You always have to look at your business as a business.
And all businesses need customers.
You can grow your customer base by word of mouth, advertising, and location.
However, for a business to grow by organically by word of mouth, you need to have something very spectacular to offer that will have your customers telling so many others, that new customers will beat a path to your door.
But if your business is also about repeat business, as opposed to one-off business, then your offer to those new customers has to be so compelling that people keep wanting to come back again and again and again.
In the early days of a business, you need to be offering something dramatically different to your competitors that helps create this endless procession of new customers.
Along with the word of mouth, which can be slow when the customer base is small, there also needs to be a significant injection of advertising and marketing to your proposed market base that screams:
“This business is different, and you need to come and see why!!”
If you have a long term commitment to the success of your business, then the investment of significant dollars in the initial marketing of your business will be returned in spades as your business grows and grows and grows.
However, if you treat your business as a hobby, or a part time venture, and you continually look for that Thursday night Powerball rescue to come along, or worse still, some unsuspecting wood duck for you to guiltlessly offload your millstone to, then your business will always flounder.
Members of a golf club I know have been battling to sustain their club, which takes a certain amount of money each year just to remain operational.
What the club really needs is an injection of marketing funds, as well as some necessary minor cosmetic improvements around the clubhouse.
Everybody who comes to play at the club loves the course, it’s condition and it’s challenge.
But the lack of “interest” from the owner in building upon this is palpable.
A recent letter from the owner to the Club President echoed this disinterest:
“Dear Mr Club President,
I am sorry I cannot be with you.
As of today, there has been no “rescue package” that substantially reduces my company’s losses on your golf club to an acceptable level, nor a deal to buy the lease of the golf course.
The owners of the adjoining hotel have no interest in selling the hotel or the land on which the golf course sits.
I would like to thank all the members who have helped with the course and clubhouse in these difficult times. I understand fully that uncertainty is not the best news but I did state earlier this year that it was my company’s intention to close the course if there was no acceptable “rescue package” and that is still the situation.
The course will remain open for all of the January whilst we have further discussions and ideas.
I trust you and your families have a very merry Christmas.
Merry Christmas indeed.
In 1997, when I was unable to sell my dental practice for $160K, I sold my house and invested the equity from that house back in to the dental practice, with advertising and infrastructure, and in 2007 I was able to sell that dental practice for cash and shares that ended up totalling over $4M.
Putting my heart, and my money, into that business raised the collections of that dental practice from $423K in 1995 to $2.4M in 2007 and then to $3.2M in 2011… [I worked on in that practice as an associate for seven years following the sale.]
Relying totally on organic growth with no marketing is not a good strategy.
The right injection of marketing is the petrol that adds flames to your business’s fire.
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