Marketing for Your New Business – Part 1
Having worked with dozens of brand new small business owners just like you, we know the most exciting AND the most frightening question you will have to ask yourself before starting your business will come after you do an extensive search for ‘competition’ and find no one in your area is marketing such a business.
That question is “Why isn’t anyone doing this?”
More often than not, after a bit more research we have been able to answer that question with “Oh, THAT’S why.”
In fact, we had it happen to ourselves. We thought opening a publishing house for only brand new business book writers would be easy. Then we had our advisors ask ‘The Questions:’
- Have you worked with first time authors? (yes, as a matter of fact)
- If so, how many? (well… one)
- Are you ready to hand hold them? How did it work out that first time? (not very well)
- How much are you going to charge them for editing? (probably more than my editor charges me, since they’re new)
- How are you going to handle publishing rights? (they will keep them)
- How are you going to handle ALL the money issues? (monthly payouts?)
- How are you going to handle re-orders on the distribution platform? (once a month order time)
- How long will your contract be with these authors? (a year, with automatic renewals?)
- What if you don’t like working with some of them? Do you have an out in your contract? (well, we do NOW!)
- Can they publish them outside your publishing house? (of course, but they will no longer be part of our Seminar Team)
- Since all the names of the books are going to be similar (did I tell you? It was a series and they all started with the same three words), what happens if an author removes their title from the series? Can they re-title it?
- What if, during the writing and editing process, the author becomes too difficult to work with? (As Sharyn says, slow to hire, quick to fire)
That kept going for about 40 other “What if” and “Are you kidding?” questions. It should be obvious by now that we decided that our Naked Book Publishing company was going to be reserved for our books only.
This exercise of starting, and then marketing, a new business, even though it was a division within our current business, and would support our core private small business coaching clients, reminded us that you should always check with those who have gone before you prior to taking that costly leap. It is what we have taught all of our small business private coaching clients when they have ‘a really cool idea’ and ask “What do you guys think?”
In fact, if we don’t have experience with what a client needs, we go out and get that information instead of guessing. Guessing can be costly in both time and money. So are hunches. And your gut.
It isn’t that there aren’t tons of incredible ideas to be brought to life. But we want to avoid becoming just another statistic. You know the one. That a very high percentage of small businesses do not make it past the first couple of years.
Let me give you another personal story that led us to go through the exercise I just described to you.
WHAT ADAM ACE DID FOR ME
We used to be part of a Mastermind group that met twice a year. It was all business owners and several of us were asked to teach different sections of the breakouts. During one breakout where we were not teaching small business marketing, I saw that Adam Ace was teaching and I was excited to go see what he had to share. Adam is by trade a comedian (three time college comedian of the year), but has a good head for business.
When I walked into his session, I was amazed to be the only one in the room. Clearly everyone figured incorrectly that Adam was JUST a comic. When he saw me, he said “I am glad you came in… I have been watching what you and Sharyn are doing and I cannot figure out your focus. Lay it out for me.”
At the time, we WERE lacking focus. We were business and marketing coaches first, but also have a promotional product company, offered a really cool appreciation tool through www.CardsByHank.com, and had the idea that we were going to turn that publishing company we created for our own books (Naked Book Publishing – “business stripped to the basics”) into a place where business book writers had a place to promote and sell their books. Which would also lead to speaking opportunities for all of us as we would create small business seminars around the country. There were also a couple of online product ideas.
Yea… it was a lot to market.
Even as I was sketching it all out, I could see that all of these projects were keeping us from focusing completely on the success we wanted to achieve for our business and our small business owning clients.
It took 20 minutes, and I laid it all out for Adam. It was quite the flow chart. He patiently listened to all of it, then he paused and shared some words of wisdom that resonate with me years later. I share them with you now, in case you are challenged with the same affliction as many other entrepreneurs.
“Hank,” he said, “I appreciate that you are an entrepreneur. I applaud it. Truly. But… just because you think something would make a good business, does not mean you have to be the one to create it.”
OUCH. DOUBLE OUCH.
And I am going to pause here, just in case you just had a Come-to-Your-Creator moment as I did.
But Adam was right. It was time to put almost everything on the back burner, or back in the freezer. Especially Naked Book Publishing. The concept of putting on seminars with lots of business experts seemed like a lot of fun, but it was not going to help us achieve our goals. It was mostly going to help them reach THEIR goals without an appropriate amount of profit for the work we were going to have to put in. In fact, as we looked at it, the choice was the publishing company or our private small business coaching practice. We had reached an important moment to make a decision.
The compromise was that we only help our coaching clients with their books, and guide them through their own publishing journey.
We still offer promotional products, but they are not what we highlight when we are in a networking situation. We still offer the appreciation tool, but mostly for to our clients. Well, and you, of course if you click that link.
The moral of the story is that now, each time one of us… ok… ME… comes up with a new business idea to market or hears something and says “That would be a great business idea” Sharyn smiles, looks at me and says “JUST BECAUSE….”
That gets us instantly focused. I hope it does the same for you.
If you found this blog, we know you are looking to begin your successful business with a plan. (Yes, Search Engine Optimization is a wonderful thing when you do it correctly) As you’ve taken your first steps to market your new business, your path now has many possible directions.
How do you focus and decide on the best marketing path you should take with your new business?
That’s what, Sharyn and I do for you. We are business coaches, authors of 6 best-selling business books, hold Small Business Breakthrough Bootcamps several times a year, hosted 243 episodes of a radio show that is now a video interview show and offer an online marketing plan that works incredibly well for small businesses like yours because it includes coaching.
Wouldn’t it be great if your Marketing, Sales and Human Resources could be much easier? It’s time! Press YOUR easy button! We work for you, think for you, create for you and figure it all out.
Now that you have decided to move forward with your new business, you should now look for PART 2 of this blog to get the basic plan for putting your new business together. It is your checklist of things that many new small business owners never think about which ends up costing them a lot of time and money.
Because you found this blog, we would like to offer you a Free Marketing Consultation. Most new small business owners, just like you, who take advantage of this conversation, report back that their 30-minute success call was worth at least $10,000 to their bottom line, in either increased sales or savings. Begin your conversation by increasing your profits. Go now to www.FreeMarketingConsultation.com Let’s stop the mistakes that most new small business owners make right at the beginning, and get you on the right path to your success.