Don't think you need to "do marketing"? Times are good? Getting plenty of business? Afraid you can't handle the growth?
Marketing is like a Line of Credit
Launching a marketing plan is a lot like getting a line of credit, it's best to do it when times are good and you have the resources not when business is starting to fail and you have limited your capabilities and options. Too often business owners reach out to me after months of slowing business and sales. Their money has run out and their time, too. Unfortunately, their options are also limited which is a catch-22 in addressing your marketing problems.
While times are good, get your marketing basics in place:
fine tune or update your website
implement a blog, podcast or video marketing
create or update your marketing materials - brochures, rack cards, etc.
consider other advertising sources - digital and traditional
create a marketing plan to address the ups and downs of your business
create or implement an email marketing campaign plan
review your advertising and conduct an audit
Scared you can't handle the business?
You should always be prospecting, even on a basic level. If you are worried that you can't handle the new business, then that is an indication you need to make some strategic decisions in your business. Check your processes. Train and delegate starting with administrative functions that take you away from the main income driving activities.
Consistency is Key - Take the gas off the peddle but never stop.
It takes a lot of time, money and resources to build brand awareness and develop the reputation that makes you popular. Starting over is not something you want to do when you need to focus on other issues.
Marketing falls into two main categories: maintenance and special promotions. If you are super busy, then put your business marketing on maintenance mode - identify the basic marketing activities you need to maintain - your blog, social media posts, and even some advertising - just reduce the frequency but not the consistency and revisit periodically.
Preparing for the downturn: focus on specific marketing issues
Every business will face marketing issues - sales slump due to bad weather? Unexpected loss of a major client? reduction of tourists in winter? Be ready to laser focus on those issues by having your basic marketing in place. What you don't want to do is have to play catch up and address a specific marketing issue at the same time - your resources will be drained and you'll be spreading yourself and your business too thin.
Marketing is not just a Sales Plan - it's a Health Plan for your business
Marketing is not an antibiotic you take when your business is sick. Instead, consider it like part of your regular health routine you do to maintain fitness. I don't know about you but I have a tendency to not work out as much during the winter and with the holidays, I over indulge. Each spring, I get motivated again to return to fitness and it always takes longer and is a bit more painful than if I had maintained my health during those winter months.
Look at professional athletes. They constantly train and maintain. In between seasons what do they do? They continue to train or learn new skills.
Marketing is a reinvestment
If you look at your marketing budget as a cost driver rather than a growth driver, then you are looking at your marketing as a detraction rather than an attraction. Marketing is a reinvestment in your business. Take the extra time and profits to reinvest in your business for its long term health and in building wealth.
Stayed tuned! In 2019 we will be kicking off our monthly marketing health plan - a series of classes addressing core areas of your business, getting those areas fit to help improve the overall health of your business and ultimately the wealth of your business. Much like a private trainer, we will address your core business muscles as well as the overall health - some classes will be intense while others will be more basic and covering the fundamentals of your business. See you in 2019!