How work gets in the way of business

by Brendon on May 23, 2005

Well. That’s been a busy day. We finished off 3 web sites today, 2 decent sized print ads, a small ad for our web services (goes in the local newspaper on Wednesday), took delivery of the latest book from one of our clients (Mel then packed and posted 50 back-logged orders) and sent out 10 of our postcards to local businesses.
We took 46 phone calls, received 7 faxes, signed up for an account with a web-based company that validates digital file sending to newspapers and magazines, started writing a report for clients, wrote an article for the web site, spoke with a client regarding using his experience with us as a Case Study, received in excess of 200 emails (90% being spam), answered 20, and a few other bits and pieces.
I’d be willing to suggest that my day has been fairly typical of most people who read this web site. A big variety of things to do, lots deadlines to meet and not enough time in the day.
As the owner of this business I have to step back and think:
“Okay Brendon, you good-looking hunk of a man! How can you make your business grow?”
The answer is pretty simple. Out of all the activity we did today only 2 were really marketing activities. Writing and testing the ad and sending out the postcards.
None of the other stuff is going to generate me any business. So I have to ask myself, how is my business going to grow?
The answer to that, if the above is typical of your sort of day, is very slowly.
Here’s an example:
We’ll take a mobile (cell) phone retailer as an example.
Retailer 1 (we’ll call him Bob) – Bob has his store on a side street off a main road. His sign isn’t very big. Because of the bad position, Bob doesn’t anticipate big sales. Business isn’t great for Bob, so he has cut back on his marketing. He’s not that social so he doesn’t go out.
Because Bob doesn’t get much business he doesn’t need to employ anyone, so he attends the shop all day long.
Retailer 2 (we’ll call her Mary) – Mary has a store on a side street off a main road. Mary has the biggest sign she is legally allowed to have. It says “Mary’s Mobiles – the best deals at the best price. Guaranteed!”
Mary has also negotiated for a billboard on the main road 100 metres south of her shop. That sign says “Mary’s Mobiles – the best deals at the best price. Guaranteed! Turn left 100 metres for the best deal”
Mary has a 1/2 page ad in the local newspaper on Wednesday and Saturday. She letterboxes the local areas every 12 weeks. Mary’s car is signwritten with her business details.
Mary has also just started late night radio ads (at $33 a spot) with very promising results. She’s looking at starting TV ads in the next 2 weeks.
Mary has a loyalty program in place for existing customers who refer their friends. Mary rings up her best customers (by call amounts) every 8 weeks. Mary direct mails her database of customers and prospects a new offer every 12 weeks.
Mary is very social – she is a member of the local Chamber of Commerce and Rotary clubs. She plays golf on Thursday in a social competition where she gets to meet lots of businesspeople.
Mary’s business is thriving and she employees 3 salespeople. Mary spends her time marketing the business.
Now I know that’s a pretty basic example. But what I want to show is that marketing works. If you market your business you’ll get more business.
If you advertise you’ll attract customers
People can’t buy off you until they know about you and what you sell. You should tell them why they should buy from you. Sounds simple enough. But in the day to day operation of a business it can sometimes get a little lost.
Let’s not lose sight of growing our businesses.
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