Looking at the information kept by organizations that keeps stats on the success of businesses, it is quite clear that most businesses fail and fail miserably. And there are many reasons given but a few rise to the top on list after list.The lack of sufficient capital, poor management, not enough business knowledge on the part of the owner, poor location, too low of a price point.One of the primary reasons though why many businesses fail that is almost never mentioned is poor marketing. There are multitudes of new business owners opening their doors everyday with great hopes and expectations having spent money on everything you could possibly consider; wonderful locations, plenty of stock, top notch equipment, a ready staff of employees etc. etc. Yet they do not even have an advertising budget; not a real one.And they have no marketing plan. And no vision of how they will communicate to all that they are now born into the business world, with wonderful new products and services with which they intend to bless the world.
The thing which makes this all the more strange is that in building these shiny new businesses they are leaving behind the most important component of all; the customers. For to leave behind the marketing is to leave behind the customers.Robert Kiyosaki in his Rich Dad series, shows us a picture of what he describes as the pyramid structure of a sound business. Not counting the outside walls of the pyramid, which are Leadership, Team and Mission, Communication or marketing was second only to Cash Flow. And Cash Flow is a must to keep the doors open.
Communicating (marketing) is what brings in the money which pays the bills. It is that which will determine whether or not the business will expire prematurely from infant mortality. It has been said that starting a new business is like jumping out of a plane without a parachute while proceeding to build one before you hit the ground. New businesses start out with a certain amount of capital, the business must be up and running enough to support itself before the start up capital runs out.
A mature business that has been up and running for years should have excellent marketing channels and should invest a set percentage of its resources into continuing to communicate with its prospects, its customers, its vendors and those who live within the community in which it operates.The resources that are available to invest are both time and moneyith mature businesses, there are different ideas about how much should be invested toward marketing. Really it depends on goals, marketing efficiency and other factors, but 10%, 15% or 20% can be considerations.
For new businesses though, much higher numbers should be allotted and definitely greater amounts of time. And of course care should be taken to conserve all monetary resources as much as possible, always thinking “how can I acquire that without cost” before saying” how can I buy it”.But after all expenditures have been paid for the week or the month or whatever, massive amounts of both time and money should be cleverly put into the communications (marketing) of the business. Really after the necessary time that is needed to keep the business going has been put in, all of the other time available can be invested into marketing.
As a matter of fact, a new business is really in the marketing business more than it is in its main enterprise in a way.And for all of those owners of start ups who go home nights unsure and not certain , let them resolve to spend the upcoming weeks focusing primarily on bring in new prospects. And let them change their titles for a while from President of Operations to President of Marketing.
And before long they will be happy campers with money flowing richly into their bank accounts and a list of all the cool things which they must consider doing as they move forward to set up fully their great new ventures.
As I said when I started this post, all stats that monitor new businesses confirm the fact that most fail and fail miserable. But I would love to see a similar survey conducted on businesses that puts Marketing/Communication on the top of their priorities.