Giving Up Before You Try

A few months ago I was contacted by a small business owner with a unique product that no one else had. Most business owners would kill to have a product with no competition, but as Mary Kay said, “every cloud has a silver lining.” Pioneering New Products

The problem with having a product this exclusive is that YOU have to create the market. Smart companies have done this for years: the iPad is a recent example. It’s not so tough for a major company like Apple to create desire through huge marketing campaigns. For the small business owner with limited funds – not so easy.

This is where the internet has changed the game; through websites, Social Media – a compelling You Tube video – you CAN, with determination and some luck, create a market and by building a solid foundation, own that market for years or at least until a large company offers lots of money to buy you out, and then they can go and market your product.

The small business owners that came to me with their unique product did indeed have enough money to start down this path. They came asking for a comprehensive New Media Marketing plan, and that is what we delivered. Our standard advice for most small businesses is to build each piece as you go: a great website first, social media and email marketing next, blogging after you get the other 2 down, and then a calendar so that you stay focused and connected on all of the things you’ve set up and the other tactics we plug in as you go.

But when the proposal came the small business owner balked. Not so much at the price, but at the commitment creating a market would entail. That commitment was primarily TIME, the most valuable thing any small business owner has.

What they did next was a sure road to failure: they purchased a basic, not bad looking website with NO Search Engine Optimization, making them invisible online. They ran a few ads in Trade Magazines… and any traditional marketer will tell you : Save Your Money. If you’re not going to commit to consecutive months you’ll get zero traction.

What my small business owners really did is the Gave Up Before They Tried. Why? Probably so they could console themselves with having tried, when in reality they never gave their unique product a chance because they wouldn’t commit to the time and energy to take it from invisible to Out There With a Chance of Being Seen.

Any successful business owner will tell you that before they got to ‘successful,’ they worked tirelessly to give their company a chance at success. And I mean tirelessly. That’s what it takes.

I often watch small businesses start up with a flurry of excitement – money is spent on the store front, the products, the shiny new sign, and then Bam! They’re out of business in a matter of months. I wonder what the owner THOUGHT was going to happen. The moral of the story: If you build it they WON’T come. You need to build it and then ‘Enchant’ them in the ‘door.’

Not committing to really selling your business via a serious marketing plan isn’t fair to anyone, including yourself, and it’s a sure road to failure before you ever really try.