Time is Money

By August 11, 2015Uncategorized

blog_time_is_moneyWho do so many startups fail? According to a Forbes article dated January 2015, nine out of ten startups will fail. Why? All entrepreneurs start with a few of things in common: a dream, a great idea and passion. What begins as an adventure, though, can soon lead to disaster. What happens to make it all go wrong?

I often hear entrepreneurs say, “I don’t have time to do marketing,” and “I can’t afford to do any marketing.” We agree, and we understand. Running a business is time consuming, and business owners wear a lot of hats. So, let’s address both of these points, and see if we can help identify some helpful solutions.

  1. “I don’t have enough time.” We all get the same number of hours in a day. How do successful entrepreneurs operate at a level that breeds success and expansion while others struggle. Here are some tips.
    1. Identify what you don’t know and get help. Whether it is accounting, HR, sales training or marketing, surround yourself with experts who can help you maximize your opportunities quickly and efficiently. Good partners will never be an expense, but a return on investment.
    2. Make a plan. Get a planner and write out your goals every morning and every night. Clearly identifying what you want and need to accomplish will help you stay on track.
    3. Utilize technology. Whether it is a project management system, customer relationship management system or simple invoicing, technology can save you time and money by streamlining processes and simplifying tasks.
    4. Seek out mentors. Find five people in your industry who can help you, and connect with them. Ask questions and listen.
    5. Create a litmus test. For us, the test has two simple components. The activity must: 1. Generate awareness 2. Make the cash register ring. If your activity does neither of those, don’t do it.
  2. “I don’t have enough money.” This business started part-time in 2002 and full-time in 2007…with $17. We get it. What we get even more is the importance of investment and focusing on what you can do, not what you cannot do. As Best Selling Author and World Renowned Sales Trainer Grant Cardone says, “You must get your flows going. Don’t be afraid to spend to succeed.” Here are some ideas.
    1. Focus on low hanging fruit first. Who do you already know that will be interested in your product/service.
    2. Grass roots efforts. Join networking groups, volunteer for organizations that have some connection with what you do, join professional organizations, attend conferences and trade shows to see what others are doing, make connections and hand out business cards.
    3. Develop partnerships. Seek out individuals and businesses who can cross promote services with you. For example, if you are in a strip mall, get a group of merchants together to develop a program to cross promote each other. If you are a plumber, seek out general contractors, electricians, etc. to become referral partners. Offer a referral fee (if it makes sense).
    4. Get attention. Start a YouTube Channel, use Periscope and Meerkat to help others, teach others, etc. about what you do.
    5. Be social. Utilize social media like Facebook, Linkedin, Twitter and Instagram to market your business to qualified leads. Facebook ads allow you to micor target with no waste.
    6. Utilize technology. Whether it is a project management system, customer relationship management system or simple invoicing, technology can save you time and money by streamlining processes and simplifying tasks.
    7. Develop a marketing tool box that delivers results. Important elements like your logo, colors and website should garner positive results for your business. Good marketing should never be an expense, but a return on investment. It does not matter how cheap something is if it doesn’t work.
    8. Brand Yourself. You are your brand. The way you present yourself, the places you go, the things you do and say, and the people with whom you associate either contribute to your success or your demise.
    9. Put the Internet to work for you. Your website should be a 24/7 sales tool for you. It also makes a first impression for your business to many who have never met you. There is a lot that goes into producing a good website, and there are a lot of options out there. Do your homework, and make good choices. You never get a second chance to make a first impression.

Most of the above ideas cost little to nothing and can have a significant impact on your business’ bottom line. Invest in things that will pay off quickly and garner results. Measure effectiveness and use data analysis to make good decisions. As you grow, invest more to grow more.

Time and money. We all want more of both of them. While we can’t physically acquire more time, we can have more of the time we want if….we invest wisely.

Amber Soukup

About Amber Soukup

Social Media Manager and Administrative Assistant to the CEO of Client Solution Innovations