That’s our dog Shaka. I know it’s a disgusting picture, but you’ve got to admire his attitude of expectation. I walked into the room to find him in this position. Head on a pillow. Ready for some belly scratching by whoever walks in. Shaka has no modesty.
I could go into one of those Dennis Miller/Bill Maher rants about how lucky Shaka is…how I want to have a life like that…sleep all day…eat when I want…watch Animal Planet…get my belly scratched. But I won’t. I mentioned this to my daughter, Kelly, and she replied, "Yeah, but then you’d have to poop in the rain." Good point.
I’d just returned from speaking at the big CONEXPO-CON/AGG & IFPE Marketing Council Seminar and Exhibitor Workshop in Las Vegas and I was tired. I’d been on the road 14 out the last 16 weeks and I was ready for a break. Shaka was my inspiration.
One problem. My company, The Adventure, is small employee-wise. Really small. It’s me and Kay. I’ve had employees before, but learned a couple of important things. I’m not a good manager and employees are expensive. So I choose to be really small.
This allows me to be fairly picky about who I work with, since I don’t have the costs of payroll. I have and will fire clients who break my Rules. That’s one of the good things about being really small. My clients get me on all projects. That’s another good thing.
But there are downsides. One big one is what I call the Curse of Busyness. Because I’m the chief cook and bottlewasher, I’m also the head marketer. Marketing is important. Marketing fills the calendar, sells my books and webinars, feeds my family, and gives Shaka a pillow to rest his head and lift his leg.
Marketing is not Sales. To me the Purpose of Marketing is to be on the mind of the prospect when the prospect is ready to buy. You keep filling the funnel, maintain high visibility with your target market, and establish credibility. When that lightening bolt comes down from the sky, strikes a prospect on the head, and she realizes she has a need for my specific type of service, she’ll call me. (At least that’s the plan.) When the lightening bolt strikes, that’s when sales mode takes over. Sales wants results NOW.
But when I’m busy, like I’ve been the last 16 weeks, marketing tends to fall by the wayside. It’s hard to find the time to stay visible to my target market. My days are BUSY. I’m tangling with airports, security lines, taxis, hotels, restaurants, speaking, consulting, time zones, and bad airplane food. Who’s got time for marketing?
And that’s rub. I learned a long time ago there’s lagtime between marketing and sales. Kay and I discovered that lag time was roughly 90 days. We learned it one day when I graphed out our revenue by month. Here’s what we saw:
This is not a pattern I was happy with. Up for 90 days. Down for 90 days. But it did walk me up to the Curse of Busyness. When I wasn’t busy, I had plenty of time for marketing. 90 days later I’d be busy. But I didn’t have time for marketing. 90 days later I wasn’t busy.
My buddy, Nido Qubein, once told me the most important time to market is when you’re busy. He’s right. That way your revenue stream stays more consistent.
Once I understood that fact of business life, I changed my marketing strategies to be more frequent and constant.
Interestingly, the Curse of Busyness doesn’t just strike really small two-person companies, like mine. I’ve found it strikes companies with 50 employees and 5000 employees. It’s easy to fall into the trap of being busy, but not being effective.
I can’t afford to let that happen to my little company. Can you?