Is your business at a dead end?

Dead End Photo by azrainman

It’s not necessary to change.  Survival is not mandatory!   – W. Edwards Deming

If you’re not actively marketing your business, you’re at a dead end!  Even if you’re doing a bit of marketing here and there, if you don’t have an online presence…if people can’t find you online – you’re at a dead end!

I had a great discussion with a business owner today who had seen a handout from one of my recent workshops.  One of the bullet points that really caught his attention (and made him noticeably uncomfortable) was the following:

  • You should have 5 to 10 active marketing strategies at any given time.

His comment (and I’ve heard this from plenty of other business owners) was “I’m not big enough for a marketing department and I don’t have the time or money for even 5 strategies”!

It’s not necessary to change.  Survival is not mandatory!

As a small business owner, regardless of whatever your business is, you are first and foremost in the Marketing business.  See the marketing assessment below to find out how your Marketing business is doing.

Without purposeful marketing, your future growth depends on referrals and straight sales.  However if you’re not using a referral system (or process) as a strategy  (a marketing strategy) then any referrals you receive are going to be a lucky turn of events.  That’s not scalable, it’s not planned and you can’t count on it.

But what about good old fashioned sales – smiling and dialing?

Sales efforts that aren’t supported by marketing efforts continue to get harder and harder.  You can still find buyers the old fashioned way, but it will take a lot longer and you’ll need a lot more contacts than you did a few years ago.  Technology and annoyance with traditional sales techniques have made people a lot harder to reach and a lot more resistant to a straight sales pitch.

What are the important components of marketing that you need to succeed?  One of the things I do with clients is have them take an assessment I call the Business Effectiveness Evaluation – which covers 9 critical areas of business success (the first of which is marketing).  Below are the questions for the marketing section – score yourself from 1 to 10.

Marketing Effectiveness Evaluation

We have at least 10 marketing strategies active at all times 1 10
Our marketing message addresses our target market and their interests DIRECTLY. 1 10
Our marketing message is consistent across all mediums that we use. 1 10
All of our marketing tells the prospect exactly what to do next in making contact with us. 1 10
We track all leads, and know exactly what marketing medium brought the prospect into contact with us. 1 10
Our marketing message is dramatically different from our competitors’. 1 10
We are constantly looking for new ways to provide additional products and services to our target market. 1 10
We maintain a current database of current and potential customers. 1 10
We use strategies such as guarantees and testimonials to enhance our marketing message in all communications. 1 10
We communicate with past customers on a regular basis to ensure that they come back again and again. 1 10


So how do you score?  If you’d like to discuss your marketing evaluation or if you’d like to take the rest of the Business Effectiveness Evaluation – Contact Me and we can see if you’re ready to prosper or if you’re at a dead end!

How big a role does marketing play in your business?  Are you investing enough focus in marketing what you do for long term success?  Marketing doesn’t have to be expensive, but it does need to be consistent.  What do you think?  Share your thoughts in the comments below, I’d love to hear them.

Shawn Kinkade  Kansas City Business Coach