Is your small business approaching a point of pain when it comes to your marketing efforts?
What's similar about losing weight and finally getting marketing assistance
Business owners are overwhelmed—are you one of them? Like jugglers trying to keep too many colored balls in the air, they’re faced with the never-ending task of keeping everything on track and everything moving in the right direction. With too many distractions and too little time, business owners ignore or just can’t focus their attention on getting effective marketing and design help.
Even though business owners want design and marketing expertise, and they know they need it, they keep putting it off. Whether we’re talking about an online marketing videos, logo, website, brochure, or even business or sales coaching, something the owner knows she/he needs help in an area but has chosen to hold off in getting help, but why? They’re juggling too many balls.
A modest percentage of small business owners do finally get the expertise they need, but it’s only after an outside force causes them to react. The outside force could be an event, a feeling, or it could be a person, I call it the "point of pain," and it causes the owner to jump into reactive crisis mode. Have you experienced a point of pain in your life? I’ll bet you have—probably in your professional and personal life.
The story below is about my own point of pain, and it has more to do with my waistline than business, but I think you’ll see a correlation, and perhaps be able to apply it to your own life.
After business networking was over on a Thursday morning I found myself talking with a good guy named Martin. He’s a mortgage broker. As we’re talking I see Peter B. approaching the two of us out of the corner of my eye. While I’ve just met Martin, I’ve known Peter for a little while now.
I like Peter. He’s a good guy as well. He looks at Martin (almost turning his back to me) and says, “You look like you work out a lot.”
Martin is puzzled at the observation but playing along nods his head, “Yeah, I do.”
“I could tell”, Peter remarks, “You look like you keep yourself in pretty good shape.”
The conversation goes on for a minute or so, and all the while, I am thinking, “I keep myself in shape (at least I thought) I work out too, what about me?”
Okay, so I couldn’t just run ten miles on the treadmill like I used to, but I was still in the game and I am pretty strong still. Finally curiosity and rudeness get the best of me and I blurted out, “Hey Peter, what about me? I work out too you know!”
Peter considers me for a moment, taps me on the belly, and sheepishly with a grin says, “Looks like you’ve still got some work to do.” It reminded me a little of when a little kid pats Santa on the belly. Well Peter’s not a little kid, and I’m certainly not Santa. Needless to say, I didn’t care for this. But I wasn’t angry with Peter. He was right. I did have a lot of work to do, and I’d known it for a long time—I just didn’t do a heck of a lot about it. Like many people, including business owners, I was ignoring something that I knew needed attention.
Right up until that conversation, getting back into “fighting shape” just wasn’t a priority to me, but this was the point of pain for me (the tipping point, if you will). This event, this point of pain is exactly what I needed. This was the moment that finally pushed me from lethargy into action.
I’ve found that with business owners that it's not their waistline that needs help, it's often poor company logo/image, a non-existent marketing strategy, low-quality online promotion video, or a bad web site, and they know it too. They are a little embarrassed and realize their success is being negatively affected, but it’s just not a priority. The owners know they don’t look like a professional compared to their competition and their prospects see them as just another company in the crowd – THEY KNOW IT, but the owner doesn’t do anything about it. The reason is, they haven’t reached the point of pain yet.
This got me curious—what was the point of pain when it comes to business owners and their online and printed business brand, marketing materials, online videos, and website? What finally made them say to themselves, “I need to get this fixed—now”?
From talking with a host of different business owners about what their point of pain was and why they finally brought me on board to help them with their marketing, videos, and design, here’s what I learned:
Owners didn’t like not feeling confident in their business brand. They didn’t like knowing that their prospects didn’t see them as true professionals and solid contenders in their industry.
Small business owners felt embarrassed or apprehensive about networking and meeting new peers and prospects due to their lackluster business brand, and they felt that was hurting their sales and growth.
One owner mentioned that while having a nice conversation with a prospect, he handed his business card and brochure to the person, and the prospect actually rolled his eyes
Owners indicated that while it wasn’t their chief reason for getting their company rebranded, they were seeing several competitors increase their revenue and customer base because of a new business brand, online YouTube promotional videos, and marketing campaign.
For most of us, sometimes me included, this is a way of life: waiting to deal with something when it becomes a four-alarm fire. Business owners know they need help, and they know their business is being hurt because they’re lacking the professional consistent business brand that will allow them to compete with bigger, more established companies. However, they just put it off and don’t do anything about it. It’s a priority on their list, I am sure, but where on the list it actually falls is another matter.
If you’re a business owner, is there anything that you’ve been putting off, almost waiting for a point of pain before you take a preemptive approach? What could you do today that would be a proactive rather than reactive approach to the issue, and do you think that would lessen the pain down the line? Just something to think about it…