We are constantly bombarded with advertising rich with promises of quick-fixes to all that ails us. Consider the sheer volume of television ads and infomercials that promise us the body of an anorexic supermodel if we just buy their magic diet drink or super-amazing turbo thigh-cruncher. No need to exercise or diet- just take a magic pill or use this miraculous fat melting machine “just 5 minutes a day!” and we’ll be thin and our lives will be perfect!
I think we all know, deep down, there is no magic pill or piece of equipment that is going to whip us into shape – at least not for the long term. We didn’t gain that extra 5, 10 or 50 pounds overnight and it certainly isn’t going to come off overnight, despite what the crafty weight-loss industry tries to tell us.
There is No Magic for Growing a Small Business
I’m sorry to tell you – the same goes for growing your small business. There is no magic growth pill that will bring you hordes of new customers. No “undiscovered secret” newspaper, magazine, or website advertising package that is going to make your phones ring off the hook. No creative and clever ad design or layout that will bring you millions of dollars worth of business. No amount of money thrown at the symptom is going to make you an overnight success. The fact is, as with weight loss, we are not going to achieve success until we stop throwing money at the symptom and start addressing the underlying problem. The lack of customers and leads is a symptom of a bigger problem, just like those extra 50 pounds is a symptom of eating too much and not exercising enough.
Address the Problem
What’s the bigger problem? If you know me or have been reading my blogs you probably already know the answer to this. The problem is the absence of a strategic, systematic approach to your marketing. Like weight loss, growing a successful business is a long-term undertaking that requires a commitment to practicing healthier behaviors and habits.
Small business owners come to me every day – like bulging brides who, two days before their wedding discover they don’t fit into their wedding dress – out of money and with expenses that far exceed revenue. Like the bride desperate to shed those 10 pounds in 2 days these small business owners are desperate for revenue (and lots of it) NOW – or they will go out of business. “Can you help me???” Translation – do you have a magic pill to make hordes of people call me or come into my store NOW? Sorry, I don’t.
Stop the Madness!
Don’t wait until it’s too late. Don’t keep throwing money at the symptoms hoping that this new tagline, flyer layout, magazine ad, or offer will be the one to break the bank. It’s not going to happen until you lay the foundation of your marketing strategy. Don’t wait until you only have a couple of month’s worth of expenses in the bank to get help. Do it now while you still have the resources to invest in effective marketing that is going to deliver long-term success. Make a commitment to yourself and your small business for 2010. Commit to throwing away those diet pills that don’t work, killing those yellow page ads that don’t deliver the return you need, and commit to addressing the underlying problems that are blocking your small business growth.
For your small business – do a little work; learn about your business, your industry and your competitors. What are they doing that is working or not working. Find out who your target market is (remember, if it starts with “Anyone Who” you have work to do!). Ask your customers what makes you different from your competitors. Define a core marketing message. Commit to a strategy and a plan! I will leave you with one of my favorite and most inspiring quotes: “Just Do It!”
What are you going to change in 2010 to make your small business a success? We’d all love to hear from you. Please click here to leave your comments.