Too Busy To Plan

“I just got back from vacation and there are 277 e-mails waiting for me,” the client told me.  He was clearly stressed out with the idea of getting through all those e-mails and then try and fix a marketing problem staring him straight in the face. His Billings advertising plan was spiraling out of control.

He had an ad schedule in print and on air that started tomorrow and had no idea what he was going to do with it.

The problem

Many Billings area small business owners and Billings advertising people have much the same problem.

Entrepreneurship is hard for a lot of people.  It is not the difficulty of having the idea how to build the business or even how to run the business.

Its the idea of giving up a bit of control.  Even asking for help for some enterprising types is  impossible.  Instead, they will slog through an enormous e-mail in box and pound out unremarkable copy and wonder why their results suffer.

Its too bad.

The Advertising and Marketing Mistakes

There’s a business book in the making in this situation. Lets take a look at five critical errors this business person is making.

  • No strategic plan
  • Reluctance to hire an expert from afar
  • No clear idea on what the unique selling proposition might be
  • Missing the “why us”  part of business
  • Distracted focus from where the money is made

A well thought out strategic and marketing plan would have eliminated much of this stress.  I’ve seen clients eyes glaze over when we talk about five year plans or even three month plans for that matter. The challenge is a strategic plan falls into the area Steven Covey called “important, not urgent“.  Taking the time to plan what you are going to do and when you expect to do it is critical to success.  Even when you do not make such a plan, you have a default backup.  Failing to plan means acceptance of planning to fail.

Most entrepreneurial people have a large passion for what they do.  They love one part of the business more than another.  Perhaps dealing with the customer is your strong point, or maybe thinking of a way to add a new gadget to your product.  Where many fall down is getting useful advice from experts in the field.  Marketing and advertising are areas where everyone thinks they know best.  Unless you have spent your entire adult life focused on writing, producing, and buying media and Billings advertising, don’t underestimate the power of a pro to help.

Story of Knowing What Business You Are In

I was having a conversation with a client who ran a local pub.  The bar had live entertainment on weekends and occasionally would even get national big time talent to come and perform.  One glaring issue seemed to scream at me as we talked.  Finally I asked, “what is the outcome you want from your concert”.  The answer was sell beer.  The owner of the club was clear on their unique proposition for customers.  It wasn’t the importance of ticket sales.  The tickets brought the people to buy the beer.  I felt better.

You will hear people talking about marketing and advertising in Billings as “spending money”.  It is not a spend.  It is an investment in traffic building to provide future sales.  The issue is when marketing and advertising takes away from the money making portions of the business.  Remember the ad that describes getting into business so I could “do the paperwork” or “fill out government forms” or even “do payroll?”  All important functions and all taking away from the product.  Marketing is more than filling out a form but it can’t get in the way of running your business.  In many small businesses in Billings, advertising is either left till last or dominates the thought of the owner.  Neither is great strategy.

Solving a Billings Advertising Challenge

If any of these sound like your business or the way you approach your business, getting help in the Billings advertising area will generate focus.

And get rid of the stress of 277 e-mail days in the shop.

 

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