Every business consists of three branches: marketing, operations and finance. In simplistic terms, marketing means “bringing money in”. Operations means “delivering a product or service”. And finance means “counting the money”.
All three branches of a business are important. Problem is, most small business owners focus primarily on one part: operations. It’s understandable: it’s the part that’s most visible. A caterer delivers meals. A plumber fixes leaky faucets. A martial arts instructor teaches martial arts.
What normally happens to marketing? The answer is simple:
it gets pushed to the bottom of the list. That’s because many small business owners approach marketing as an “afterthought”. If things are going well – and consistent revenue flows in from existing customers – the typical business owner feels like they don’t have to bother with marketing. If somebody walks in off the street, great. If not, that’s fine, too.
But when things start to head south, suddenly those same business owners scramble in desperation to get their marketing going. It’s often too late for them. Desperation mode is about the worst way to market: when your back is against the wall and you NEED to get sales, it’s often the toughest time to make things happen. Take this “down economy”, for instance. Business owners who have “coasted” over the last few years are now experiencing a sobering shock: their marketing skills aren’t up to par. They’ve relied on “word of mouth” to carry them for so long that they don’t know HOW to proactively generate sales. Either they’ve forgotten how to market successfully, or they never learned how in the first place. It’s too late for a lot of them.
See, marketing is a process, not an event. It’s not something you turn off and on like flipping a switch. A good marketing system takes time to get rolling. But once it does, it grows and builds on its own momentum. Success breeds success.
What Is Your Marketing Investment?
Ask yourself this: “How much money do I put into operations every month?”
If you crunch the numbers, I bet you’ll discover a big chunk of your overhead is devoted to operations – things like the electric bill, rent, salaries, internet usage and other overhead.
Now ask yourself how much money you invest in marketing each month. Is it comparable? I’d guess it’s not even close.
For the life of me, I can’t understand why the average small business owner has no problem signing a lease of, say, $3,000 a month for three years, but balks at budgeting $1,000 for marketing. When you consider that marketing is the only branch of your business that brings money in, it’s crazy.
Marketing expert Jay Abraham said it best, “Marketing is the only part of your business that creates money. Everything else is just a cost”.
Marketing isn’t a “luxury”. It’s not something that you can postpone until the “timing’s right”. It’s something successful school owners do on a consistent, regular, ongoing basis.