In the fashion of this season, I’m feeling particularly grateful. For many things, but especially because…
Over the past few weeks and months, I’ve been reminded of how important the work we do here at Continuous Scale is. Not because it’s inherently noble — but rather because we get to play a role in the results for so many businesses, thereby making our own little dent in the universe.
Small businesses like yours and the people in them form the groundrock of so much of what makes our nation great.
And I’d like to keep that reality in front of us as the dust of the midterm election results settles. Greatness moving forward in our nation is just as much about people like you and me as it is about governmental powers at the federal level. And our impact starts with the people and places closest to us.
So, if I may give you one slice of wisdom today: Don’t let the anxiety-ridden news reports and the stand-off nature of differing opinions decide how you’re going to live in this moment.
Choose to focus on what’s before you rather than what’s filling your news feed. Choose to prioritize your well-being as a business owner.
Especially because being an “owner” can be the loneliest job on the planet. Not very many will get what it takes to move out in risk and (hopefully informed) speculation.
Which is why what I have to say today might be so important for you. And if you’re reading this note, and you don’t have the ownership role, perhaps consider sending it along to the person who does.
We’re in your corner…
The Essential Role of the Business Owner
“Only those who dare to fail greatly can ever achieve greatly.” -Robert F. Kennedy
When I meet with business owners and clients, we always go over the particulars of their business (how money comes in, how it goes out, accrual vs. cash, etc.), but when the moment is right, I often stump the client when I ask them this question — and, actually, I’ll ask it of you:
“What business are you actually in?”
As an example of what I’m talking about, let’s say you run an early childhood business.
In fact, not only do you run an early childhood business, you run it very well. Your employees are licensed and trained to the highest standards; your facilities are top-notch; you’ve got years of experience and parents rave about how their kids are happy when they pick them up.
But you’re losing money because you don’t “get” what I’m about to tell you.
You see, you could have the World’s Greatest [your industry here] Business (in absolute truth) and still have a poor bottom line.
Why? Because your competition out-markets you, and so they’re making revenue hand-over-fist, and you’re struggling to pay the bills.
(Yes, I understand that the things above — facilities, employees, etc. are indeed part of “marketing,” but I’m making a more specific point.)
You see, the mental shift from “doer of the task” (providing early childhood services) to “promoter of your business” (the marketing of your services) is vital if you plan on growing your business to the level of your dreams. I would say over 99 percent of small business owners in America do not make the mental jump from, “I do ‘X’ for a living” to “I market my business for a living.”
Now don’t think I’m being picky here. This is important to get straight NOW, in the final quarter of 2022… while there are still so many questions about the national economy.
The business owner “doer” sees the task as their primary role. The “marketing-minded” business owner sees acquiring clients, retaining them, and maximizing their total client value as their primary role. (Providing particular services is seen as one of many other, also very important, but still secondary, tasks in the office.)
I hope you can see the difference. (If you are hearing this concept for the first time, let it sink in and think about it for a moment. If you don’t have clients coming through your door to do business with you even though you’re the best practitioner in the world, you’re still going to starve if you can’t get clients!)
The most important part of your business is “making the sale.” And marketing is how you get that person in front of you so you can sell them on your services.
I can make the nicest, cleanest books for you or give you the best financial analysis and guidance … but I can’t make sales for you.
Getting people to call your place of business saying, “I want to do business with you,” and then to show up at your door wanting to give you money in return for a particular service is the most important thing you could master.
This is why I’ll continue to focus in on helping you think about topline growth for your business — in addition to the financial services and advice that we provide.
So here’s my advice for you right now: If you have not already done so, set a day aside before Thanksgiving to lay out a clear, step-by-step marketing plan for the rest of 2022 (yes, there’s still time to make a difference).
This should take the form of a written plan for how you’re going to attract the clients you want — i.e., “I’ll get 5 new clients from ___ source, and spend $ ___ to do it; I’ll get 10 clients from _____ source, and spend $___ to do it,” etc.
This is how it’s done. A written plan with real goals. Be conservative in your expectations, and you’ll discover this process can be quite systematic. AND you may just “strike gold” and have your conservative projections blown out of the water!
After all, I need you to thrive for MY business to thrive. So, I’m not *completely* altruistic in my advice! [wink.]
As for me, I’m grateful for our chance to serve you and your business — and we are dedicated to its success. Which means that we are committed to being in the trenches with you, wherever that takes us.
Looking out for you,