Failure doesn't happen overnight

Failure is not a single, cataclysmic event. You don’t fail overnight. Instead, failure is a few errors in judgement, repeated every day.

Jim Rohn

I was listening to Dave Ramsey recently and he said the quote above and it struck a cord with me.  He was talking about how people don’t become broke or bankrupt overnight, but it’s the multiple cups of Starbucks Coffee or Chipotle Burritos (that aren’t in their budget) over a few years that cause them to go broke.  I wasn’t thinking about this from a financial standpoint, but of course a marketing and business standpoint.  

Every month I meet a business that is failing at some part of their marketing.  Their sales are being affected and they aren’t growing for reasons that they can’t understand.  Then I start asking questions like this

Do you collect your customer data every day?

Do you use email and social media tools for marketing? Are you posting every day, emailing at least monthly?

 Do you do any mailings to your past customers?

Do you attend any local shows that would put you in front of your customers?

When was the last time you had someone stand on the street in front of your business with a sign?

Do you have a rewards card?

These questions could go on and on, but the answer I get to most of them is “no” and  “I don’t have time”.  Let’s face it, we all are busy, but we ALL HAVE TIME to do the little things that make us better.  In my monthly seminars I also throw out ideas for business owners to do on a weekly basis.  A few of my favorites are:  Take 10 minutes 1 time per week and connect with 10 new people on LinkedIn, promote 1 person per week on your Social Media and get 5 new email addresses per week.

The reason I mention these 3 tasks is because they all do very positive things for your business and they prove how a small set of tasks each week can lead to a big reward.  These 3 tasks will net you 520 new LinkedIn connections and 260 new emails.  When you count the LinkedIn emails you’ll have 700+ new emails to help market your business.  The Social Media posts promoting others is a HUGE winner.  You’ll gain exposure to thousands of new people through these posts. WHY?  When you promote someone else, others share and you’re exposed to a new audience.  Plus, many times that person will return the favor and promote you at some point.  

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A wise friend once told me “if you pack a jar with big rocks it’s easy to dump out. But if you pack it with a bunch of pebbles and sand, it’s much harder to empty.”  Now look at this saying when it comes to marketing.  You can throw a few rocks in there and run a few radio ads and do an ad in the Sunday paper every year or you can pack the jar full of pebbles and sand.  What do I mean?  Daily posts on Facebook & Twitter, YouTube videos, update your website, a blog, a kid holding a sign on the street weekly, monthly emails, customer mailings, etc. 

If you don’t do this your sales will always be controlled by the economy.  It’s not hard to keep on top of these things.  I recommend people create a spreadsheet.  The one on the right is a task list of items I perform daily, weekly and monthly for clients.  MY CHALLENGE TO YOU is to create something like this for your company.  Write down the 10-15 marketing items you need to do each day, week and month.  Look at this list every day and make sure you are on top of your game.  If you don’t create minor wins throughout the year then you can’t get to the MAJOR WIN!  On the flip side if you fail to do these tasks every day of the year, then don’t be surprised when you fail at the end of the year.

Matt Plapp

I’m the CEO of Driven Media Solutions, a full service marketing firm located in Cincinnati & Northern Kentucky. I have over 18+ years of experience in small business marketing in the region. From Corporate America to Locally Owned companies, I’ve been involved in most forms of marketing and have seen the good, the bad and the ugly. I have a strong passion for Guerilla & Grass Roots Marketing, Social Media and Internal Marketing Strategies.

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