When business consultants and marketing agencies tell companies to simply ‘change the way you think, and it will change everything you do,’ the company owners typically don’t buy it.
But it’s true.
We frequently find that entrepreneur wants to improve their business yet say that they don’t have any additional time available given all the work they’ve already got to do.
Not so, we say to them. All you need to do is to make up your mind to do it. Make up your mind that you would like your business to give you more life. Make up your mind that you will set aside time to build a business that works. Make up your mind to it, and trust us, you will find the time.
The time you’ve got is simply a reflection of how you think about time. Think about time differently and you will begin to do things differently. Typically this conversation around ‘time’ is a result of discussing the investment required to market your company. And that is because effective marketing calls for a focused, single-minded discipline and desire to get results, regardless of the time and energy required.
According to a recent INC magazine study, there are a few simple questions business owners can ask themselves to understand the value of what they are offering.
It all starts with your mindset. Marketing is not a one-time activity; it’s not even a ten-time exercise. It’s a mindset. A new way of looking at your business and viewing everything you do as being part of the marketing process. It requires you to stop and think about who your customers are, where they come from and why they chose you. What do you do, how do you look, how do you act and feel and perform that differentiates you from everybody else?
This mindset is the biggest barrier to success for most business owners. They struggle to grasp why the thought process is the most critical stage of your marketing strategy. Quite simply, the right thinking always precedes the right action. Successful marketers are very careful reaching decisions and very persistent, determined and committed to their work after that. They understand that every minute spent on preparation saves ten minutes in execution.
There are no silver bullets. No magic wands. No 100% overnight improvements. There is not likely to be one marketing campaign that transforms your business. It’s more likely going to be 10 activities that each contributes 10% (or 20 at 5%). This simple concept can be hard to get your head around particularly if you are not performing as well as you would like and need to generate leads – fast.
However, to produce leads from your local area through marketing your product or service you need an insightful understanding of the minds of your customer, and this all too often comes from trial and error. To be a successful local marketer you need to remove the fear of failure. Be prepared for some of your marketing to fall short of your expectations but realize this is just the price you pay for the learning experience. Knowing what doesn’t work is almost as important as knowing what does. The only real failure is in no longer trying.
Adopting a marketing mindset means training yourself to recognize marketing opportunities as they present themselves. It’s an understanding that you need to go to the customer not hope they will come to you. You have to build products, services, and communications that bring customers to you, satisfy them and get them back to you again and again. Your business lives and dies on its ability to attract and satisfy local customers.
Recognize that marketing is a skill set, just like any other you require to run your business, and the only way to improve is to persevere. So next time you find yourself saying or thinking- I don’t have time, consider if you have the right mindset and desire to get results.