I’ve known today’s guest blogger, Chantal Cornelius for a couple of years now and what she doesn’t know about marketing isn’t worth knowing, seriously. I went on her Marketing Feast and Famine workshop earlier this year and it has really helped me get a better grip on my own marketing and plan things better. Here she talks about why the feast and famine roller coaster can be so damaging for businesses – and offers some tips too.
When I started my business in 2000, I never knew where the next bit of work was coming from and when the next pay cheque would arrive. It was very different from the 9-5 job that I left, with its certainty and security.
Last year I was able to visit my sister-in-law on her 40th Birthday as a surprise and at the last minute. A week before her birthday, my husband suggested we go to see her – she lives in Seattle! We had the most amazing weekend and I’m so glad we did it. The reason I could go is because I’m growing a business that can cope without me, at short notice. We know how much work will come from clients and when, and how much of our time they need. We know when we’ll be busy and when things might go quiet. And if we don’t want it to go quiet, we know what to do about it, to make sure we stay busy.
I meet many owners of small businesses who don’t feel they can take holidays, because they don’t like to miss out on work opportunities. Or they don’t think they can afford to go away, because they don’t know when they’ll next be paid. One month they might be really busy – often too busy to enjoy the income they’re generating. But they’re so busy that they don’t find the time to keep up with any regular marketing. They stop going to networking meetings and don’t send out their email newsletter. So what happens? Eventually the work they were doing dries up and there’s nothing new to fill the gap. And no money coming in. So they rush out to lots of networking events, send out a huge mail shot and post lots of tweets. And it works! All the activity generates lots of new work to keep them really busy … in fact so busy that they don’t have time to do any marketing … And so it goes on – I call it the Feast and Famine Rollercoaster. I don’t like roller coasters – they make me feel ill!
So how do you get off the roller coaster? The answer is surprisingly simple – you need a Marketing Plan. It will show you the most effective marketing activity you can do to keep a steady flow of work coming it. It will show you what you can fit into your busy schedule and how you can make the best use of your time. For a really simple way of getting started, click here to see the 9 Minute Marketing Plan on my website. There are lots more resources there for you – including worksheets to download, books to read and videos to watch.
About the Author
Chantal Cornelius runs Appletree to help coaches, consultants, trainers and the owners of other small business to grow their companies. She does this through 1-2-1 mentoring, workshops and a ‘done for you’ marketing service. She is the author of Magnetic Marketing, a practical guide to Marketing Planning and is regularly asked to speak to audiences about marketing and growing businesses.
Visit www.Appletreeuk.com to subscribe to Scribbles, Chantal’s free monthly email newsletter and for lots more free advice and resources.