Advice on Growing Your Business


“I don’t think there are any silver bullets when it comes to business advice. The main thing I advocate is to be contemplative about your business. Wake up early every day and go to bed late. Spend the time in between thinking about what’s going on in your business and what you can do to improve it. Create an organization that is contemplative as well, that thinks about how to do things better and takes the initiative to implement the improvements.”


Ben Bradley, founder of (quoted in Darwin Magazine)


Driving along the highway to my next client appointment this morning, I was stuck behind a huge dump truck for a while, as the traffic inched along. The truck was carrying a large load of fresh garden soil, probably top soil destined for the flower beds of one of the large condo developments along that part of the highway. On the back of the truck was the name of the company, along with a telephone number and the slogan “Soil Yourself!”.


No doubt the owner of the business thought it was funny and had put some thought into it before putting it on his truck. I had a bit of a chuckle myself, when I saw it. But at the same time, it struck me that the owner of the truck had fallen into one of the most common marketing mistakes; trying to be humorous in our marketing.


Even if people find your humour amusing, does it sell? My belief is that generally it does not. What sells are clear benefits. In this case there were none.


The worst thing with humour, is that it is open to misinterpretation. Another challenge in these days of political correctness, is that others might find it offensive. So why use something that hides your benefits, is open to misinterpretation or might create offence? In my view the most important thing in advertising is to create a clear Unique Selling Proposition and use it to succinctly communicate why people should choose you over your competition.