Too Busy for Marketing?
by Owner Steph Mazanowski
"With no marketing in place, you are not creating new traffic, you are not developing trust with new prospects, you are letting your competition in on the market share, and you will find yourself at a complete standstill once your current projects are finished. Then it will take you months of marketing effort to refill your pipeline."
I think we all can agree, the times we are in right now are…weird. Nothing is normal anymore. Really, the only thing that is normal these days is change. Meeting with business owners all day every day is quite interesting. Some businesses are struggling to stay afloat, while others are slammed with business and cannot find enough staff to tend to the workload. When we chat about marketing, there is a common theme among many industries. “I’m so busy right now, I don’t need to advertise.” HOLD THAT THOUGHT! I am here to save you from the biggest mistake of your business career. You will thank me later.
Many business owners think that marketing is something that should only be done if you are looking to get more customers. I realize on the surface it may not make sense to drum up more business when you already have more than you can handle but stop and think for a second about where all that work has come from. Do you really think that your clients saw your ad one time last week and said to themselves, “I want that now.” and called to set up the service or came in to buy your product? Highly unlikely. Instead, the work that you are doing right now is the result of months or years of actively marketing your business. Consider the time it takes your business to find, nurture and convert prospects. You may be busy now, but you need to market to keep filling your pipeline.
I am here out of courtesy to warn every business owner to avoid falling into the false sense of security you may be feeling right now, because if you stop advertising, your existing leads will dry up. With no marketing in place, you are not creating new traffic, you are not developing trust with new prospects, you are letting your competition in on the market share, and you will find yourself at a complete standstill once your current projects are finished. Then it will take you months of marketing effort to refill your pipeline.
It may be difficult to market when you are busy, but it is even harder to market when you are low on funds and desperate for work. Marketing is cyclical and must be a continuous cycle in order to ensure the success and stability of your business. If you drop your marketing efforts, even from just one channel, your competitors will move into your share of the market. Vying for consumer’s attention is a competitive game, so you must always play if you’re serious about growing your business.
Marketing is an ongoing business effort that your business needs to be doing whether you don’t have enough customers or whether you have a two month waiting list. The challenge, though, is not whether you should be marketing, but rather what marketing you should be doing based on how busy you are.
Right now, is a great time to put long-term marketing strategies in place to drive awareness and sales for the future, keeping your brand in the forefront of future customer’s minds. I once heard, “think of marketing as food, not medicine.” Marketing is the nourishment that keeps a business healthy versus dosing up on a bunch of meds when things are going wrong.
Your marketing should be producing more demand than you can supply. By doing this, you get to choose the best jobs and ultimately the most profitable ones. Bringing in more potential business than you need gives you lots of options. It allows you to accept the more profitable jobs and enables you to choose the more desirable projects. It also allows you to zero in on a tighter radius. If you are spending more time driving to job sites than at a job site itself, then chances are, you are losing money! Especially right now with the insane gas prices.
Referrals are great, it means a job well-done, but it is risky to not have other marketing channels in place. Relying on any ONE source of marketing is a terrible idea - especially if it’s referrals only. Referrals are not controllable, scalable, or in any way predictable. A strong marketing plan will have multiple different campaigns across multiple platforms and will be a lot less risky than just relying on referrals.
Seeing your company promoted throughout the community builds engagement, enthusiasm and gives your staff a sense of pride. Your shareholders and other stakeholders will see your business as proactive and forward thinking. Consistent marketing will also enable you to give back to the community. While you have the volume of sales you need, you may end up with capacity to consider giving someone much needed work experience or shift your marketing to support local charities through sponsorship.
Marketing is a fluid process. It’s never done and should never stop, busy or slow, peak season or not. Consistent marketing will help you build more trust in your brand, keeping your business connected with audiences at all times. It will also yield more regular and reliable results.
The momentum is really hard to regain once you lose it, so do not take your foot off the gas, even when you’re busy. Especially when you’re busy.