April is coming to a close but it’s not too late to come up with new ideas. For me, April and Easter are synonymous with Spring, so when this time of year comes around, it makes me think of all things new. The skies are not so cloudy, the sun seems to be out more. Definitely the time to get out of the house and look around. For homeowners it’s time to seed the lawn to get some new grass or flowers growing. For others it’s time to shop for new clothes or something else new. How about making this season a time to think about what can bring new life to your business? Maybe it’s a change to your marketing or a new way to go about sales or even time to hire a new employee. What stops us from doing that new thing that can propel our businesses to a new level? Maybe you don’t have the right information, but with the internet and lots of informative newsletters out there, we really have no excuse! Here a few things I’ve seen that can rob us of the opportunity to put that “new thing” into effect!
Are you like me working 9 to 5 (sometimes even 9 to 7!) in the business? And after a shift like that you are guaranteed to be tired! What time are you taking to look at the overall effectiveness of your business? Well, I’ve learned that my best days to do that are not at the beginning of the week when work is “jumping.” For me it’s the end of the week, like on Thursdays and most recently on Sundays, when I can really take a look at my business and notice some areas for change. To me it’s just quieter then and I’m able to focus better. Early mornings are good for some, but others like different times of day. Either way, we can all find 1 or 2 hours of quiet time during the week to look for some areas in need of change, right?
Let’s be serious. Is it the budget? Are you one of those business owners that thinks that your budget can make or break your business life? Well, I recently put some effort into identifying extra money to put towards marketing.
After a while I learned that I had to include money in my budget, for marketing. I had to save a certain percentage of all sales into a separate account for marketing. That way there would always be money set aside for growth. Let’s say though that after I pay myself there’s not much left for anything. Is it true that there’s nothing left? Do you know your budget? If not it’s time to talk with someone with budget expertise, who can help you go through it. Maybe it’s your spouse or friend or maybe even a bookkeeper or accountant. Either way it may be time to get more intimate with that budget than you have been in the past.
Let’s say you have a budget and there actually is no wiggle room. Then let’s think about using Paypal or some other lending situation. What I like about Paypal is that it has a 4 to 12-month no-interest payment term, so you can try a few things out and just make your payment the following month or over time. That’s pretty good for $500 to $10K purchases. Thinking strategically, if the money you receive is more than the possible interest in payment you’re ahead of the game. This would just be a temporary strategy until you have a cash budget. Beyond that, there are lots of way to obtain finances to increase business. If you’re in a special business zone there are incentives for hiring people. There are funds out there for free marketing on major sites. There are also organizations with funds that are solely there to help you grow. They have funds to pay for training and even some marketing. So on this topic let’s start by affirming “I can find the funds; budget or not”. Let’s at least start there.
Fear of Failure
This can really be the one that stops a lot of us. To be honest I’ve had great years in business and I’ve had a few bad years. The few bad years have at times made me overly cautious, when I should really be pushing forward. I think it’s because I worried that I could make a catastrophic mistake that would destroy my business. I have to say though that after 15 years in business I believe I’m smart enough to leave room for failure that can push me towards a possible win. If I tried a strategy that resulted in failure once in a while, I can now say that that avenue did not work and move on to my next idea! Better to try and fail and learn from my mistakes, than to risk nothing, learn nothing and gain nothing!
So I hope this helps you get to the “new” you deserve in your business. I hope it gets you off the sidelines at the very least. If you need help getting your marketing program going, schedule a call with us at 973-655-9396.
Todd Sayles, Principal of Creative Mind Consulting Group, has built a successful organization that services real estate, retail, hospital and wellness clients among others. His team’s expertise includes problem solving/market strategy, design and marketing consulting, creative design, online website development, content and design creation for digital media and print collateral, public relations, search engine optimization and collaboration with outside designers and writers.
Creative Mind Design Group teams up with clients to strategize on marketing challenges and design goals. We partner with companies to ultimately create brilliant results which feature inspired design.