One of the perverse habits many businesses fall into…is to get too comfy when things are going well.
Things seem good now… money coming in, customers happy, bills paid…and so they stop driving for the next sale or the next customer. You say, “Hey, I’m up to my eyeballs in work now.” or “I rank the bell 10 times this week.”
That’s almost always a massive blunder. The trap door (that one contract) opens and now chaos, you are in crisis mode.
I’ve lost count of how many businesses I’ve consulted, talked to and worked with, after the “sure thing” they were enjoying…. BLEW UP! I have heard, “Nah, this General Contractor is keeping me as busy as I need.” I read that as they own you. And I love this one. They say, “I am getting a ton of work from Facebook now.” LMOA, in my career, I have seen Facebook as nothing, to a Rock Star and back to nothing, even though the guru’s say different.
But, the good thing goes away, this tactic or tool reaches it’s peak, no results.
When I get those messages. Those are some of the saddest phone calls, the saddest emails or texts ever. You’re stunned, but you gotta get something going, fast.
Because, the wolf will be at the door soon.
The customers got pissed off, or died. The General Contractor got dragged off to jail by the feds. The money stopped coming in, abruptly and rudely. Then your realized, Holy Shit nothing else is in the pipeline.
Because, you know, it was all going so well. Life was GOOD! Man the lifestyle, the dreams of what good comes next. Then POOF! Gone, Adios, Bye Felicia!
There are no “time outs” in a good business model. There ARE lots of great vacations (Really?), and time off (When?), and enjoying the good grooves while they’re happening…
But you never take tomorrow for granted.
For me, 50 is closer than 40 and in my life, I have seen businesses, have had businesses (Shooting Star Bad Company echoing in my head) and seen friends rise, fall or worse be taken way to early.
(Drifting off….Sorry, back to business.)
Part of a great business plan is to have a plan for when things go rancid, for when the SHTF, when that General Contractor runs off with the office girl. You need an escape route or plan B. An alternative route to take when “Five O” block the main road. A nice pile of “screw you” money set aside for this very rainy day.
This all starts with having long-term goals.
What are you after……….The rent paid next month?
That’s pretty short-sighted.
Rather, think about how you want the next few weeks or months to play out. And about what it’s gonna take to fund that adventure, and what will be required of you to make those funds appear. Cash flow? An advertising campaign started and running idle or self sufficient to hit the throttle the second sweet grapes turn to lemons.
Never just cruise on the good times. Enjoy them…live the lifestyle. Make great stories.
… but be aware of how fickle fate is, and how quickly your perfect situation can collapse into chaos.
Just a word to the wise, as you get your act in gear…you do have a plan B, right?
While business is good, capitalize on the opportunity and grow your business, hedge yourself from the bad times or when work is slim. Those holidays, bad weather months, those economic factors that put a hurting on your savings. That General Contractor that runs off with the office girl.
Your savings are for your future, the investment in you. Not to sustain yourself over those lean times.
Did you know that most businesses that are doing well now, can expect, their profits to get them through the next few months. No plan to keep it coming in.
What if? What if you invested in your business, in YOU? Imagine, growing in profits by 5% in a short period of time, 10 to 30 percent isn’t a stretch.
This doesn’t have to mean more work load. ALWAYS BE MARKETING! No, it offers you more CHANCES to get your premium prices. Supply and demand, means more profitable projects to work on. If you only need one to fill the void in your schedule (Cancellations or lost customers) and your added marketing efforts got you six calls for quotes. Well, you can push your premium pricing. A blind squirrel can get a nut, so one sale out of six it doable at any price/value standpoint. Give yourself a raise.
Now your void has been filled with a profitable job. You have 5 more people that you can market to with your newsletter and email marketing campaigns, etc. Cash is flowing.
(You do have a newsletter/email marketing campaign, Right? All my clients do.)
Hind sign is 20/20 and if you have been in business any length of time, you have seen the roller coaster of lean and mean times. You have seen how customers can affect your businesses bottom line. Your marketing efforts so far are doing well, but have you reached the peak with what your doing? Could you do something better or grow and profit?
It is something to think about, when the times are good. It is something you should think about while you have options. Nobody likes to be in between a rock and a hard place. You have a choice of SUCKS or SUCKS MORE. Been there, no need to repeat that. Diversify, expand, growth, variety are things that should be in your head…your plans.
Worried about the suck? Feeling the suck? Give me a call, text or email maybe I can or can’t help. If nothing else I’m a wall to bounce your ideas, listen to concerns or help you make plans for the future.
Until our trails cross,
Master Marketing Misfit