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Grunt Work

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Marketing Grunt Work

Stop stressing over details! Some marketing tasks are time consuming and mundane. The work has to get done. 

You don't have the time or tolerance to do it yourself and you can't pull staff members away from their regular duties. What do you do? OUTSOURCE IT!

If you have "grunt work" that needs to get done, call 2Q Solutions for help.


  • Trade show prep or follow-up: Many companies face the dilemma of trying to follow up on leads with existing staff, but their people are already tied up with regular tasks. They soon get overwhelmed and the leads grow cold. 
  • Database updating: Mailing product literature and other marketing materials to people who are no longer there gets expensive. Why not get your database up to date and perform a customer survey while you're at it? 
  • Research: Getting prices on a number of options and coordinating many sources can be a poor use of your valuable time.

CALL TODAY to find out how you can get help with your marketing grunt work - 636-699-8772

Solve the Right Problem

Tuesday, April 21, 2015


run time: 3:24

Are you solving the wrong problems?

In my junior year of high school I was sick for a few days and missed some classes. I did, however, have someone bringing my homework to me. I hated algebra but I was very proud that I was able to solve one particular problem. I handed in my paper with a big smile, only to find out that I was confused about the instructions and had solved the wrong problem. Even though I got it right I got no credit for it.

Part of your success in business depends on solving the right problems. Some problems are high level and have big implications. Others are lower impact but still effect your bottom line.

Pay Attention to High Impact Problems

Here's a high impact example from my friend George and his motorcycle shop. He wasn't meeting his revenue goals for his service department. He spent more money on marketing and it started working… all too well. His volume quickly exceeded his capacity and he ended up with angry customers. It was no surprise that they didn't refer anyone and they give him bad reviews..

In this case, the first problem to solve related to capacity and customer satisfaction.

Right now I'm thinking of a client who wants to grow his business. We decided to first pay attention to client satisfaction. We're improving the machine before cranking it up. We want to first grow through existing clients who will return and refer others. If we fail to do that, we'll waste a lot of money on marketing and end up with frustrated employees and dissatisfied clients.

Low Impact Problems Also Matter


Fix Your Small Problems First

Ken Homza is a fractional CFO, an associate and a friend. His book titled, "Your Cash Is Flowing" is available on Amazon. Ken has a chapter in his book titled "Fix Your Small Problems First." It's not about focusing on the trivial, it's about solving small problems before they become big ones. Ken gives a great example of a leaky roof. If you don't repair it you'll soon have a bigger problem to deal with. By the way, I heartily recommend Ken's book.

Asking Good Questions is the Key

So what is the right problem to solve? There is no crystal ball or banner in the sky that will tell you what to do. Here's my suggestion: refrain from shooting from the hip. Learn how to step back, take a view from the larger perspective and ask good questions.

Learning how to identify and solve the right problems will help you become more profitable while reducing headaches.

Steve Smart works with busy entrepreneurs who want to improve their marketing efforts. He lives in St. Louis and can be reached at or 636-699-8772.



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Outshine Your Competition

Thursday, April 02, 2015


Star light star bright how do I outshine competitors tonight?

The north star. The big dipper. Orion's belt. I learned about stars and constellations as a kid but I can’t remember much more than that. I guess I’ll have to turn in my astronomy merit badge.

What is it that makes those stars stand out among others? Are they closer? Are they bigger?

I don’t think many people really care about the why. What we do know is this: For centuries the stars and constellations have been a source of inspiration for lovers, guidance for sailors and wide-eyed wonder for children all over the world.

When it comes to business we DO care about the why and how. We want to know how we can stand out and outshine our competitors.

There are different ways to think about this. One way is to think in terms of distinctions and what makes you different, better and more attractive. It’s about identifying and exploiting your strengths. But how do you do that?

I’ve found that it’s typically hard for business owners to think clearly about this kind of thing. We’re so close to our own business it’s hard to be objective.

Working through your distinctions will help you identify your strengths.

I divide distinctions into three different types;

  • Philosophical Distinctions
  • Mechanical Distinctions
  • Validating Distinctions

Each of these three distinctions represent a different reason for people to be attracted to you and say YES to you.

Philosophical distinctions

These relate to your values, beliefs and approach to life or business. It gives people a reason to say, “Yes, I like that about them. I can relate to that. It resonates with me.”

Here’s an example: A couple years ago Panera launched its "Live consciously, eat deliciously" campaign. The idea was to give voice to their values so people connect with their brand on a more emotional level.

"Mechanical" distinctions.

This relates to the way people interact with you or your product. It may or may not be something physical. It gives people a reason to say, "Yes, I like the way that works." Let me give you a couple examples:

You might know about a new product on the market called The Nest. It's a self-learning, programmable thermostat. What people like about The Nest is how they interact with the product, or DON'T interact with it. The Nest learns your schedule, programs itself and can be controlled by your phone. Pretty cool. I like the way it works.

I also like to use Amazon as an example for the way I interact with them. They keep my billing and shipping information so I don't have to enter it every time. And I can create any number of wish lists. There are several other features I appreciate and yep, you guessed it. I like the way Amazon works.

Validating distinctions.

They give people a reason to say, "Yes, I like that. I can trust them." It relates to things like certifications, special knowledge or remarkable experience.

Let me give you a couple of examples: Turner Motorsport is a company that sells performance parts for BMWs. They also have a race team that does pretty well. Because of their own experience testing and proving their parts at the race track people like me figure they're a resource they can trust.

I'll give you a local example. Weber Chevrolet recently ran some ads that talked about the how many years their employees have been working there. It leaves me with this impression: If their employees stick around for so long, I figure they're trustworthy.

There's one final point I want to make. Using this process can not only help you discover the strengths you have, it can also help you identify strengths you can create and develop.

So what makes you different, better and more attractive? How do you outshine your competitors?

Do you need some coaching? I'm Steve Smart. Give me a call and I'll be happy to be of service.

Steve Smart works with busy entrepreneurs who want to improve their marketing efforts. He lives in St. Louis and can be reached at or 636-699-8772.



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