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Push Your Marketing Go Button!
People dream up a lot of excuses to postpone positive action in their business. In decades of serving clients with marketing services, I must have heard them all. I want to distill a bit of that for you here, and hopefully boost your courage a bit.
I often feel like a police officer listening to peoples’ excuses for speeding. I mean, I should write another book just filled with the awful excuses I have heard from businesses over the years for how and why they messed everything up. By the time it gets to the “judge”, all of those excuses only embarrass the “speeder”. Now put all excuses aside and tell me if you can relate to this. I’ll bet it will sound kind of familiar. You may get a laugh, or you may get a fright.
Let’s first get one thing straight: If your business was simple, everybody would be doing it, and you would be out of a job. Business has its challenges, but there are huge rewards for doing the things others are unwilling or afraid to do.
Money Can Stop Business in Its Tracks!
One thing that seems to stop most businesses in their tracks is money. Actually, the lack of money, or fears surrounding money is what kills them. I have found that money is one of the greatest concerns to most business people. Imagine that! This one basic requisite of business is the same thing stopping them from having more of this one basic thing. It is like a loop … without more money, they don’t have more money. With more money, they get more money. It is crazy how that works, don’t you think?
I have found that with enough money, even a pretty bad business person can at least begin to solve most business issues. Money cannot fix it all, but more money can certainly help to solve the most common business problems. Money can buy better attorneys, it can buy better accountants, and it can buy better talent in most every area of a business. Let’s not lie … at least not to yourself. Sure, lie to me if you must, but really, just think about how much more you can do with a business if you have more money. I know this and you know this, so let’s not beat around that bush.
REMEMBER THIS: In business, the bottom line starts with a dollar sign.
When it comes down to it, money is the biggest reason people make bad decisions in their business, or worse yet, make no decisions at all. It paralyzes people and it clouds their judgment. So the big concern is how to bring a business beyond that hurdle of money.
How do you get your hands on more money? Do you beg a bank for more money? Do you rob a bank, a train, or a liquor store? How about this for an idea? Do more of the things that your business does to generate revenue. In many businesses, this means finding more people to buy a product or service, but in nearly every case it means finding more people … or them finding you!
A Look at Your Marketing Funnel
Let us look at your marketing funnel. I will use the basic idea of a marketing funnel to explain my point. At the top, where the funnel is the widest, you have the people who are aware of your offering. As the funnel narrows, you have people who are thinking about you and may become a customer someday. Closer to the bottom where the money gushes out, you have those hot prospects urgently grabbing their credit cards or check books to do business with you. This is just a basic introduction to the marketing funnel, but you get the point, right? Now let’s look at a couple ways people hurt their business waiting on the marketing funnel.
Waiting for Slower Times
Something I see very troubling in many businesses is that they hold off on their marketing until that biggest bulk of their current sales funnel comes through before they think it is time to get busy marketing. Instead of keeping the funnel full and adding more to it, they wait and see how things come through the funnel before they take action and push the “go” button.
This happens for a couple reasons. One excuse I sometimes hear is that the business is so busy they don’t have time to look forward to the next big rush of customers coming through the funnel. When they are not too busy, they cannot afford to market the business properly. So they go through these violent changes in business … up one day, down the next. The business is like a roller coaster ride.
Being “too busy” is as bad as the lie a teenage boy tells his girlfriend in the back seat of the car … at night … at a scenic overlook. Yeah, lie to a girlfriend, but don’t lie to me. I already heard this one.
Everybody has the same 24 hours in a day, and successful business people make time to be sure their business will still survive after the funnel slows down again. When I hear people say they are too busy to care for their future, I often find that they are simply not marketing in a way that is sustainable. They are the same kind who run a big special when they need more business, and they will have to do it again in a few months or weeks. They often waste a ton of money by marketing in this way, and die early from all of the stress it causes.
A better answer is to create a steady flow of business and make the peaks and valleys smoother. Scheduling is easier, accounting is easier, and production is easier. Everything becomes much more profitable and enjoyable with a sustained marketing plan instead of acting from urgency.
NOTE: This kind of business person commonly lies about their business health. They say they are busy, but it is often because they are busy trying to pay back all of the debt they created the last time the funnel went dry. This is sadly a very common approach taken by small business owners.
Waiting for Better Times
I am often reminded of something my mother told me many years ago. She said “Mark, if you wait until you are ready to have kids, you will never be a father.” I am glad I heard her advice, because today I have three children that bring huge amounts of joy to my life, and the lives of many others.
I think of this as the person who is just waiting for a big windfall to come. They have it all mixed up by believing they will be ready to market their business after they gain enough business to afford a marketing plan. They have placed the money cart in front of the marketing horse. It is a very hopeful person who really believes in their business, but just not quite enough to take the necessary risks to make it successful.
I usually find these people to be very energetic and hopeful. They are refreshing, because they come with the positivity of a child. They also often come with the budget of a child, but if you talk to them in six months or a year, all of that will be miraculously sorted out and they will be ready to push the go button then.
The harshest reality for this person is how much time and money they wasted by doing what they thought would minimize their risk. The worst risk for them of all was inaction. Not doing what they should have done has cost them dearly, both in actual loss and in opportunity loss.
I will hear from this person again, in their next venture. They will be ready to get their marketing plan started in another six months or a year.
Assumptions and Fears About Marketing
I watch a lot of people make assumptions about marketing, and they bolster those assumptions with fear. Call it fear, apprehension, diligence, or whatever you like. Waiting around and thinking about it until it paralyzes your business is not the answer. Taking action and being brave in your decisions is in order.
I have heard a lot of stories, and one I have heard a lot is “Oh, but you must be so expensive.” Here is something to think about: The expensive thing about marketing is trying to make more money without it. Thomas Jefferson said it well with this statement: “The man who stops advertising to save money is like the man who stops the clock to save time.” The reality is that marketing is what keeps your funnel full and makes businesses more money … not less.
I guess I could consider it kind of flattering when somebody looks at my experience and my marketing talent and makes the assumption that I must be extremely expensive. Wow, if I can make myself seem that valuable, don’t you wonder what happens to the value of your products or services when you push the go button?
I Gave You a Go Button!
I could go on a long time about the mistakes businesses make in their marketing considerations. The worst and most costly of all is to do nothing and wait on that marketing funnel to start pouring out the results without action on your part.
You have my permission to be successful in your business. In fact, you have my encouragement. There really is no better time, and things will not just better on their own. Go ahead and push the go button … Do it NOW!
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