard to see anything but perfection (no-one can do it as well as me!), or anything but disaster (argh! It’s all going wrong!).

Don’t worry – I haven’t seen a business owner yet who doesn’t swing between these two poles, mostly on the same day!

This is where outside expertise can come in very useful.  Any serious athlete will have a team of experts and performance coaches in his or her entourage, and you’re no different.  Your accountant will have a real insight into how you grow financially; your marketing coach or consultant will have a real insight into how you increase your revenue and profits, making sure that your message is right to the right kind of people, whilst maintaining your brand integrity and values; your business consultant will have real insight into the kind of structure your business should take, and what overall direction it should go in.

The clients I’ve worked with who see real results are the ones who keep a team of experts closely around them.  They ask advice and value outside input: as an “outsider” we can often see the “obvious” or the things that you can’t see, because you’re too close.  We can see the “obvious” due of our experience with lots of other clients.

If you’re wanting to grow this year then, you have a couple of options:

Get yourself an expert team and keep them close around you.  Trust them and use them: they will only have your best interests at heart and will bring lots of knowledge, experience and insight to benefit your business.  They will love it if you make them truly part of the team, and your reward will be huge.


Take a day or two out right away from the business.  Away from phones, texts, tablets (of the electronic variety), kids, shopping, and washing.  Go somewhere different – try a spa, or a country hotel, or a coffee shop in town.  And think differently.  If nothing else, sit somewhere else in your office or home.  A change of scenery can inspire a whole change in the way you think.

So, literally “getting outside of your box” can be great to see things in your business differently.  An expert team around you though will give you that “outside the box” thinking every single day.

This week then, do stop and think about how you can think about your business in a different way, or how you can get the outside support that you need.  It can make all the difference to the on-going growth of your business.

Have a great week.
Dedicated to your success,


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