I close my eyes and cringe every time I see a “Going Out of Business” sign in a store window, or I hear of a small business that just couldn’t make it work. I immediately think of their family, their crushed spirit, their lost investment of time and money. It’s awful.
And I’ve been there (eyes closed – cringe).
If you have a business that is no longer in demand, the writing is on the wall. Maybe it’s because technology is taking over for the services you provide or someone else has taken your idea and improved it. In those cases, we have to evolve or get out of the way.
But more often than not, this isn’t the case. At least not from what we’ve seen in the field. As I slip into group discussions online, stop by networking events, and converse with industry colleagues, I’m seeing a trend with some small business owners: Putting marketing on the back burner and expecting real results.
Here’s what your marketing company will never be able to do for you.
1. Produce immediate results when you are in crisis mode.
If the bank is knocking on the door, or you can’t make next week’s payroll, or big bully vendors are waiting outside by your car, marketing isn’t the solution. It’s chaos and crisis up to your elbows, and launching a marketing campaign won’t undo months, or possibly years, of poor planning. It’s time to start over. Engage the help of a strategic business coach, evaluate every corner of your business, and put a new plan into action.
2. Do your part.
Your business is YOUR business. If you’ve turned to a marketing company to help you reach customers and grow your business, you have to be focused. It’s a Must-Be-Present-To-Win situation. A marketing strategist will research your industry, create a plan, and engage you (and your team) in the plan.
It’s your job to make marketing your business a top priority.
If you’ve been asked to attend a weekly strategy meeting, or review content, or join a brainstorming session, make it a priority. Do your homework and come to the meeting prepared. Marketing campaigns are built using a timeline, and when you delay the process, a bottleneck forms and missed opportunities abound. You won’t receive the results you intended and it won’t be the marketing company’s fault, even though you’ll want to blame them.
3. Create miracle results using only one tactic.
You know your audience better than anyone. More than likely, you know your customers by their first name. You are your marketing strategist’s lifeline to your market – their number one source of information. Your marketing strategist will want to capitalize on that connection and integrate content, emails, newsletters and social media into your plan. Their goal is to keep your business top-of-mind by helping you to build relationships with your clients. Trust their suggestions.
Ask your strategist for past client case studies and proof of results, but trust their knowledge and suggestions. Don’t dismiss ideas because you don’t understand them or don’t have firsthand experience using them. Their job is to keep your very best interests in mind and make suggestions that will move you where you want to be. And when you do accept their ideas, go into it with your whole heart, because your customers will immediately sense if you aren’t quite buying into it.
“Hey, put me in, Coach.”
What’s your marketing strategy? If you are ready to see real results and want the coach to “put you in the game,” call us for a free consultation.