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Great marketing plans are essential. No one will know about your service or product unless you put it out there so your potential customers can see it. Many small businesses fail or never grow because they don’t put enough time into marketing. However, it seems that many startups have gotten the message. Marketing is essential. As a result, they put tremendous time and resources into marketing efforts with very little effort put into other critical business functions.

Hundreds of marketing services can be found, particularly online, so entrepreneurs sometimes overestimate their importance. A great marketing service may drive customers to your business, but how will you keep them pleased and willing to come back again?

How will you handle the inevitable changes that come with business expansion? What will you do when the money is going out too fast? What will you do when customers require more than what you can offer? How will you handle too many customers? How will you make sure all customers are served in the same manner? When will you know when its time to hire someone to help in your business?

How will you embed and ensure excellence in all operations? How will you know when it’s time to scale or open another business? How will you manage employee performance? How will you keep up with changing customer needs and trends in your industry? How will you measure business results?

Are you feeling overwhelmed? Well, these are just a few of the questions you must answer for your business.

These and other questions are often left to chance and that’s why the businesses don’t last. New owners think they’ll magically find answers when various business situations come up. Unfortunately, answers don’t “come out of thin air.” For some reason its very hard for entrepreneurs to consider the big picture and understand the need to prepare for growth and success.

Most know they have the technical skills and more than likely, have had success with satisfied customers in the past. However, running a business and maintaining great product or service delivery must be designed consciously if you want to grow a larger business. You’ll also need to know how to perform the management skills needed to complete the actions indicated by the questions above.

Michael Gerber in “The E Myth” states: “Life is what a business is about, ….Coming to grips with oneself, in the face of an incredibly complex world that can teach us if we’re willing to learn. In this way, the Business Development Process can be thought of as a metaphor for personal transformation, for coming to grips with real life. For developing real skills within a structure of your own design.” A fantastic privilege!

Building a business in our fast changing environment is complicated and requires a change of mindset for success and growth. A mindset that includes a framework for business development, not just product or service delivery with marketing.

5 Reasons a strong emphasis on marketing only can lead to business defeat.

1. No strong and clearly defined Vision is adopted and used as a guide. There could be a tendency to perform tasks outside of the original Vision and splinter the business in too many directions.

2. Important Values are not embed in all business activities leaving customers confused about the promises of your brand, product or service.

3. No consideration of what will happen if the business begins getting more customers than you can handle efficiently or effectively. No plan for growth has been designed. Customers may become frustrated and leave with a bad reputation of your business. They will sometimes pass on the bad reputation to others and undermine your business growth.

4. No knowledge of what processes are working and what processes aren’t. Or even worst, no standard processes at all. This leads to a lack of reliable measurements leading to a “shot in the dark” approach for decision making. It’s frustrating to do it this way and the results are often frustrating as well.

5. Lack of standardized Systems for important business functions leads to irregular and unstable results. This fills you with feelings of uncertainty and anxiety about the future of the business. You eventually get overwhelmed and quit trying.

“No business in the world has ever made money with poorer management.” Bill Terry

If you want to escape some of the problems lack of proper business management causes, make time to get acquainted with basic management skills. Plan for success in the complicated business building process with emphasis on all required business functions, not just marketing. Actually, you should ask yourself the question Michael Gerber suggests: “How can I systematize my business in such a way that it could be replicated 5,000 times, so the 5000th unit would run as smoothly as the first?

Of course, marketing must be one of your strong Systems but you’ll also design and put adequate effort into budgeting , production, delivery, customer service and other Systemsrequired of your industry.

If you’re building a business, build it the right way according to current “best practices”. Avoid feeling overwhelmed and frustrated. You can then enjoy making a real contribution, financial freedom and experiencing your preferred life style. What are your feelings on this subject?

An easy guide to critical management skills: “20 Directives for Small Business Success: Do or Die”

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