Spending time (you don’t have) and money (you need for other things) on marketing before you’re ready is the Achilles’ heel of many entrepreneurs. That’s part of the reason why it’s the last point of emphasis in what we call the Seven Dynamics. Here’s what you must do first:
1. Dig and find the real reason your business exists. The closer it is to your personal values, the better your chances. Start talking to your partners and employees from that place.
2. Boil down everything good about your business into a feeling - not an idea - a feeling you want people to have when they do business with you. Don’t worry (yet) about how you’ll tell others about it.
3. Create a set of systems around money, including a budget that’s designed for you and not your accountant. Get clear on how cash moves through your business, before you go after more sales.
4. Build a culture that runs on 67% accountability and 33% unshackled curiosity and creativity - the secret recipe to a culture that actually cares.
5. Design a customer experience system where you could hire people with less experience, but instead you hire people with more because they’re the ones who’ll really embody your brand and make the next system even better.
6. Find a way to talk to potential customers that doesn’t hide your self-interest (you want their business) and shows them how your passion is to solve a problem or meet a need that they actually have.
Wait for it.
7. Now. Create the package (words, colors, symbols, ideas) that causes people to experience 1-6 in the blink of an eye.
Marketing is easy when it’s based in a real story worth telling.
* And of course, this recipe is for your long term plan. Do whatever you need to do today - and get help - to solve critical cash, marketing, or management issues. Just don’t get fooled that short term, fire-fighting tactics are a substitute for a strategic approach.