Some business terms evolve from widely established concepts. Others seem to take on a life of their own even though their origins have long been forgotten. The problem is many business owners adopt these latter terms as a philosophy, often resulting in poorly thought out decisions. So in an effort to help clear the mind and focus on what’s real, here are five terms you need to forget.
- ROI. Yes, we all know it stands for return-on-investment. Yet it seems everything we purchase or do for our business has to have one – specifically one that can be measured. Sometimes a new computer, website or redecorating the office can make you feel better about yourself and your business – without having an ROI. And that could prove to be the wisest investment you ever make.
- Web 2.0. A term coined in 2001 after the dot com crash, it now covers everything from social media to ecommerce. Don’t worry about basing your online strategy on a number. Instead focus on a strategy that makes it easy for your market to get what they want.
- Engagement. This word has come to mean more than just keeping someone’s interest. It’s effectiveness is now measured by “likes”, followers and tweets. The problem is a “like” or tweet rarely converts into a sale. The fact is, someone can give you their attention, their approval and their business without the need to prove it on a social media site. So why not focus on talking to those who want to hear from you instead of yelling at those who don’t.
- Big Data. A popular term describing the exponential growth (and study) of available data. For business owners, this can lead to “analysis paralysis”, the inability to make a decision as the result of endless analyzing. Learn to depend less on third party data and trust yourself. In most cases your experience and intuition will be your best influencers.
- Guru. This has become the generic term for anyone who is perceived to be an expert in just about anything. Don’t be impressed. In most cases the title is self awarded. If you’re looking for someone who can provide valuable, relevant advice, let their experience be the most important title.
Marc Gordon is a recognized marketing expert, speaker and strategist. His articles appear in over 200 publications worldwide. Visit his online show at marctv.net for more business tips.