Here’s an interesting question – would you rather be profitable or perfect?
To answer this question I’m going to focus on an article that is too good to pass up. It’s what I’ve been writing about and preaching for years.
Tech startups are very similar to small businesses. Although you’ll probably have better success with a small business than a tech start up (only about 10% of tech startups survive past a year or two).
Why don’t more businesses survive?
1) It’s an uber competitive market place
2) Small business owners are worried about too many things other than profit
3) Small business owners don’t allocate enough money to marketing
The ‘Build it and they will come’ mentality WILL KILL YOU. Everyone thinks their own product or service is great. Guess what? You’re never as good as you think you are. If every small business owner is thinking the same thing than why do so many businesses shut their doors after a couple years (or should shut their doors as some businesses haemorrhage money year after year)?
The truth – you need to get your product or service in front of as many people as possible. You need to use traditional media, digital media and/or start knocking on doors. You need to do whatever it takes to make your business known. Setting up in a good location doesn’t cut it anymore. Bottom line – YOU NEED TO SPEND MONEY ON MARKETING YOURSELF. Whether you’re sponsoring a community group function or spending money on media.
How do some of the most profitable small businesses get to be to where they are today? They got in front of as many people of possible. Heck, some of them are at the point where they don’t need to do as much advertising as they used to because they’ve done such a good job in branding themselves. As a result, business just comes to them. And guess what? The number one line item they track is PROFIT!
For example – I spend thousands of dollars every year on myself. Whether it’s marketing, education or books. And guess what? This past week I quadrupled my return on investment. IN ONE WEEK! That’s a pretty good profit margin.
I don’t want to be boastful, but I get it. I understand it takes money (and time, but time is money) to make money. I spend the dough and I get it back…every single time. I’m not afraid to spend a few thousand dollars if I know I’m going to get tens of thousands in return. I believe in myself and if you believed in yourself you’d stop what you’re doing and start marketing and focusing on the things that are going to make you money.
This past week I spoke with a small business owner who was holding off on marketing because he wanted to make a few things behind the scenes, “perfect.” Fuck waiting to get your product or service perfect. YOU’LL NEVER BE PERFECT! You’ll be broke before you’re perfect. Start doing and stop procrastinating. If you’ve opened the doors of your business your product or service better be at 70 – 80%. Then you can tweak it from there, but you need to start making a name for yourself NOW. Start investing in yourself and your business and you’ll see the returns. How do I know? I’m living proof and I’ve dealt with hundreds of businesses who are living proof.
What would you rather be? Profitable or perfect? You can’t have both.