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What happens when your marketing is successful?
One of the challenges we encounter is overly-ambitious marketing goals. Some that are so fantastic, if they actually came to fruition they’d probably ruin the business. It’s why we often ask, "how will you handle success?"
If you’re a small business and your marketing kicks into high gear and starts to generate leads, are you really ready to handle the influx? Most of the time, if there’s a dramatic surge in sales leads it inevitably leads to problems. If your staff is struggling to keep up with your existing clientele, or to manage your current level of prospects, and you suddenly double or triple the number of inbound leads, something is going to break.
What usually crumbles first is your team
A rush of new business opportunities can overwhelm your staff and leave them and yourself scrambling. Stress and the need to rapidly expand can tear things apart from the inside out.
If you’re strictly a consumer product business, more customers can be handled by adding more sales staff on the floor or at checkout. But where do these folks come from? You’ll either have employees work longer hours (paying overtime) or you’ll scramble to hire new staff - which takes time, money, and training. Or worse, you need to invest rapidly in new manufacturing or inventory to satisfy a sudden increase in demand. Do you have the capital to invest? How long will it take to ramp up?
If you’re a service-oriented business it’s worse, since leads usually require more effort to convert. You generally have to offer an initial consultation, perform your due diligence, and draft a proposal or quote. That’s a huge investment in time, manpower, and capital all before you can potentially earn revenue - assuming you’re able to convert them into a client. How many leads can you handle smoothly? If you land a big contract, will it require staffing up or new technologies?
Make sure you’re ready to handle success
Ensuring you’re able to handle new leads efficiently is important. Every business owner dreams of being crushed by new business walking in his or her door - but the reality is usually much harsher. We’ve worked with clients that saw early success nearly bankrupt them as they were forced to invest to support a big order or to staff up to handle a new client. To some, overnight success is merely a growing pain - but at times it’s a harbinger of doom.
Success should be welcome - and it doesn’t have to be disastrous. Managing your marketing efforts to control your growth is simply smart business. You need to quantify what level of new business you can handle. You need to know and plan for how to handle success. Be ready with a plan for all scenarios from poor to unbelievable results. Don’t be caught blind. Market wisely, dream big, aim high, and be ready.
Nov 07, 2014
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We work with large and small companies, but sometimes budgets, schedules, or differences get in the way. There's always the next one.
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