2009 March: Marketing Matters

2009 March: Marketing MattersRisk. From the French word “risqué,” meaning “naughty.” Do me a favor and take a look at your ring finger. Is it longer than your index finger? By how much?

A recent study by Cambridge University discovered that men with longer ring fingers, compared to their index fingers, tended to be more successful stock traders. Why? They take more risks.

The 20-month study found that traders with longer ring finger ratios raked in 11 times more money than those with the shortest ratio. The study also revealed that the most experienced traders made nine times as much money as the least experienced traders. This indicates that risk-takers, on average, out-perform those with decades of experience.

And when you look at the most experienced traders only (those with the longer ring finger ratio), they made five times more than those with a shorter ring-finger ratio.

Now this same ring-to-index finger ratio has also been documented in sports performance. Athletes bearing the longer ring-to-index finger ratio tend to perform a lot better on the field of play.

The length of these two fingers are determined in the womb by the exposure to the male hormone, androgen. Previous research has discovered that this exposure can lead to increased confi dence, persistence, heightened vigilance, quick reaction times and a taste for risk.

Do you have the magic ring finger ratio? Are you doomed without it? Doubtful. The fact that you’ve opened your own business already puts you in a very rare category. You took a risk most will never take. Beware, though, there are two very different kinds of risk: reckless risk and calculated risk.

Betting it all on red is reckless. Saying “hit me” when you’re sporting two fives at the blackjack table is calculated. Likewise, signing a lease on a building that’s had six different restaurants come and go in the last five years, just because it “feels right,” would be pretty reckless. Taking over a pizzeria in a good location that failed because the previous owner was incompetent — that’s calculated.

So, in this time of economic uncertainty, is it wise to hunker down and weather the storm? Or is it the perfect time to take some calculated risk? Remember, risk is all about taking decisive action while others hesitate. Will a risk and decisiveness move you higher? Generate more success? Create increased momentum? What’s the alternative? Play it safe; don’t rock the boat; hope things fix themselves?

Listen, it was the confident, fearless, fire-breathing entrepreneur in you that signed a lease, bought equipment and hired employees. That same bold, confident beast will serve you even now, in this economy, as you do what others fear to do.

Here’s your short list:
? Attend International Pizza Expo this month and fill your mind with new knowledge.
? Explore and adopt the amazing new technologies that are revolutionizing pizza marketing (do you know what they are?).
? Step up your marketing as others pull back. Fortunes are made in times like these. This is the time to be bold, the time to zig while others zag.

Kamron Karington owned a highly successful independent pizzeria before becoming a consultant, speaker and author of The Black Book: Your Complete Guide to Creating Staggering Profits in Your Pizza Business. He is a monthly contributor to Pizza Today.

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