Laura: Peyton was telling me a story this morning over breakfast (French toast for him, Eggs Benedict for me – for those of you who enjoy the “up-to-the-minute” personal tweets!). A “friend of friend” was having business issues.
You’ve heard the story a million times, right?
His business is suffering – you know, with “the economy” and all.
It doesn’t matter what his business is, really. He is basically a reseller of services. A go-between between businesses and service providers.
And he’s hurting. Because, you know, “the economy” is so bad.
And his lack of business is hurting his family – which is, of course, why Peyton was sharing the story with me – he knows this gent’s wife and hates to hear that she is suffering.
So I began asking the standard questions:
– What is his website like?
– Is he participating in social marketing?
– What kind of email marketing is he doing?
And guess what? The answers to the above three questions were: awful, no and none.
Apparently this fellow is using the famous “sitting by the phone and praying it will ring” strategy.
“Hope” is not a strategy.
I’m going to repeat that one: Hope is not a strategy.
I get incredibly frustrated with folks – otherwise smart, capable people – who use “the economy” as an excuse not to get off the couch and bust a move. (Look at me quoting Young MC – and you all thought I only knew Broadway show tunes!)
In 30 seconds, I asked three questions, that could turn his business around – if he would only climb off the sofa. And I didn’t even get into nuts and bolts marketing/PR strategy – just asked three questions off the top of my head. Three tactics that I consider “givens.”
But this fellow is seemingly content to let his family suffer, do nothing, and blame “the economy.”
My knickers are officially in a twist.
It is time to stop blaming “the economy” for business failures, marketing weakness and lack of strategy, drive and focus. There are plenty – hundreds of thousands – of businesses out there kicking butt and taking names during this bad economy. We started a business in this bad economy and are enjoying tremendous success – as are our clients – several of whom are looking forward to record-breaking sales years!
And you’ll never hear them talking about the “bad economy” — not a one – they are too busy talking about marketing plans for 2011 and beyond.
What are you busy talking about?
Jeff: I feel for my pal’s pal, but I don’t know what can be done to help. So often, all that is really needed in these circumstances is a little initiative. The best advice, the greatest battle plan, none of it matters if there is no chance of execution.
Ben Franklin once opined that God helps those who help themselves. Franklin’s point was not a religious one (God, in fact, helps those who cannot help themselves) but a practical one. He could just as easily have come up with “Fortune favors the bold.” (He didn’t – that’s a Latin proverb: “Fortes fortuna adiuvat.”)
Bottom line — as long as this guy clings to a business model that basically states “they just have to call!” there isn’t anything anybody can do for him.