One of the things I hear too often from potential advertisers is the question “can they try an ad for a few weeks?”, just to see if it works. If it works, they’ll commit to a longer schedule.
This is a symptom of why so many small businesses fail. Not that this is the sole cause but this type of thinking represents a short-term mentality that can kill a business.
I understand the reasoning behind this type of logic. We want to the get the biggest bang for our buck. We don’t want to spend our money on something unless we know it works.
But most things you do to grow your business work better in the long term than in the short term. In fact many things we do appear to fail in the short term but if they’re given enough time (and attention) they can produce very good results in the long term.
So if you only give something a few weeks to perform, do you really know if it works?
I don’t think so.
Starting or growing a business is not a short-term task. It takes a long time because to be in business you need people to do business with you. This requires that you develop relationships with people and get them to change their buying behaviors so they buy from you rather than someone else.
And, most importantly, you need to do this with enough people to make your business financially healthy.
This is a big task. Getting people to change their habits is not easy nor does it usually happen quickly. It takes time and energy and work.
Sure, a new business can get quick sales but they are just that: quick sales. You’ve probably heard the saying: “easy come, easy go”. It applies to new businesses too. Your first customers will most likely not be your last customers.
One thing I’ve learned about growing a business is that the more you put into it, the more you get out of it. If you skimp and put in the least amount of money, effort and time, then your business will show it. It will not last long enough to do you any good. You might as well call it a hobby.
The other thing I’ve learned is that businesses are smart. They understand when the owner is focusing on the long term or short term. If all you focus on is the short term then all you’ll get are short-term results. If you focus on the long term and if you invest the proper resources, then you’ll get long-term results. The choice is yours.
Here’s an easy way to guide your decision making as you grow your business.
Whatever you do to grow your business, think of it like exercising. The more you exercise, and the longer you exercise (within reason, of course) the better your results will be.
Exercise every day for 45 minutes and you’ll see a certain level of results. You’ll feel better. You’ll probably lose weight, have more energy, sleep better and generally be more fit.
Exercise for 15 minutes every other day and your results will be less significant. You’ll still probably get results but they will not come as fast nor will they be as obvious.
As a person, you decide on an exercise program that works best for you. It boils down to what you are willing to invest in your health and what you want as a result of that investment.
To be healthy, your business requires a similar investment. It could be advertising, inventory, new space, additional salespeople, a better website, or any number of things that require time, money and energy from you. You know what your business needs to be healthier and to meet your goals.
So, plan an exercise program for your business. Decide what you want and what you need to do to make it happen. Then stick with that program and make it happen.
Now, go take walk around the block and get some fresh air. It will be good for you and your business!