Welcome to 2010! The New Year always brings hope for new success. But in this economy, hope has to crash with reality. A reality that says now more than ever, proper planning for marketing your business is critical.
Two types of business owners I often encounter are a) those that state they never have the time to work on their marketing efforts and thus feel a sense of guilt or justify that they have bigger priorities to tackle and b) those that state they have “never really had to market their business”.
Both of these folks have a problem – their ego is in the way of properly marketing their business! Let’s take a look at both scenarios:The “I Just Don’t Have the Time to Work on Marketing” Business Owner:
This business owner is in the business of what they “do” so they focus primarily on the day to day work. Perhaps they try an advertisement here or there, wonder what the social media stuff is all about and may even have a website, but it hasn’t been updated in years. They work hard no doubt, but end up feeling deflated and defeated when they see the competition getting all the attention and a larger piece of the pie.
In this scenario, a distracted and deflated ego is the problem. Somewhere deep down this business owner doesn’t realize the power of what on-going marketing efforts can do for their business. They feel that too much self-promotion isn’t what they are all about, think they need millions of dollars to get the job done, and find hundreds of other things to work on instead of taking the time to work on their marketing efforts.
The truth is that a good marketing plan will keep your name out there 24/7/365. These types of business owners owe it to themselves to TAKE TIME OUT for their business for sharing who they are, what they do and communicating their message to the people who will care about what they do . Just like getting a business loan, a marketing plan is an investment in your company’s current and future success.
The “Well, I’ve Never Had to Market My Business” Business Owner:
This business owner has a bit of an ego. Whatever their selling, they’ve had enough success to let things ride. These folks are often happy to share that everything they have accomplished is due to word of mouth and their sweat-equity.
In this scenario, the inflated and naive ego is the problem. They feel that the status quo, doing it the way they have always done it, is enough to create success. But what is the plan when the word of mouth well dries up, the competition increases or the industry changes? These folks are then almost embarrassed that they have done so little, and they just don’t know where to start.
If you are great at what you do – congratulations! But think of what else you could be doing if you properly planned for the future of what you want your business to be. Whether it’s revenue growth, a new segment, more clients, different products, more free time, additional locations – the list is endless if you focused on letting the world know how great you really are on a consistent and well thought out basis! You will have a stronghold with your customers and prospects and not playing the “what should I do now” game when the market winds changes.Moving That Ego Right Out of the Way
If you fall into one of these categories, you have to face a few realities. First, realize that your business is absolutely worth marketing. It is a necessity that you take time out of the day-to-day to keep your business connected and visible to your clients and prospects. Second, realize that if you do not invest in marketing your business, your competition will gain the edge and you’ll be scrambling when it’s too late.The good news is there are things you can do:
•Hire someone “in” - to do some of the less important day to day things so you can focus part of your time on marketing your business. No one knows your business better than you.
•Hire someone “out” - to do the things that are beyond your immediate interest or expertise.
•Find out what your competition and peers are doing and learn from them.
•Check out the free resources on-line to help you get a marketing plan and tactics in place.
•Set a budget and calendar of activities – then back in to how much prep time is necessary to get the work done by the due date.
•Hire a consultant to “kick start” your plan and help you get things in place or tackle part of your on-going marketing efforts.
Here’s to the success of your business 2010 – get your ego out of the way and let a solid marketing plan be your guide! Your business is worth the investment!