BLOG SERIES: Over the past ten years, I have consulted with a lot of businesses, met a lot of owners, and I have seen a lot of consistent “problems.” If you’re starting a business or looking to scale your existing business, this series will present some things to think about so that your marketing can help you achieve your long-term goals. I assure you, without a decent marketing plan, you’ll be swimming upstream until the day you take yourself and your marketing seriously and invest wisely in proven systems to help you grow.
In the meantime, this series of posts is designed to get you to start thinking and hopefully start taking action to help you grow your business.
Reason #1: You’re not used to spending money on marketing.
Here is a simple fact: Marketing works. Billions of dollars are spent every year on marketing systems. Building a business of any substance will, at some point require the decision makers to factor in a marketing budget to create a system that generates consistent leads, and brings customers in the door.
But small businesses are struggling to make sense of marketing. There are too many choices, and the risk seems so great, it seems the “safe bet” is to just hustle. You know how to do what you do — and I am going to go out on a limb and suggest you have a hard time admitting you don’t know much about marketing — and yet, a solid, well-executed marketing plan is the clear difference between winning businesses and losing businesses.
Before you get there though — before you actually “believe” in marketing — you’re probably going to need to fail. You’re going to make mistakes. Lots of them. That’s part of the process. If you’re a decision maker, especially if you’re the only decision maker, it’s important that you understand why marketing fails so you can avoid making some of the most egregious mistakes.
You’ve never had to spend money on marketing before.
You’ve done it “on the cheap” since you started your business and it worked just fine for a long time, but now things just aren’t working as well as they used to.
This is the most common reason marketing fails: After many years of being “in business,” entrepreneurs begin to tell themselves they know everything they need to know.
This is how it all began for many entrepreneurs — me included! Things somehow just worked as you were establishing your brand, getting started, building something out of nothing. You were hustling. Working on brand recognition. You didn’t have a budget, so you stayed up late and built your own website, started marketing your company on social media, got a $5 logo from somewhere overseas, ordered cheap business cards from some faceless company that charged you more for shipping than they did for the cheap cards. But you know what? Everything looked great to you then. You were proud of the final product — all of your friends and family told you it looked awesome!
But once you were done, you left it alone. You got busy building your business. You started taking care of clients, and providing customer support. Now, years later, you’re still here and all of your business is coming from “word of mouth,” and since you never spent any money on your website, branding or marketing before, you think this is all there is. You have no idea how much easier marketing can make it. Maybe you’re content to continue hustling — or maybe you’re getting tired and you want to consider how your marketing could let you have some breathing room.
If you’ve reached a plateau and you are currently struggling to take your business to the next level — you see your competitors doing things and you don’t know where to begin — hire a consultant, an advisor, a coach. You don’t know what you don’t know, and that will never change. But here’s the thing — there are people who can help you.
You don’t need to do it yourself. But you do need to get the conversation going. Starting now.
Technology continues to evolve, so the longer you wait, the further behind you might be falling.
Questions to help you get started:
- How do you compare to your competition? Where are they showing up that you are not — and what can you do to start closing some ground?
Solution: Perform Competitive Analysis
- What factors are preventing you from ranking in search engines?
Solution: Perform a Website Audit
- What brand assets exist and who is managing them? Have you analyzed your online content & assets? Do you know how to update, change add content? (i.e., domain, hosting, website CMS, social media accounts, reviews, blog, CRM, email list, 3rd party tools, etc.)
Solution: Create a Brand Management Guide for your Team
Are you trying to make sense of marketing? Let’s schedule a call. Take action today to begin creating a marketing plan for your business, and see what happens next! Click here to book a call with me today!