Unpacking Why Some Aren’t Actively Marketing Their Businesses

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Last week a couple of clients came to grips with the fact that they weren’t taking enough action to grow their business. They are both smart, both likeable, and both want to build an IT services firm.

Yet both admitted that they are being lazy when it comes to marketing their business.

As we pushed deeper into why, here are some of the underlying reasons for that lack of action:

– Fear of calling people and having them say no.

– Dislike for authority. As one business owner said, “I went to work for myself to avoid having a boss. Now it seems like every client is a boss, and so I have 100 bosses.”

– Difficulty getting excited about working for some of the business out there. To this person, too many businesses have questionable morals or sell something/market in a way that doesn’t fit their own values.

After some hard questions to confirm they were really cut out for self-employment, here is how we knocked out all three issues, in case you share any of those:

1. They are creating a list of local businesses they want to serve with their solutions — businesses that they can get excited about and that don’t conflict with their morals. That way, they will feel good about approaching them and talking about their IT/web sites.

2. We will role play about how to approach those businesses, so that these prospects will be more likely to talk to them. (More on this next blog, or the one after that).

3. We will do an exercise so that “no” means “no” and nothing else — and so no one will take it personally. (More on this exercise next blog).

4. They’ll focus on taking small actions every week, to develop the habit of making marketing a priority.

It is easy to reply to this blog in a way that lacks compassion for the above issues. Personally, I’m always surprised by how many people start their own business to get away from “the boss” only to find that self-employment is a much harder road; after all, when you are on your own there’s no one left to blame when things don’t work out, and you really do get multiple bosses.

But these issues are fairly common. Rather than criticize these folks — especially when they are confronting their issues honestly — look at your own situation and ask what specific steps you can take to do what it takes to market your business effectively.

Andrew NeitlichAndrew Neitlich
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