A business goes through 3 seperate stages as it grows from it’s infancy. A sales stage, where clients are primarily generated through direct sales and word of mouth. That’s cold calls, emails, networking, and referrals. This is where most business owners specialize in.
Next comes a marketing stage which is the moment a business knows the market and it’s customers enough to benefit from scaling up their systems to generate more leads and handle those leads. What I’ve seen is that many small business owners – the 1-man show in particular – are amazing at sales, but for whatever reason don’t take the next step into marketing.
But marketing and branding are necessary to grow because of economies of scale. It’s the difference between something being made in a factory versus being hand-produced. For the people that love their craft and delivering it themselves – the bakery owners that love to bake, the accountant firm owners that love to run numbers, and the law firm owner that loves to go to court. It’s a tough pill to swallow, but if you’re doing it yourself, you’re a freelancer, not a business owner. What is a business except for things you’ve built around you that work at delivering a product or service? If you’ve built nothing other than yourself how can you call yourself a business owner? You own nothing except your skills and a name. Back to my point. Businesses that are stuck in the sales stage – you’re amazing at hand-producing, and you love doing it (maybe, or maybe you just don’t see any other option), but you’ve hit a glass ceiling and if you want to grow you need to build a factory.
If you’ll allow me to get philosophical, it could be because they’ve taken the leap to being a business owner from whatever they were doing before, and they rationalize that that’s it. No more leaps. They’ve mastered doing sales for their company, and they feel uncomfortable giving up control in their business to other people or systems. Any business well in the marketing stage will definitely have to have employees in the form of product/service deliverers, sales people, or customer service reps.
A 24/7 salesperson (what Omnius Web Development specializes in) is best for business owners that are either in the sales stage and are ready to graduate to the marketing stage or are newly established in the marketing stage and want to get further along. There’s 4 things a website does that are currently sucking up your time if not optimized.
- Building trust in your business
- Turning strangers into action-takers
It doesn’t matter if you already have a website- some websites are so off the mark that they hinder one or more of those points more than if you had no website at all! Ask yourself how much time you’re spending on these things per month. Chances are it’s at least 10 or 20 hours. In many cases, it’s more. Now you can begin to see how you can traverse the bridge from hand-producing to owning a factory.
Finally, some businesses are lucky enough to reach the branding stage. You know you’re at that stage when people you’ve never connected with consistently know what your business are. Your acquaintances or social media connections don’t count! It’s when it makes sense to hire out a complete redesign of your logo, design material, copy, etc. Chances are, you’re nowhere near this stage, and not something to worry too much about. Right now, you most likely want to move to or get better at the marketing stage. So what’s your next step?