I’ve had the privilege of talking to many small business owners over my time doing this job, and there’s one thing I find myself saying over and over again, for what purpose.
Those who know me well are now laughing at me dedicating an article to that question, because, well, I hate it! Well I did hate it.
You see my first business mentor used to say it all the time. ALL THE TIME. And I hated him for it. On return from my second mentoring session, my business partner Jo, asked me, how it went, and I said, “if he asks me for what purpose one more time, I’ll shove ….” – you get the picture.
And yet, here I am. Using the same question on my clients in my mentoring sessions.
This simple 3-word question used to drive me bananas, because it made me think, WHY AM I DOING THIS?
But it’s a perfect question isn’t it?
Certainly, one I’ve used a lot in the past couple of weeks.
So, let me put this in perspective for you to get great value from this question too.
I stand on stage (or out the front of audiences) and talk on this podcast, do lives on social and post as well and I talk about social media, my absolute love for email marketing, I talk marketing until the cows come home, giving lots of value, value, value, tips and tricks and my best kept secrets. I try and give you information for where you are in your business – trying not to overwhelm but give next steps or fresh ideas.
BUT, the question you need to ask yourself is FOR WHAT PURPOSE?
I can sit, stand, yell, talk all I want about driving more sales, bringing more leads but you need to
- Think – how does that relate to my business, how can I make that work
- Is that marketing idea, strategy, tips, trick, what will work for me?
- And (the big question) if it does work – what that means for me, what does that look like for my business.
So, I’ll give you some examples, so you can get your head around what I’m talking about.
Let’s say you’re going to run a VIP event in your bricks and mortar store, and you ask me how you should market it.
I might say things like, Facebook Ads, email marketing, creating an event on Facebook or Eventbrite, I might suggest a few offline strategies as well, such as printed invitations or even a targeted mailbox drop.
All these things will work – if worded correctly, if target appropriately – they will get you the outcome you want – people to your VIP event.
But you need to ask yourself, how big do you want this event? How much marketing do you think you need to do to make the event a success? What does success look like?
For what purpose are you marketing?
If you have a database of 1000 people but your bricks and mortar store is small and only 20 people at any one time can fit – then perhaps a letterbox drop or a Facebook ad might get “too much” traction and you simply couldn’t handle that many people in the hours of your VIP event.
Therefore, just because all those marketing strategies might work well, doesn’t mean you should do all of them – you simply couldn’t handle the results!
Or maybe you’re marketing a product. If you only have 10 of these particular products, then running a Facebook ad to the sales page on your website, targeting half a million people, is just silly – you simply don’t have the product to sell – even if only 1% of them wanted to purchase.
If you are at the capacity in your business (real capacity, not just “busy being busy” capacity), then undertaking more marketing to drive even more business your way is counter intuitive – you can’t service those people probably even if they do come – you’re already stretched to the max.
If you have a pizza business, for example, maybe you can’t physically make any more pizzas – you’re max with staff, you’re max with machinery etc etc.
All these examples are ones I have come across in my time as a mentor and business coach. You might be thinking, well ddrrrr, that makes total sense, but trust me, some business owners don’t stop to think how their marketing strategies are or will affect their business.
I think we should ALL be lifelong learners, so please don’t stop learning, listening to podcasts like mine (Small Business Made Simple), reading articles on LinkedIn like this one, taking notes at the next workshop you attend or taking stock of where you are (your current state) and where you would like to be (your desired state) – but be aware and ask yourself, every time you go to do something in your business or chance something – FOR WHAT PURPOSE.
Just because someone says you must be on Instagram – doesn’t mean you should be. What’s the purpose? Is it to drive more leads – can you handle more leads? Is it to sell more – do you have the stock to sell more – can you logistically handle more sales?
I guess the thing that sits above the horrid sentence FOR WHAT PURPOSE is your goals.
If you do X, will it lead you closer to your goal of Y.
Please don’t do things because your competitors are doing it, because someone at a workshop said you MUST do it, or because everyone else is ….
You are unique, your business is unique (because you are) and therefore you need to be doing what’s right for you and will help you meet your goals.
So, next time a bright shining object (or as we say in my family “squirrel”) comes across your desk, stop and ask yourself that little question – FOR WHAT PURPOSE? Learn to love-hate it as much as me!
Got questions? Well head into my Facebook group – Like Minded Business Owners. It a fabulous community, half marketing and social media education, half networking and business opportunities.
If you haven’t joined yet, the link is in the show notes or just go to Facebook and search Like Minded Business Owners. Not joined yet. Well welcome … let’s do that – it’s another great way to stay on top of what’s going on in the world of social media and marketing!
Of course, this article is a subset of my podcast- Small Business Made Simple. So if you’d rather listen than read, for Apple Podcasts click here http://bit.ly/podcastjenn for webpage click here http://bit.ly/smmwebpod