2007 has been a good year for many businesses. Studies are showing consumer optimism and spending are up. B-to-B reports are saying that businesses are also spending with renewed confidence.
You may be one of the lucky companies that's feeling pretty good about the work you have piling up. Customers are aplenty and the register is ringing. In fact, you are probably so busy you just don't have time to think about marketing. You'll get back to it when things slow down. Right?
Wrong. Really wrong.
The time to aggressively market is now. Why? Somehow we forget that client acquisition is hardly an instantaneous event. If we wait until we have extra time or really need the cash flow – we're in trouble.
The best time to reach out to potential new customers? It needs to be a constant part of your day. Every day. The challenge is to automate your efforts so that no matter how busy you are, it does not stutter or stop. So how do you go about making marketing part of your routine?
Identify at least one marketing tool that you can commit to for the rest of the year. It might be a monthly sales postcard to dormant customers, hosting a 4th quarter seminar aimed at your target audience, or a push in your print ad schedule.
Next, do something that locks you in. Print the postcards. Schedule the seminar and publicize the date. Sign a contract for the print ads. Do something that commits you. No matter how busy you are.
Is it enough? For most businesses, no. But it's a good start.
In theory, we should always be looking for new business, especially when we can do it in a leisurely fashion as opposed to the panic that sets in when you are slow.
And you’re right, sometimes that’s as simple as getting a little smarter by reading books/blogs or taking a class.
There’s nothing wrong with having an edge!
I agree, Drew. We shoukd be working on new biz all the time, but especially when business is good. That’s when we might be tight on time, but likely more flush on financial resources to fund that mailing or meetings to attend, etc.
Also, when business is slow, a certain sense of desperation could creep in and you might end up taking projects you don’t really want, or accepting too low a free. I know — I’ve been there.
I think we’ve all been there. When nothing would feel better and more “right” than to wave goodbye but you just can’t afford to. Those situations rarely play out well.
I believe the trick to new business is that it needs to be a regular part of your day/routine. That’s why blogging can be so powerful. We’ve sent out a weekly e-newsletter (basically a blog post or two) since 1999. In eight years, writing and sending that weekly contact is just a given and we don’t even think twice about it.
I think it is tougher to start, stop, start again.