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Words That (Could) Drive Me To Drink - Some Friday Tough Love

By Guest Blogger, Mary Schmidt, Marketing Troubleshooter

Marywithemptymartiniglass  Sure, we're going through tough times in the U.S., but in any times small biz owners are often their own worst enemies.  Sooo, time for a little tough loveHere are real-life quotes that make 'toonis  awfully  attractive:  

"I don't need any more business." (Um...yes, but what about tomorrow?)

"I don't have time to do networking." (Sitting by my phone and hoping doesn't work for me...)

"I'll do some marketing when I get some revenues." (Tip: Advertising IS NOT marketing.)

"The customer doesn't understand." (Understand what?)

"I'll wait until the economy gets better." (Which will be???)

"[Insert name of web "expert"] guarantees she can exponentially increase my site traffic!" (So? What then? You've got to close the deal,  not her.)

"[Insert name of online marketing guru du jour] says I can make MILLIONS! if I just buy her $1995.00 package!" (Yes, and she makes her money by selling those packages...you've got to sell your product or service. One size never fits all - at least not well.) 

"My life coach is so supportive! She's helping me turn my passion into a business!" (Never mind the coach has no training or background in business development, marketing or sales. She's so nice and she's got the coaching certificate!) 

(Women are particularly vulnerable to the guru/expert/coaching flim-flam, since we're generally more relationship and "feeling" oriented. "I LIKE working with her!" is great, but can "her" really help you?)

"We need to send out more email blasts." (STOP! Do you want another cold blast in your email box?)

"We need to send out at least one press release every week!" (Are you doing something newsworthy every week? Unless your name is Obama, the answer is N.O.) 

"Business plan? What business plan?" (It can be one page, but you need something to start with, measure against.) 

Ouch and Yikes. There should never, ever be such a thing as "enough business." Keep building your base and prospects. (Hey, I know it's tough to juggle current biz with biz development; I've been doing it for years.)  The time to plan for bad times is when they're good.  And - you really must have a plan, not just a passion.  The landscape is littered with people who followed their passion...and the money didn't follow.  A stack of biz cards and a gleam in the eye doesn't make a business.

Customers don't need to understand (Yes, I keep repeating myself on this one, here and at my blog, but...)

If they didn't respond to your first cold email blast - chances are they won't respond to the second. (and that you're already in their spam folder.) 

As for experts snake oil salespeople promising great things - don't take just my word for it.  Check out a true web expert, Jeffrey Eisenberg, Money For Nothing And Clicks For Free.  And, Seth Godin talks about Get Rich Quick 

Lastly,  if you are doing "networking" - that shouldn't mean attending the same meetings and sitting at the same table with the same people.  We women love to get together and natter...but we should also be talking to NEW people, especially if we're paying to be there.  I attended a local women biz owner's meeting this week and - yep- saw the same ol' "cliques" clumped together, eating overpriced food and saying the same things to the same people.  Nice, well-meaning people, but...(and walking up and shoving a flyer or card into my hand, unasked, is NOT networking. I threw 'em away the minute I left.) 

P.S.  Before you send me emails - there are some excellent life and biz coaches around - some of them have been my clients.  But, it's like any other "hot" or "buzzy" thing - there are also thousands of opportunists, who aren't qualified to coach my cat on chasing a ball...much less entrepreneurs developing a business.  


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