Times have changed. Old ways of survival were slow. Initially, we had the bow and arrow. Then we moved to rifles and guns. Later, we introduced chemical and nuclear arms.

In the same way travel used to be limited to how far you could go on a horse. The automobile, trains and aircraft was next, all of which helped people communicate better.
Even the methods of learning were slow and the results were even slower.

People would normally consult local chiefs or priests for advice, usually one on one. Then we moved to formalized schooling and universities.

The most common method used in the past when growing a business was face to face cold calling. Then we took advantage of the latest inventions like the telephone and that expanded the cold calling spectrum.

Times changed again and we started to use newspaper advertising more effectively, radio and TV advertising and these days we can reach people via the Internet and email.

It is all relative to the time in which we live and the personal and business development we have achieved. Times change still and we must keep abreast of new ideas. We have to research the alternatives to ensure we are utilizing what is available effectively.

There are so many options to choose from and many are not relevant. How do you sort through it all? Here's a quick way to get started.

Do it by starting with what you want to find out.

Step 1:

Take an A4 sheet of paper and title it "Marketing Ideas".
Then rule it with two horizontal lines about one inch from the top and two vertical lines to form three equal columns. Title these columns:

Learn, Sources and Methods.

Step 2:

Under the heading in the first column write what you want to learn. For example, let's say we want to learn more about sales and marketing. Write this down. Break this very broad topic down further by writing underneath it in the same column:

Presentation, Selling Skills, Closing, Referrals.

Step 3:

In the middle column under the heading sources, write down at least four sources by which you can do research for each learning topic. For example, opposite "Presentation" you could write:

Role play, Books, Videos, Internet.

Do this for each topic under Learn and you should have 16 sources - 4 for each topic under Learn.

Step 4:

Under method, write down at least four strategies for each source. For example, for the source "Internet", you could write:

Newsletters, Chat rooms, Articles, Subscribe to tips and ebooks on marketing. Do this for each source.

This will create 64 different methods that will assist you in learning more. The real secret to remember is to have these ideas self generating.

In fact, on a daily basis evaluate and discard the ideas at leisure making sure the methods you use are the most effective.

Realise that it will take a little effort. Frustration may set in after a while if you don't seem to be getting the "Know How". Don't give in. You are almost there and have nearly accomplished your task. You will be well rewarded once you have finished.

Remember, don't expect such a wonderful outcome without spending 100 - 200 hours completing a fully fledged business plan. It is a small price to pay for having a tool as effective as this.

Author's Bio: 

Dan is an Australian businessman, entrepreneur, expert on small-business success, teaches essential marketing tactics and sales techniques. You can find out more about him at http://www.commandobusiness.com

You can get more quality information about this and other business subjects including a free 5 day mini-course on how to get more sales in 5 days or less” at http://www.leadbuildingsystems.com