I attended a small business association meeting this morning. One of the topics was the lack of response by the small business community, as a whole, to “get excited” about their businesses, to step up and to take advantage of the many benefits available to them, at no cost, on how to increase their bottom line.
One of the reasons given was “there is too much noise out there”, meaning that small business owners are being bombarded through the internet, TV, direct mail, and sales calls, with promises of a short term solution to transform their businesses into money making wonderlands.
Unfortunately, many small business owners took the bait and paid thousands of dollars for a weekend seminar, or bought books or CD’s or online courses. The results were predictable; the seminar left the attendees on “a high”, ready to tackle the world. Then they got back to their business, and there was nothing solid to build on.
Many small business people are looking for that instant gratification promise and many marketers are offering ready-made solutions to any and all problems. In fact, there are countless books written on how to sell “nothing of value” through mass marketing by using appealing words and phrases. The only winners are those doing the mass marketing, and yes, that in itself is a business. They have identified a target market, found the weak points or hot buttons for that market and then they sell you what you want to buy, whether it works for your business or not.
The solution is continuity. That means using a mentor, coach, teacher, a support group or any other person that understands the needs of a small business and is willing to listen to your particular needs. Then a plan is developed and you have a support person to walk with you, to listen to you and to hold you accountable (stop your procrastination) and to get you re-excited about your business and its potential.
There is no short term solution but the seed you have planted in your business can be nurtured; and, with directed hard work, it can grow into a giant tree ( a very successful business).
Those of us gathered this morning agreed that continuity was needed. The question raised was how to get the small business owners to trust again and research the possibilities. For my part, I can only offer the solutions. Somewhere along the way the small business owner has to reach out and grab that helping hand.
Nick J. Petra CFP would like to hear your comments via e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
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Small business marketing & small business management support