“There comes a time when you need to stop handing out flyers and get back to the damn shop.”
UFC fighter, Conor McGregor, might not be your go-to source for business advice, but lately he’s put his finger on the issue a lot of businesses face.
During an apparent epiphany, the 27 year old mixed martial artist claimed he was spending too much time promoting, and not enough time training. In a Facebook post littered with colourful language, he explained he had become “lost in the game of promotion”, having “[forgotten] about the art of fighting”.
While your business might not have to specify no eye gouging or hair pulling, McGregor pointed out a similarity that plagues all businesses and entrepreneurs.
One of the main struggles of beginning your own business isn’t just learning to manage on a minimal budget. Balancing time between business promotion and day-to-day business tasks isn’t something you walk into business knowing.
This is a lesson even experienced entrepreneurs struggle to learn. Avoid letting your business promotion take over the running by sticking to these golden rules.
Understanding the Issue
Too much promotion may not seem like an issue, but if it’s detracting from your business’ mission, it’s time for change.
Promoting your business seems like the most important thing in the world when you’re just starting up. This makes sense considering you’ll need customers to get the ball rolling; promotion is vitally important for the survival of your business in the first few months.
Once you’ve made it through your first year you’ll need to continue to invest time in promoting your business. However, you’ll also need to deliver to the customer base you’ve built up in the past year. So where’s the balance? How do you know when you’re doing enough to both maintain and grow your business?
Take a Step Back
You might not realise anything is wrong until your monthly figures start to fall and your finances take a hit. Unfortunately at this point it’s too late to get that money back, but you can stop it from happening again.
If you fear your businesses’ quality is fading, take a moment to re-evaluate. Rather than succumbing to temptation and ploughing on, make time to figure out where it went wrong. It can be tempting to continue to work without making any changes, but this will only prolong the problem.
After evaluating what’s been going wrong, it’s time to create an action plan. You might work best by listing everything that needs changing, or a mind map might be the most productive way for you to go about changing your ways.
However you decide to work, there are a number of things you’ll need to cover in order to change your current way of working. Firstly, outline what marketing techniques worked. Leave as much of the successful promotion as you can without letting it take over the running of your business. You can instead free up time by getting rid of the marketing ideas that didn’t work quite as well.
What rate do you want your business to grow at? If you want to slow everything down and take some time for yourself, you need to plan what you want the business/marketing divide to be. 60/40? 80/20? It’s up to you where you want your priorities to lie.
So you’ve looked, thought and planned. Now it’s time to do. Get yourself into gear and start making changes that are positively going to impact the running of your business.
If you have employees, discuss with them what they think the best action for the company is going to be, or what they might change. Having dedicated your attention to promotion previously you could have ignored your employees’ ideas.
McGregor didn’t spare any money when he realised his problem; flying “an entire team to Portugal and to Iceland to make my adjustments in preparation”. While we’re assuming the changes you plan on making won’t require this level of expense, don’t be scared to budget accordingly and flash a little cash in order to get the new era of your company underway.
Once you’ve made the changes and you’re happy with how your business is running, review it. Whether it’s a daily, weekly or monthly basis, take time to focus on maintaining the growth of your company.
If your promotion starts to creep up at a rate that you’re not comfortable with then don’t be afraid to start from the beginning by evaluating what’s happened and how, so you can avoid the same situation again in the future.
Are you struggling between balancing your business and promotion? Or are you perched perfectly in the middle? Tell us in the comment section below!