Are You Willing to Be Successful in Your Marketing?

As business owners struggle to get ahead of the competition and work to expand, they will inevitably run into barriers — this is a natural part of the game. Some of these challenges can be formidable, but successful business owners seem to come out on top despite the very daunting prospect of stiff competition in their market, or the cold reality of facing a market which has a total lack of awareness of their brand and products, or even when facing the challenges of a limited budget. What is their secret? How can they overcome these things when others fail?

In dealing with scores of businesses over the years, we have seen that business owners can be slowed or stopped at times by a lack of willingness to do certain key things. And interestingly, many of the actions that are the most important ones to take for success and prosperity are the ones that are least confronted. This is something business owners need to consider seriously. Quite often, success exists  just on the other side of the things that one most resists doing. There is hardly an area of business where this is more true than in marketing. So — if you’re willing, and you want to be successful — let’s buckle down and take a look at a few key viewpoints that you’ll need to embrace along with the actions necessary to execute them.

1. Be Willing to Think Big.

Many business owners have difficulty in looking at the larger picture and seeing the bigger game. Business owners who start small in their mind set, thinking of the just number of clients that they need have to survive rather than the amount they need to thrive will find it difficult to do either. It’s an amazing thing, once you realize the power your own mindset has and that your decisions control not only the level of current business activity, but also its longevity and future. It’s important to know the minimum number of clients you need to survive, because not dropping below that is how the doors stay open. However, it’s more vital to be able to pull your mindset out of the day-to-day business and aggressively plan for the future — or you can bet there will be no future. “Thinking Big” is something successful business owners do not shy away from.

2. Be Willing to Find Your Thought Leaders.

Its important to know those in your marketplace that your audience regards as opinion leaders — they are people that have achieved the status that you want to rise to. You should understand what they do, why they do it and how it can apply to what you’re doing in your marketing program. Its important to be an innovator, but if the method has already been written and its still proven to be successful, there’s no reason to spend the time and money to do something new or unproven. The trick is to take what they do and their influence in the marketplace, and leverage that momentum to forward your own brand. If your content is noticed and shared by the leaders in your space, this becomes extremely valuable in building credibility for your brand along with getting your content out to a wider audience.

3. Be Willing to Fail.

Many times, in marketing programs as in well as in other areas of business and life, people are over careful in application because they don’t want to fail. The problem is that the difference between success and failure, quite often, is just over the line of being careful. Business owners have to be willing to dive into a marketing program with an attitude that they’re not afraid to fail, and this is also a hallmark of a great number of successful entrepreneurs. Short of trying some completely irrelevant action with no fore planning, its generally better to have attempted a program and learned that it didn’t work— or didn’t work as well as you had hoped — than to never have attempted it at all. You may find that with a bit of tweaking, that very “failed” program quickly turns into a success. The key here is to understand that the willingness to communicate to customers is far more important than the fear of failing to communicate.

4. Be Willing to Hustle.

You’re basically just getting by in business; you have only a few customers; times are tough. But — you’re going on vacation next week,  you eat lunch out, and going golfing on the weekends is a MUST.  Whether you’re in this condition because you’re just starting out, or you’ve never really gotten things off the ground, or you’re not doing as well as you once were, you have to understand that in order to change this condition, it’s going to take work and persistence. You might not always get to spend time as you’d like if you want to ensure that your business will exist in the future. There are too many people out there crying poor, when they are very rich in time. If you’re broke, and business is slow, you can always invest the most valuable capital that you have: time.

5. Be Willing to Admit You’re Wrong.

Want to kill your business quickly? Then think you’re always right, even when you aren’t. You need to be able to listen to feedback — whether it be from your customers in the marketplace or even your employees and mentors. This is especially important because sometimes, as business owners, we are too close to the problem to actually see it. Its OK to be wrong sometimes, and its even more important to be able to admit it, because continuing a failing program or an unwise action just to make yourself feel right is a sure-fire way to hinder the chances of your company’s prosperity.

6. Be Willing to Invest in Your Business.

Yes, you need to spend wisely, but it is important to be willing to spend, period. Too often business owners are willing to invest in producing their product, yet not in marketing their product, and this creates a far bigger “barrier” in business than most owners realize. When you are wondering why people are not beating down your door to buy your products or services, one thing to take a look at is the amount of money you are investing to get their attention — and how much money your competitors are investing to get their attention. Because it IS an investment—just like purchasing your own building or spending on R&D. At times, some business owners will pull the funding on a marketing program that may just need a little more time, or they are afraid to spend on something that will be the make-break for their business. Its important to do your research, but you should be willing to invest enough money in promotion and marketing to become noticed and have your products sought after in the marketplace.

7. Be Willing to Listen and Observe.

It’s vital to know what’s happening regarding your marketing —what’s getting results and what isn’t, tracked over time. The most important thing to pay attention to here is the statistics relating to your program, and it goes without saying that the statistics you look at must be the correct ones for measuring the results of what that program or action can cause to happen. In other words, don’t use Gross Income as the only stat you look at to judge if a Social Media program is working. There are many, many actions that add up to Gross Income; social media marketing might only be one of them. By observing results based on correct statistics, you can tell if your program has proven value and can rest easy when investing time and money into it. It’s also vital observe the quality and execution of all your marketing programs — it may be the correct program, but very poor in its quality and/or execution. If so, then re-evaluate the “what” or “who,” as to why the program was not successfully crafted or executed.

8. Be Willing to Hire a Professional. 

Even if you had full marketing knowledge and ability at your finger tips, in the end it might serve you better to hire someone else to do it for you. First, you must ask yourself, “Is this the best use of my time, as a business owner?”  More often than not, business owners wear many, many hats, and marketing, done right, can be time-consuming.  In truth, your time is most valuable when spent on either planning or production at your business. If you have a lot of marketing knowledge, you will be able to strategically plan and direct your marketing firm very well, without having to actually do the “grunt work.” Yes, it can seem expensive to outsource, but when a professional really knows the technology of marketing, he can do it more efficiently and create a greater response — actually saving money with more return.

9. Be Willing to Work Without Immediate Reward.

You send one postcard mailing, but there are no customers breaking down your door the day after it hits. You try an email blast yet the phone doesn’t ring off the hook. The key here is to continue to persist through the silence — even though the gap between sending a promotion and customer response can look like the Grand Canyon. Don’t do a promotion just once and wonder why you’re not instantly rolling Ferrari’s and Lambo’s. It’s about consistent marketing actions being done continuously over time, rather than a sporadic, frantic, “try anything and everything once” approach. Understand your plan, know why you’re doing it, execute and be prepared to stay committed for the long haul. Better brand awareness, more customers, and increased revenue is on the other side if you just have the patience to get there.

No one said it would be easy — but kudos for those diving in and taking on the challenge of owning a business. Many of us did so without prior knowledge of what we were getting into, and, worse, NO knowledge of how to handle the bumps in the road along the way. With the benefit of hindsight and hard-won experience, we hope the above points will help smooth your journey.