So if you know ‘what’ to do, ‘why’ don’t you?

I’ve interacted with several business owners recently who’ve told me that they know ‘what’ they need to do in terms of marketing and growing their business.  When I probed to understand why they hadn’t delivered on the ‘what’, they provided a litany of excuses.  So I then ask the question, what will they do differently going forward to focus on the growth of their business.  And this is where the moment of truth stares at them.  This is the moment when they scream for help.

Let me be clear that by in large I didn’t agree with their self assessment that they knew what they needed to do to grow their business.  They referenced channels ranging from TV and radio to direct mail and paid SEO (search engine optimization).  When I inquired about how they remain in contact with their existing customers…their most prized asset – the answer was, ‘we really don’t’.  That reinforced my notion that they really didn’t understand ‘what’ they should be doing to grow their business.  The ‘why’ they haven’t is much easier to explain, especially as customer demand increases and pulls the owner into the black hole of the weeds.

I contend with these owners, and many others for that matter, that the ‘what’ of how to grow the business can’t be scattered and fit into the ‘spray and pray’ philosophy.  Those that follow this mentality waste ~ 90% of their marketing/advertising dollars.  Rather, I argue the first step is to define who the ideal client is…geographically, demographically, etc.  Then careful consideration to the channel(s) that most effectively reach that audience is required.  And development of the message to that ideal audience gets tested and tweaked…this is a perpetual ‘test and learn’ model.

My message to business owners is that even if you know the ‘what’ of how to effectively grow your business, it should be vetted with a business coach.  And equally important is the ability and discipline to carry out the ‘what’ once they’re firmly identified.  This requires extreme discipline and accountability.   The challenge is that there often isn’t someone holding the owner accountable.  Find a coach…whether it’s a business coach, life coach, career coach, spiritual coach or otherwise.  Find a coach you trust to vet ideas and to hold you accountable to the specific tasks that deliver.