🎯 Work Smart Wednesday - September 20, 2023
Why you might be thinking too small, Twitter algorithm unlocked, and a quote on why small business is hard
Work Smart Wednesday
👋 Hey there!
Here is your weekly dose of Work Smart Wednesday
In these emails I will share with you 3 things to help you work smarter in 3 minutes or less. That leaves you with 10,077 more minutes to conquer your goals this week
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1. 🤏 You might be thinking too small
In Work Smart Wednesday last week when discussing why hiring should be the last thing you do, I briefly mentioned a common problem in small businesses: bottlenecks caused by the founder being the main point of contact. Today, I am going to expand on that point as it relates to a larger issue - thinking small.
When companies are small, founders often get caught up reacting to situations. They get stuck in a ‘chicken and egg’ problem, a loop, where they cannot do x because they aren’t big, but they can’t get big because they cannot do x.
For example, I recently had a conversation with a client of mine where they identified that allowing their team to communicate directly with their clients would lead to significant improvements. However, my client felt that they couldn’t enact the policy as they cannot risk their team member poaching their client. This is reacting.
When we delved into this further, they were stuck in a loop - not having open communications between their team and their client meant they were doing a lot of ‘grunt work’, which drastically restricted their ability to grow, but because they couldn’t grow they felt uncomfortable allowing the team to communicate with clients.
We redefined the problem using Uber as an example. Uber wouldn’t have been able to grow if users couldn’t have basic contact with drivers, or if the CEO handled those interactions personally, but those communications did pose a risk to Uber as it gave drivers the ability to get deals direct with potential clients. Sometimes people find it easier to solve problems for others than for themselves, redefining your situation in this way can help you unlock valuable insights.
In this ‘stuck in a loop’ situation you need to proactively break the chain, the cycle, the loop.
There are many ways to be proactive and break the loop. One of the easiest ways to break out of this problem is to look at what the bigger companies in your niche, or similar niches, are doing. Compare your processes with the processes of a comparable business, albeit a larger one. The bigger companies have probably experienced, and solved, this problem before. You can steal that solution.
There are definite advantages to being a small company, such as being able to act quickly and provide a personal touch, but sometimes you need to borrow ideas from the bigger players. You need to be selective, but you can benefit if you look into larger competitors and model best practices from big organisations, even when you're small. Be proactive. Think big. Act big. Often, those practices that seem counterintuitive or difficult for a small business are how you achieve those higher levels of financial success in the first place.
In the case of my client, we introduced systems to allow his employees to communicate with clients in a way he felt comfortable (so my client could see conversations if needed). We also implemented other similar communications systems to allow the team to communicate amongst themselves, significantly reducing the amount of ‘management’ my client needed to do. This not only reduced my client’s stress levels and time requirement, it significantly improved efficiency within the business and allowed him to focus on tasks that brought in better money.
In what ways do you act too small in your business? What do you need to ‘think big’ about?
P.s. don’t be afraid to build upon those best practices and/or adapt them for your own use. Their process might be out of date - often you find it is a legacy process from when the founder was more directly involved. As per the famous Picasso quote, “good artists borrow, great artists steal”.
2. 🔓 Twitter secrets become open source
Elon has really tried hard to shake things up. Whether you like him or not, you cannot argue that he doesn’t try to forge his own path.
AI, social media, and search engine algorithms have been notoriously tightly held, with some key players stating that nobody knows how the algorithms work.
Elon recently made the Twitter (AKA ‘X’) algorithm open source. He has let everybody see the code that drives the Twitter algorithm. This is extremely valuable for you if you use ANY social media as you now know exactly how to game the system. I would bet good money that the algorithm on Twitter is likely similar across all social media platforms. When you know what drives virality, you can optimise for it.
Previously nobody really knew what drives the algorithms, people just had best guesses based on their experience. Now people can see for certain and adjust accordingly.
Companies are reacting to this change at different speeds. Around 70% of Calvin Klein's tweets are now questions, but 100% of Ralph Lauren's tweets are statements. What's happening?
Calvin Klein has reacted. You can react right now too.
1 reply is worth 13.5 retweets and 27 likes.
Replies are HUGE. So take heed. Learn from Calvin Klein: “Don't write at the reader. Involve them.”
For non-technies, you can view an overview of the Twitter algorithm here: https://blog.twitter.com/engineering/en_us/topics/open-source/2023/twitter-recommendation-algorithm
Take these lessons to significantly improve your content across all social media and reap the rewards. Small business can move quickly. Use that advantage now before the big companies can react.
3. 💡 Quote I'm pondering
"It is harder to build a small business than a big business because level 10 talent is only attracted to big opportunities” - Stephen A Schwarzman
We recently covered why now is the best time to steal top talent. While it is true that top talent wants top opportunity, talent is increasingly favouring remote working practices. The best companies made in the next 10 years will be remote-first.
That's it! I can't wait to hear what you think. What did you find most useful? What do you want more or less of? Reply to this email now and let me know
Also, if you have anything interesting to share, I want to know about it😊
Have a great week,
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