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If you did not already hear about it, the Ice Bucket Challenge is one of the largest viral sensations on the Internet in recent times and has raised over $100 million till now for ALS research. Ice Bucket Challenge rules state that within 24 hours of being challenged, usually by a friend on Facebook, you must post a video of yourself pouring a bucket of ice water over your head or make a $100 donation to ALS research. Several participants do both and go on to challenge a few of their friends.

What if your business is dared to take the ice-bucket challenge, not for donating $ 100 to ALS but to overcome these top five ice bucket challenges your business may already be facing…..

The Ice-Bucket Challenge Meaning for Business:

The ice bucket challenge represents a classic “win over fear” dare. And those who can not dare pay for the “chickening out” of the dare.

In business, there are several fears every day and the price that a business pays for chickening out is lost sales opportunities, reduced revenue, losses, losing key employees, losing key customers and so on.

The “fears” i.e. the proverbial ice-buckets for your business could be:

The Marketing Investment Ice-Bucket:

Business is all about overcoming uncertainties and marketing is one of the most uncertain of investments, as returns on marketing investments can never be guaranteed. And nothing happens in business unless someone sells something. Small businesses send out thousands of emails thinking that it does not cost them. It does cost in terms of precious time as such emails land up in spam, almost always. How about keeping aside a “penalty” of $ 500 every time you chicken out of investing in that brochure, or website or a marketing campaign? In some time you will save enough money for investing in at least one professional marketing campaign!

The Talent Investment Ice-Bucket:

Unless you are a solo practitioner, you need to invest in people; talented people. But you hire, perhaps, the most economical candidate out there and then invest countless hours in training that person; reviewing his/her work, correcting his/her mistakes; only to find that he/she quits when almost fully trained! How about keeping aside a “penalty” of $ 500 every time you chicken out of investing in a talented but little more expensive (read valuable) candidate? In some time you will save enough money for investing in a more talented next hire!

Losing The Large Client Ice-Bucket:

You will never want to touch this challenge. But for a large client, whose needs potentially outgrow what you can provide, it is not a challenge at all; it’s a necessity. So any moment that large client can leave. How about you taking the “large client left ice-bucket” challenge and go through a “3D experience” of augmented reality on what will be the impact on your business? It might prompt you to take that marketing-investment ice-bucket challenge.

The Larger New Client Or New Capability Ice-Bucket:

If you are lucky, once in a while you see a huge opportunity but more often than that you can’t leverage that opportunity because you do not have resources to service that large new client because you do not have enough capacity to deliver or you do not have specific new competencies. How about taking the new capability ice-bucket challenge by being ready for new opportunities by having strategic partnerships ready much before such new huge opportunities come your way?

The Shorter Work-Hours Ice-Bucket:

Many small business owners end up working longer hours than their employees. The fear is that in their absence, their small business will get stuck or handled ineffectively. The owners hardly take any time off, let alone vacations. The stretch and exhaustion leads to irrational decisions and sometime, giving up! How about keeping aside a “penalty” of $ 500 (or $ 100) every time you chicken out of doing shorter work-hours ice-bucket challenge by pushing some not-so-risky decision-making to your employees? You might soon save up enough risk-capital or vacation funds!

Ice-Bucket Challenge and Your Business:

The ice-bucket challenge is essentially a prompt for you to take known, calculated risks and get over that fear of end result of downside of such risks. The viral phenomenon of ice-bucket challenge resulting in donation to ALS research is a classic, clever marketing integration with good cause. But the fundamental principles of the ice-bucket challenge are very relevant to the progress and growth of any small business. Unless you take those ice-bucket challenges in your business, you may not make that well deserved progress.

What do you think? Please share your thoughts.

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