Today I’m going to tell you about the argument I had with a woman who emailed me this morning about her frustration with her Facebook ads. Don’t worry, we didn’t get in a fight or anything, but I told her the secret of getting way more people to become paying customers of her business. Or at least enough to meet her goals. It’s one simple thing.
But first, a quick story about what happens when a business fails.
When a business fails, you rarely hear many details about it.
We know only about half of all new businesses survive five years or more, and about one-third survive 10 years or more.
Did you catch that? Two out of every three businesses do not survive 10 years. Source: Small Business Association / Bureau of Labor Statistics
This might sound like a boring statistic we can easily overlook. It’s too general.
But we also see it all around us. It hits home.
We see the vacant shops in town.
We see the “going out of business” signs.
We know a friend who once ran a business, but his dream ultimately fizzled.
We feel the loss of our favorite restaurant, the local service we know and trust, and even the website we love. When these businesses fold, it sucks for everybody involved.
And yet, we rarely hear the story of how it happened.
We never hear from the business owner about how, “We just couldn’t get enough new customers to stay afloat.”
Or how, “Our referrals suddenly slowed down, and we never found a reliable way to get new customers.”
We never hear about all the marketing failures. All the failed attempts to drum up business.
“We printed new business cards, new fliers, we made a new website, we sponsored local events, we put ads in the paper, we joined networking groups, we sent emails, we paid for marketing software, we sprayed and prayed, but none of it brought in enough customers,” they said.
I recently sat down in a conference room with a potential client. She really wanted to grow her business. She had emailed me about needing some professional help with her marketing.
Sitting there at the table, she told me about her business. Business was ok, but she wanted her business to make more money. She wanted more people to find her and become her customers.
But there was a problem. She didn’t have a plan for how to make this happen.
This kind of a plan is what we call “marketing”. But most people think “marketing” is a collection of tactics to spend money on to “get the word out” about the business.
But real marketing is just a plan. A system to get new customers, keep existing customers, and get them all to spend more, spend more often, and love it.
This potential client of mine sitting in that conference room? She really wanted more customers. She really wanted her customers to spend more. But she didn’t realize her lack of a plan was her main enemy.
In fact, she almost seemed to be avoiding having a plan for some reason.
Maybe it’s too painful to be that organized. Maybe it’s too easy to just continue doing everything exactly how she’s used to doing it.
Or, maybe, she just doesn’t have a way to see the big picture clearly.
Maybe the health and vitality of her business is a mystery to her?
This is the #1 enemy of the health and vitality of a business: Not knowing where your business stands so you can make a clear plan toward your goal and set it into action quickly and decisively.
What if there was a way to check the health and vitality of any business?
We could call it the Business Vitality Scale.
And at a glance, any business owner could see how their business measures on the scale. Each business gets a score. Let’s call it the Business Vitality Score.
If she had known her Business Vitality Score, perhaps she would have been able to see more clearly what her next move should have been.
If her score was very high, then it would make sense to continue on her current path. If her score was in the middle, she would know to maybe adjust course a little but. If her score was very low, she would be able to see that drastic action was required, and fast.
Fortunately, we have that ability right now.
Using the Business Vitality Scale, any business owner can measure the health and vitality of their own business in just seconds.
So anyway, this client continued to argue with me about her marketing. She seemed to hate the idea of actually doing anything different, yet she also seemed to want some help from a professional marketing expert. So, which was it going to be? Keep everything the same, or take some action to improve?
When I pointed out that she had reached out to me because she was frustrated, what she did next surprised me. We ended up having a real conversation about the health and vitality of her business.
If you want to hear about how she handled the rest of that conversation, I talk more about that in this post.
Also, you can learn your own Business Vitality Score right now by tapping or clicking here.