I am a patient teacher, but I am not The Miracle Worker. I can help generate leads and drive traffic but this isn’t Field of Dreams. I’m a talented problem solver, I can smooth the rough edges, but I’m not Nurse Nightingale…
My point is, if you don’t want to learn, I cannot teach you.
Customers won’t come just because we built it- building business takes patience, stamina, application of best practices and realistic expectations.
If you aren’t constantly nurturing your sales and marketing activities I can’t stop the bleeding.
The past couple of years have been an interesting time to be in business. I don’t remember the crash in the ‘90s very well, I was in high school, sneaking out to see Rocky Horror Picture Show and listening to Pearl Jam with a smug attitude. I wasn’t around for the Great Depression, but I hear this is one of the worst economies we’ve gotten ourselves into since then.
We’ve been fortunate, but we see the unfortunate all around us. We’ve learned the hard way in recent past that we can’t save everyone even if we really, really like them. There’s been an influx of interest from business owners who need a miracle on a shoestring budget and it’s hard to turn those people away- we want to help everyone flourish.
The sad part is that the death of a business is often times caused by self-inflicted wounds:
Time or Money: As a leader, you must be prepared to sacrifice for your business when times are hard. This isn’t the time to wish you were golfing or to feel sorry that you’re putting off retirement for a couple more years. This is known as “when the going gets tough, the tough get going”. You must be willing to learn about marketing your business and do your part if you can’t afford full-service marketing, or you need to be willing to pay for full-service if your time is best spent on other activities. Its time or money, nobody rides for free.
People Can Smell Desperate: Another thing we see a lot of business owners do in tough times is get crazy. Really, they just lose their shit and have ridiculous expectations. Worse, they know better- they know for instance, that social engagement isn’t a bottom-line game (its social, the public doesn’t care about your ROI and they smell desperation a hundred tweets away). They know I can’t put a crazy train back on its tracks in 2 months. But they’ll still demand poor practices and insane deadlines. This leads to horrible marketing and your audience can smell the desperation wafting off of you. When you smell the stink of desperate, take a cold shower and start thinking rationally again. You can’t fulfill unrealistic expectations fueled on a next-to-nothing budget. There is a solution, but wishing and bullying isn’t it.
Axing the Marketing Budget: Yes- you have a shortfall in leads, fewer interested prospects and nothing on the horizon. Duh. You stopped telling your story, reaching out, making the phone ring. When times are tough, figure out a different expense to axe, chopping off your marketing budget has been the death knell for a lot of companies we know. It may seem counterintuitive when you’re trying to cut expenses, but you should be dialing up the most effective aspects of your marketing strategy in tough times.
We’re really good, but we don’t work miracles. The best results we get are working with proactive business owners who have great stories to tell, great foundations on which to build, and understand that you get what you pay for- they’ll put in the time and money to get results. They’re realistic and committed to the process- effective marketing takes time, it’s a slow burn, incremental build. They don’t wait until they are desperate, they nurture sales and marketing because they know it feeds and sustains business. If you let it die I can’t bring it back.