11 Jul You Need Professional Help
The Small Business Administration makes it known that 50 percent of startup businesses fail within the first 5 years. It’s higher for restaurants. And of those that survive, only about 4 percent ever reach $1,000,000 in revenue. It appears that small businesses are somewhere between a “hobby”, full time work, staffing employees, and a raging success earning income in excess of $1M.
Having worked as a consultant for almost 15 years, I have been a part of startups, been employee #1, worked in established companies as a member of a team, led teams, and evaluated the strategic position of hundreds of companies. Lets look at a few reasons why we see businesses never reach their potential.
First, please stop thinking you can do everything yourself.
You can’t. I can’t. We can’t. Well you, I, and we can, but we are dramatically decreasing the odds we will ever be successful. Know your limits, appreciate the expertise of others, and then invest in your own company by hiring others to do work better than you can on your own. For my clients, they automatically understand this as they’ve hired Hundred Rubys to take over their marketing efforts. Because we are a digital marketing company, we hire out for other professional services such as accountants to dispense tax expertise, and lawyers to create contracts, and more. It seems obvious to hire other professionals to everyone, but there is a sentiment behind marketing that it’s just words and owners sometimes feel they can go it alone – not realizing it’s a disservice to themselves and the longevity of their business.
Second, don’t make decisions based on feelings.
Yes there are instances when you go with your gut. However, you don’t make decisions based on your gut – you research, analyze, and formulate the best possible plan given what you know. If you fail, one would evaluate, revise, and create a logical Plan B based on the analysis of the first go around. People without a marketing or strategy background only have their own context to support their decisions. For example, someone might say social media marketing is a waste of money. I might tell them it depends on your goal – are you using it for engagement, referral traffic, creating social signals for SEO value? What’s the context behind “social media sucks” that makes you think the way you were doing it is the only way? Maybe you are using the wrong tool for the right job.
There is a world of marketing programs, strategies, and tactics you can employ and you’ll probably have to consult with someone to know what’s possible and have them walk you through the best possible fit for your particular situation.
Third, accept you don’t know what you don’t know, but know that it does exist.
People are able to acknowledge and accept that their current set of decisions produced an undesirable result. But those “in the know” take that further and say “there’s a way to make this work – but I don’t know enough about how.” Maybe with a few tweaks, you can find the right combination that works for your situation. You may not know that exists, but I guarantee you that you’ll be ecstatic when the new “twist” is proven to create the results you want. For example, you might complain that you can’t be found in search results and you’ve tried everything. But for you, everything is defined as a GoDaddy website and a Facebook page. Then you hire us to show you that you don’t have a meta title, description, have a one-page website, no recurring content, your copy is vague, and your website is unattractive. There is no reason for Google to give you rankings so that you can show up in search results if you don’t create the opportunity.
In conclusion – you need professional help. Tell your next consultant what you’ve done, why you choose that path, and ask how they’d improve the end result. Chances are the initial advice is free – you just need to ask for help to get moving in the right direction.