As I coach entrepreneurs from all over the world, I see the same mistake made again and again. In fact I’d go so far as to say that this single error is responsible for more business failures than any other. But fix it and a high growth business is virtually assured, no matter what industry sector your company is in.
What is the number one mistake made by entrepreneurs? It’s not making marketing the absolute heart and lead priority of your business.
Here’s how most businesses operate. They put handling their customers first, followed closely by running their staff. Only after these areas are handled do they then devote time to marketing. Big mistake. Run your company that way and yes you’ll have happier customers and staff, but your growth will usually be slow. Because unless your product is truly world changing, or you’re the only known brand in your space, you won’t have a strong, continual flow of customers.
Your business will forever be growing in little spurts, followed by periods of low growth. Or no growth at all. The only way to get that consistent flow of clients is to design marketing systems that bring them in, week after week.
Do you have such systems? Almost no businesses do. So they have to rely on their reputation, or referrals from previous customers, or luck, to increase their revenue.
Mission One is to create a series of marketing systems. To do that you need to try different advertising methods. (Like newspaper ads, Google Adwords, joint ventures, direct mail etc). See what works and what doesn’t, then a few months later you’ll have found a few methodologies that consistently bring in customers.
Mission Two is to constantly refine those methods, so that they bring in even more revenue. Experiment with different headlines, better offers, new ways of expressing your product’s benefits. Marketing is like a combination lock to a safe – you tweak it and tweak it and then one day the door opens to riches.
Mission Three is to allocate time in your diary for marketing, every single week. Unless you mark out blocks of time for the above mentioned activities they simply won’t get done. You’ll just get busy doing the millions of tasks that every business has. Then one year later you’ll be complaining your business didn’t grow.
Don’t let this happen to you. It really is the number one mistake made by entrepreneurs. Decide today to put marketing first in your business, beginning with missions one, two and three. Then you won’t just have a business, you’ll have a constantly growing business.