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”
“With purpose, a company can create positive value that is far greater than the sum of its parts.” Sherri Hakimi
A business Purpose or Mission is the GPS of your business. It’s your guiding star.
Sherry Hakimi describes the importance of Purpose this way:
“As a company, it’s important to think about why you are in the business you’re in. What drives you? If your business succeeds, what would your ideal world look like? When a company demonstrates an authentic purpose, consumers feel a connection to the products and company. They will choose the authentically purposeful company’s products, even if it’s not the cheapest offering.”
How do we find a business Purpose?
Your Purpose comes from a desire to contribute something to the economy. Your Purpose can be mainly economic progress for yourself and partners or it can be geared toward economic progress as well as contribution toward a improved society. You have designed either of these from your personal beliefs, values and desires. Therefore, your Purpose is a deeply held expression of what you believe you can do with your business.
Are you excited about your business venture? Are you fulfilling a life-long dream? Are you excited to get up everyday to work on your venture? If you answered yes to these questions, you may have a deeply embodied business Purpose. A deeply embodied business Purpose (Mission) is a purpose that motivates you dramatically, gives you a sense of well being and brings you joy. If this is the state you’re in, congratulations. Your business has a much higher chance of success than many of the businesses of your entrepreneurial colleagues.
Craig and Snook in “ From Impact to Purpose” explains: “Business experts make the case that purpose is a key to exceptional performance, while psychologists describe it as the pathway to greater well-being. Doctors have even found that people with purpose in their lives are less prone to disease. Purpose is increasingly being touted as the key to navigating the complex, volatile, ambiguous world we face today, where strategy is ever changing and few decisions are obviously right or wrong.”
A strong business Purpose/Mission can create a legacy in these ways:
It will provide a strong foundation for your Values, Vision and Strategy. Everything you do in your business will spring from your Purpose. You will have definite parameters for decision making and System building.
You will facilitate an “adaptive business culture” with your Purpose as the anchor. Our fast changing environment will require the ability to make rapid changes and innovations. An adaptable culture supports the continuous flexibility your business will need. As a result, you will need something to direct and ground you activities. A strong Purpose performs this function.
You will create and sustain a great reputation. A strong Purpose will draw employees and customers to your organization and if that Purpose is promoted over time, your reputation for consistently delivering according to your Purpose will spread.
Following are some great examples of how deeply embodied purpose works in reality.
Birkenstock 243 years
The core of their Mission/Purpose is: “Birkenstock is deeply rooted in the fine art of crafting premium quality shoes that are good for you.”
Delta Airlines 90 years
“Delta Air Lines Mission Statement: “We—Delta’s employees, customers, and community partners together form a force for positive local and global change, dedicated to bettering standards of living and the environment where we and our customers live and work.”
Southwest Airlines 38 years
“Our Purpose is: To connect People to what’s important in their lives through friendly, reliable, and low-cost air travel.”
Amazon 23 years
“Our vision is to be earth’s most customer-centric company; to build a place where people can come to find and discover anything they might want to buy online.”
All of the Purposes described are very broad. They allow for any technological advance or other changes that relate to their industry. They address social needs or challenges and are designed as economically feasible business models.
“Most of us go to our graves with the music still inside us, unplayed. Oliver Wendell Holmes
Don’t be like “most”. Design your entrepreneurship because you can do anything you want to do! The information available to everybody today can hep you build a genuine legacy. Designing a Purpose that energizes you should be your first step. This can also move you closer to building your legacy.
Easy to apply business building guides: “20 Directives for Small Business Success: Do or Die”