Is Hope Your Marketing Strategy?

 

By Eileen

I recently met a newer business owner who proudly introduced me to the business she has been running for roughly two years. I loved hearing her story about the business she created. (I will not mention the product or industry to protect her identity).

At first look her company had all the markings of a well-run and prosperous business, and the story behind its inception, one of fulfilling a life-long passion was nothing short of inspirational.

But as our conversation continued, the discussion turned more detailed. In our 15-minute conversation, she revealed uncertainty about who her target customers are and shared a few stories of clients being unhappy with products, among other worries.

And then she made the comment that made my stomach turn – she “hoped” that should could get things moving in the right direction once she has the money to spend on marketing. That comment, to me, signaled the “kiss of death” to the business. She talked about using the money to hire someone to do marketing or to help her decide what needed to be done. She would use it to get the website updated (a website, which by the way, she also uses for online sales). She described her ideas to get some help understanding and planning for business networking opportunities and partnerships that would be best for her.

If I were a customer, I may have left it at that. Why, then, has this story been haunting for days? Because my passion is helping businesses improve their marketing and communications, and because this business is dying. Its owner will be devastated when that day finally arrives. I predict, unless something drastically changes, that day will be here in less time than the business has been open. (I sincerely hope I am wrong).

While I am not an accountant, I could quickly see that she doesn’t have the revenue to support the business operations for an extended period of time.

Statistics are on not on her side. According to smallbiztrends.com, of all the small businesses started in 2004, only 56 percent made it to the fifth year. Poor marketing is among the top 10 causes of these business failures.

In my opinion, it is a good thing as a business owner to have a comfort level with your bank account running even or maybe even at a loss from time to time while launching a business. This is the time to invest in the business and give it the foundation it needs for future growth. Scenarios on how to plan for this are usually mapped out in a business plan. We hear so many stories of people holding off on marketing and sales initiatives while they wait for revenues to increase.

It is always possible to move in the direction of achieving your goals, and taking a small step is always better than standing still and going nowhere!

If you are a solopreneur or a business owner with a small team working on growing your business, sales and marketing are not optional; they need to be part of your plan and integrated into your day-to-day operations and activities. For some, that means being involved in the planning and implementation, and for others it means outsourcing it. We help customers identify steps to move in the right direction by conducting strategy sessions and providing ongoing marketing and commutations implementation and support.

When small businesses close, it can be much more devastating for the owner than losing a job. For many entrepreneurs, starting a business is about following a dream, sharing an innovation, or professionalizing a passion. In some cases, they are all in and have virtually linked their long-term financial health to what happens in their business.

When we see signs of impending doom, it is upsetting because we understand the effects of the loss will most likely reach far beyond the business entity into other areas of the business owners’ life.

It is always possible to move in the direction of achieving your goals, and taking a small step is always better than standing still and going nowhere!

If you are unsure about what the next steps may be, check out free resources from organizations like the Small Business Administration or SCORE to spark some ideas or get support.

We also offer free consultations and will share an idea or two that will help you! Reach out today and set up a time to connect with us or to let us know you would like to receive our free resources! Whatever you do, do not use hope as your marketing strategy.