Surprisingly, so many business owners think that marketing is the process of simply getting your name out there. However, once your name is “out” there, what are you going to do next? Let’s examine the fabric of a basketball game for a moment. You have the face-to-face competition of two opposing teams trying to win the game they are playing. They came with “one” goal in mind and that is to win! Now, they have to do the following things better, in order to defeat their opponent:
1. Strategize (A doable plan on how to defeat their competition by studying their strong and weak areas)
2. Practice (Diligently working on their strategy to defeat their competition, capitalizing on their weak areas)
3. Execute (Implement the plan that they’ve religiously practiced to ultimately defeat their competition)
These are simple things to do, but it takes observation, dedication, tenacity and implementation to be better than your opponent. The ball (your business) is in your court to make it happen! I remember our high school cheerleaders shouting this particular cheer to pump up our basketball team during their games: “ACTION, ACTION, we want ACTION! A-C-T (clap, clap, clap) I-O-N!” They would repeat this chorus several times when the offense had the ball. Why? Because the fans wanted the team to score and to pull out all of the stops to win! We expected the unexpected! You MUST take action!
A marketing plan doesn’t have to be complicated or sophisticated. At any point it can be changed as needed. It should be functional and flexible. A functional marketing plan should address your goal, product/service, targeted market/audience, how to reach your potential clients, what strategy will successfully retain repeat customers and attract new clients. Flexibility takes place when unexpected changes in the marketing program are needed. Don’t assume that your customers will know what it is you have to offer, simply from seeing or hearing your business’ name.
So often, it’s easy to blame others for our failures. But how long do you sit there and play the “blame game?” When do you finally realize that it’s time to rise above the ashes and take charge of making things happen for you? Your decision now, will ultimately affect the lives of those around you later. Never forget that you can easily fall into one or more of these categories if you don’t heed the warning signs:
• people who “watch” what happen
• people who “wait” for things to happen
• people who “wonder” what happened
It’s okay to watch (you have to be observant). It’s even okay to wait (you have to be mindful of your timing). It doesn’t hurt to wonder from time to time. But, don’t become complacent or get stuck into one of these categories. It will be harder to get out! Be that business owner to MAKE things happen. You have to raise the bar of your business expectations, beyond the idea of just getting your name out there! Nobody can make you successful, without your help. The ball is in your court! Are you just going to stand there and “dribble” all day? Or are you going to take a chance by shooting the ball and make the winning shot for the championship?