The expansion of cookie cutter “businesses in a box” that’s been sweeping the nation lately is bad for business, in more ways than one. Not only does it convince average citizens without a clue about what they’re doing that they can become overnight Internet millionaires, it leaves the average business owner staring around with a stupefied look on his face while he tries to figure out who, exactly, he should be modeling to build his business.
Every day I talk to business owners out there who have looked to one marketing guru or another for the guidelines to their success, only to fall short of the mark. The answer, to almost everyone I talk to, is the same. Their marketing plan was amazing, awesome, innovative…and designed for their business, not yours.
Go figure. The framework you’ve been using to design your entire marketing campaign isn’t guoing to work because, like those awesome custom boots you’ve been drooling over for months, it has the right ingredients but the wrong design for you.
So what are you going to do?
First, take a look at what you already have in front of you to figure out what’s working and what’s just sucking away your time. You probably already have most of the key ingredients you need to build your business. Don’t go throwing the baby away with the bath.
Second, look around for role models in your field who started with a business model similar to yours. If I want to look for ways to reach a printing audience, I’ll talk to fellow printers for ideas. Who are you talking to?
Third, don’t be afraid to innovate. Maybe there’s someone outside your niche who’s doing something awesome, but you tried doing it exactly like they did and it didn’t work. This is the part where I get to go, “Well, duh.” Take it. Twist it. Use it to reach your audience.
Stop trying to press your business into a marketing model that doesn’t fit. Instead, try and stretch your marketing model to fit your business and take some of the stress off for everybody.