When I was working with my first mentor, he said to me that if I was patient enough and kept working at it, I would have a snowball effect in my business. I liked the sound of that but wondered if that would ever happen to me. I decided to trust in what he was saying and went about taking action and doing the work day after day.
Months later it arrived. I had just published my first book after 13 months in business and hell of a lot of action and effort networking, refining my positioning, running events and writing my first book. The foundations that I had laid in the 13 months of effort, work and learning started to turn into rewards for my efforts.
From just 3 paying clients in that year to a fully booked coaching practice and many other opportunities starting to open up all of a sudden. I know that growing in confidence from becoming an author had a lot to do with it as well, but my previous efforts were not to avail. I was so happy and content for the first time ever in my business. At the time if felt like a decade had past to get to this point due to the amount of hours I was working and taking action.
After a little while it slowed down and I felt like I was going backwards. I was servicing my clients and they were really happy but no new clients were coming in. I was starting to worry that my business was going to implode or go backwards. I now know that I had taken the foot of the pedal as I was working in the business but not as much on my business.
I really didn’t have a marketing strategy. The first 2 years were very ad hoc and that is what I see many do in the marketplace. I see a lot of effort and action, people get clients and then take the foot of the pedal. The work starts to finish up or wind down with those clients and they freak out and react going into mad rush to put more marketing efforts out there until they get new clients and relax again. Not a very good approach.
Marketing our business must be one of the biggest components of your time that you spend in your business especially if you are currently the only person in the business.
If you are a service based business owner in the early stages of your business 80% of the time should be devoted to working on the business and looking for business and clients to service. As you sign up those clients if you are selling your time for money, the time on marketing may reduce to 50/50 due to the time it takes to service those clients, but it should never stop.
One day you may be able to transition your business model to one to many where you will be leveraging your time and this will mean going back to 80% marketing and 20% delivery.
Sales and marketing are the very last thing you should be outsourcing in your business. You are the best person to do that. You have the passion and enthusiasm for what you do and how you do it and people are ultimately buying a part of you. That part is only outsourced when you have full systems and training for those that will replace you .
Admin, bookkeeping, customer service, online advertising are things you should look into getting outsourced before your offline sales and marketing. This will win you back more hours to scale your business.
Every year around October I sit down with my new years whiteboard planner and I decide what kind of marketing, events and speaking gigs I will do and aim for. I work backwards from my annual revenue goal to my income streams and then back to the actions I need to do in order for that goal to become a reality.
Nothing is a guessing game, I know a certain amount of events will likely attract certain sizes of groups that will turn into a certain amount of conversations from whom I will get to clients I get to serve. When you can do this, you have the opportunity and are ready to scale your business.
The Snowball Effect is continuous, sometimes even when you are doing well, you will have moments when it feels like things are slowing down and then moments where you can’t catch up with the demand – that is the Snowball Effect.
In the moments things are slow don’t take your foot of the pedal, keep taking those proactive actions, it may feel hopeless and a waste of time and energy, but remember things don’t always come to us at the time we expect them. Sometimes we need to prove ourselves for a while to get the next Snowball Effect. Just keep trusting it is coming….
Love Nat x
P.S. We host a couple of VIP Marketing Days at our home in October each year where we unpack small business owners new year proactive Marketing Plan. We do it in intimate groups of 10 and this year we will live stream and have that as an option to attend. Email me if you want to be put on the list when we announce dates for this around August.