When you look at your business, what’s your perspective? Or, to put that another way, do you see mostly the detail – or can you see the ‘big picture’?

Putting the detail at arm’s length…

If you’re wondering why I would ask that question, or even why it’s important, then take a look at the pictures in this article.

The first shows an internal view of a remarkable structure – part natural, part man-made – in Cappadocia, on the Anatolian plateau in central Turkey.

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The second shows the same structure from the outside.

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And the third is a shot from a hot air balloon, showing the structure in its natural context – yes, it’s the one just visible on the far horizon, way over on the right…

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When I was travelling through Cappadocia I was struck, forcefully, by the strangeness of the landscape at ground level – the clusters of so-called ‘fairy chimneys’ that seemed to dominate the landscape.

These formations are entirely natural – eroded from soft tufa overlaid with a harder rock, also of volcanic origin – but they don’t look natural. And it’s even stranger to find that many have been hollowed out to create surprisingly comfortable dwelling-places – cool in the harsh heat of summer and relatively warm in the bleak Anatolian winters.

So what’s it like in your business?

Very often being a business owner can be rather like living in a cave.

If you’re lucky it’s a comfortable cave with all mod cons, cool when things get hot and pleasantly warm when the climate has turned against you – but most of the time you’re only seeing it from the inside.

You rarely (if ever) see it from outside – and you certainly never see it in the context of the business world of which it is a part.

So what can you do about it? And how could your newsletter help?

Getting it all in perspective…

It’s very easy to laugh at PR companies (as portrayed, for example, in those two excellent series, 2012 and W1A) but they don’t all talk gibberish, and the good ones perform a vital service.

They look at your business from the outside – as the rest of the world sees it. Which means they can see – often more easily than you – what’s important, what’s trivial, and what’s irrelevant.

In the context of newsletters, that’s what a good, experienced copywriter can do for you – someone like Sally Ormond, for example, whose guest blog will appear here shortly, or Nikki de Villiers, an experienced and much valued member of our copywriting team.

But – if only as an exercise – it’s also something you should try doing for yourself. Because if you can manage it, you could save yourself a great deal of heartache…

Why navel-gazing is bad for you

Inward contemplation is a wonderful thing – when done properly, and in its place. When done by a business leader (or to be precise, when done by a business leader wanting to improve sales) it’s less desirable.

What you need to know is what clients honestly think of the product or service you provide – how it helps them, what problems it solves for them, and what direct benefits it brings to them.

Things may look fine from the inside, but that’s because you’re sitting in your comfortably carved-out niche, only connecting with the outside world when it finds a way into your nicely furnished cave.

You need to be looking at it from the outside – and preferably from as far away as possible – to understand what’s working, what’s not working, and what should be thrown swiftly out of that balcony window and as far away as possible…

Because until you’ve done that, you won’t be able to communicate successfully either with your current clients, or with those exciting new prospects who don’t (yet) know just how much they need you…

So how can you do that? Keep reading this blog, and I’ll explain…!

In our next issue I’ll share my experience of travelling in a country that’s still rather inward-looking (as, indeed, many companies are) – and the lessons I’ve learned from it that could benefit your business.

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