Because I am in the online marketing field, I often see lots of clients deciding to drop their marketing efforts at very odd times. Some of those times may appear to be good to the business owner, but when you really think about it, they really are the wrong moments to stop marketing.
There have always been two trends that I have noticed. One is to stop marketing over the Christmas period and into the new year. The other is to stop marketing when you are drowning in work. Strangely enough, these are the two best times to do more marketing.
The Silly Season
I think a lot of people stop marketing over Christmas because they want to spend more money on gifting and having a nice holiday season. They probably want to go away for the holidays and so need the money for a trip. The problem here is that it means your business takes the backseat in your life, when it should be at the front at all times. It is your livelihood, your baby, an extension of your own being, why put it on the backburner?
Also, during Christmas time, people are wanting to spend more money. There are some businesses that admittedly don’t do well over Christmas because they don’t sell products or services that people are looking for at this time. However, it’s not always about selling products and services, but creating awareness.
After Christmas we move into the new year and people are recovering from too much spending, they tend to keep their purse strings very tight. The same applies here, you should not stop marketing when people are not spending, you should increase your marketing. Why? Because during the couple months at the beginning of the year when people aren’t spending, they are starting to accumulate a list of things that they need to get or fix. If you are constantly reminding them of your business and the fact that you have what they so desperately need, then when they have recovered, they will go to the business that is freshest in their mind.
Let’s take a plumber as an example. During Christmas you may assume that people are not wanting a plumber (unless there is an emergency) because they are spending all of their money on presents and holidays. The person who needs some maintenance done can wait a couple months, or the homeowner wanting to build a new section to their house can put it off until the new year. So why should a plumber bother increasing his or her marketing?
During the months of December, January and February, things around the house need to be fixed, and projects will become more urgent as more time goes by. If these people see a mention of you here and there, they will be reminded of the work they need to get done. Sure, they are waiting for the money to do such work, but they are being reminded that when they are ready, you are there, waiting to help them. People forget very quickly, don’t let them.
The business that has stopped marketing just so they can fit in with the crowds and spend all of their hard earned money on the holiday season and then need the beginning of the year to recover before they start marketing again is going to get left behind in the wake of the business that never stopped providing people with mental reminders.
The idea after all is to grow your business. Carry on marketing and be there for your customers when they need you the most. Then when the next holiday season rolls around you can spend money on gifting and trips as well as on more marketing.
Another time that a lot of people stop marketing is when they have too much work on their plate. This is a fantastic time, and I am always happy when someone has too much to do and they are making lots of money from it. However, what happens when that work comes to an end? Not only that, but it might be time to consider expanding the business and actually growing.
What typically happens though is that the extremely busy person will stop marketing altogether and withdraw in order to take care of the current workload (I was guilty of this myself in the past). When that workload comes to an end they then start marketing again to get more clients. Then they get too busy and stop, etc. etc. The effect is one where you have to keep starting again so there is a constant ebb and flow of good months and then bad months where the work comes in and goes out, like the tide, but there is no growth in this pattern.
What is ideal is if you have more clients lined up after you finish the current workload. To do that you need to continue marketing throughout that period.
Some people might say, “But if I am too busy now, why would I want to become more busy later? I won’t be able to handle it.” If that’s the case, let’s be honest, you aren’t actually wanting to grow your business, you are simply wanting to maintain the current lifestyle. Unfortunately the good, busy times also come along with the bad, dead times when you don’t have enough work to sustain you short term. This means that over a period of let’s take a year, you may have ups and downs but there is a constant level that is maintained, and that continues year after year. In other words, there is no progress.
So what do you do? Continue to market, continue to get more business and if need be, hire a team to handle the workload. The only way you will be able to expand and grow your business is by delegating the work to other people. I know that can be a very scary thought, especially for someone who has gotten so used to doing everything themselves, but it will become necessary in order to grow as a business.
These are the times I have noticed where people stop marketing when they should be increasing their marketing efforts.
I know it is difficult not to fall into this trap. We want to have a good time over the Christmas period and when we have too much work we feel overwhelmed, but try to maintain some sort of balance between your life and your business growth.
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