As an LGBT business owner you’re always looking for shortcuts and ways to make the most money possible for your marketing and advertising dollars. Sometimes, this is a very smart business strategy…and sometimes when you do this you forget to look at what’s right in front of you.You probably have a marketing campaign or something in your business that has worked well for you in the past. And you have not gone back to it in a long time. You might even have a program or campaign that worked well in the past that you’ve stopped doing altogether that would bring you some quick money, without a lot of work, but you ignore it, forget about it, or just stop doing it.Recently a business associate did just that and it almost cost him his business.
As LGBT business owners, we have busy times and slower times in our businesses and we try to avoid the slower time with marketing efforts. This business owner, known here as Jay, was struggling and needed some help, so after a short conversation and seeing that he was in a bit of a panic, I asked him what he had in his business that had worked in the past, that had brought in a good return, that we could quickly implement and get his some relief from his current lack of cash flow situation.
Jay proceeded to tell me about a great direct mail campaign that he had used for several years in his business that averaged a 12:1 return on investment for him. He had stopped using it and was now struggling to stay afloat.
Surprisingly, my suggestion to go pull this highly successful campaign off the shelf and start using it again immediately, if not sooner, was met with a less than enthusiastic response. As a matter of fact, the whole idea got shelved for another solution – Jay chose to do nothing and almost lost his business.
Jay’s resistance to beginning to use this highly successful campaign again was based on one thing and one thing only … the fact that he didn’t have any money. Jay was so close to his situation so he couldn’t see the possibility of borrowing a few hundred dollars from a friend or family member, even with the promise of a short term loan of 60 to 90 days with a 10-30% return.
There were really 2 issues at work here in Jay’s situation. First, he couldn’t see the forest for the trees because he was standing in the middle of it. He really, simply couldn’t get out of his own way. He so was consumed with panic, stress and anxiety because he let his situation get so far out of control before he asked for help, that he was frozen in fear and simply failed to move. He failed to implement in his business, even when it would have been relatively simple to do. He was frozen by fear.
The other issue here was Jay stopped doing what had worked for him in the past.At some point, it seems all business owners fall prey to this. We either forget about the campaigns, or more likely, we get bored with them ourselves and just assume that everyone has already seen it and they’re tired of it too.
Things become old and tired to you because you know your business so well and you deal with it day in and day out. You forget that your clients and prospects have busy lives too and they will ultimately forget about you if you don’t stay in front of them.
The LGBT community has a reputation for being very loyal to brands and businesses that are supportive and we tend to do a lot of business with each other. Even with all that going for you, it’s still your job to stay in touch with your clients and prospects – or they will go find another provider to do business with.
Unfortunately for most of us who own businesses, our clients think about us a lot less than we’d like them too, so the possibility of them remembering that you sent them something last month is relatively low, and the remembering exactly what you sent them is an even lower possibility.
The smart choice here is to let your marketing tell you when it’s time to look for a new campaign or something to replace the one you’re currently running. You know you’ve gotten to the point where you need to look for something new and fresh when your current response rates begin to consistently fall off.
So, don’t be like Jay! Use the marketing campaigns and other materials you have that have been successful in the past and keep growing your business – today and always!