It’s a common problem. One minute you’re flooded with work, the next there are weeks…or months…of nothing. Perhaps your business is fairly new and you aren’t seeing the sales you want despite your best efforts?
So many business owners tear their hair out – or worse, in those times of drought think that their business is failing – if this happens enough times, it can make you want to give up entirely.
The only way to stop ‘the revenue roller coaster’ is to ongoingly evaluate what you are doing and have done and look for patterns so you can take action to fix the problem at it’s route.
The most common trap that people fall in to is that they’ll work really hard marketing/selling their business from which they get some great results and find themselves quite busy. But because they’re a small business owner which effectively means that in addition to their actual job they are also the accounts department, HR, legal, customer service etc etc…they then stop their marketing activity. Unfortunately by the time they’ve got on top of the work that they brought in previously, they realise that work seems to have dried up again.
What often then happens is that the business owner doesn’t look at the reason for the decline in work, they just assume that either it’s seasonal (and sometimes it is) or that there is less of a need for their product or services. It may seem obvious when I explain it like this that if you stop marketing that the work will stop coming in but sometimes it’s very hard to see the wood from the trees. Sometimes a business owner will realise that it’s because of a lack of marketing efforts and will ‘panic market’, wildly throwing time and money at any type of marketing that they come across hoping for a quick fix – unfortunately this is often a hopeless waste of time and money.
Bottom line is that it doesn’t matter whether you are an enormous company like Tesco’s or a one man band – consistent, strategic marketing is absolutely critical to a successful business. It’s as important as sending out or chasing invoices, as important as shipping your products or delivering your services, it is a fundamental part of your business…yet is the thing that is most quickly put aside.
Put together a strategic marketing plan that is right for your business – it will inevitably be multifaceted and remember that not all types of marketing work for all businesses – and work that strategy, consistently. Set aside some time each week, every week, to spend time marketing your business. How much time depends on you and your business – obviously if you’re just starting your business or in fact just starting or restarting marketing the time spent on it will be significantly more than once you’re just keeping things ticking over.
Take a look at my article on Putting Together A Marketing Strategy that Works for help with your strategy.
If you’d like some more specific advice on your situation, or if you are reading this and are saying to yourself, but I have been marketing my business – get in touch. I’ll quickly be able to give you some pointers on the sort of marketing your business ‘should’ be doing – no cost, no strings attached. And if it becomes apparent that marketing is not the issue then we can take a quick look at what else might be the problem.