The Virus That Is Killing Your Business
By: BG Hamrick, Founder & CEO of Local Impact
Every now and then, a business owner will say to me, “We don’t advertise, we don’t market our business, we get all of our business from word-of-mouth” and tend to wear it as a badge of honor. In most cases, these businesses are broke, and they are playing down their fear of marketing and advertising. This mindset is like a virus; it’s everywhere, and it keeps you from facing the reality that your business is unpredictable, and your growth (or lack thereof) is out of your control.
To be clear, I am not against word-of-mouth business. I get a lot of word-of-mouth business for my own company. People see the work we do and they ask our clients about it, then our clients share what we’ve done, and we get new opportunities as a result.
This is like icing on the cake, but it’s not the cake.
If you are relying on word-of-mouth advertising, how are you going to scale your business? How will you continually trust or predict your future business?
The truth is, you can’t!
Your business is not a savings account or part of an investment portfolio.
Holding on to your business income is not the strategy to build generational wealth.
At today’s best returns, you’re fortunate to put $1.00 in and get $1.04 back. The best investment you can make as a business owner is to invest right back into your own business.
Do people make more in their investments?
Sure! But what is the average return? For example, the average return on real estate property is 10%, so you are putting $1.00 in and getting $1.10 in profit.
Do some people make 200% or 300% on their real estate investments?
Yes, they do, but this isn’t the average return. There is nothing wrong with these returns, but they are not the kind of profits that will lift you to an entirely new level in your business.
There is a better way.
Invest in your business. There is no other vehicle that will bring you faster growth and returns.
You need to get more attention for your business. You need to get your business in front of more prospective buyers. You need to create opportunities for your customers to find and purchase from you instead of your competitor, but how do you do that?
You get attention through marketing advertising. If you can find a marketing engine and advertising system where you can put $1.00 in and get $2.00, $3.00, or even $5.00 out, would that make sense to do it? This is not a pie in the sky return. These are very common numbers in today’s digital marketing environment.
Word-of-mouth is great! But you cannot rely on it. When your customer is searching for your product or service, they might ask a few friends they trust if they know someone, but according to Google statistics, 94% of the time, they are jumping on their phone or computer and searching for you.
Can they find you? Do they find your competition instead? If you are not found online through a search by Google, and 94% of the people who need you are online searching, you are invisible to your market.
If I need your service, and I search on Google for what I need, but you are not there, how will you ever get my business?
Are you satisfied that all of your business comes by word-of-mouth? Is that your badge of honor?
The truth is, you are not winning. It isn’t a sign of success when you get all of your business from referrals or word-of-mouth.
Great businesses are not built on word-of-mouth alone. If you truly want to control your growth by predicting and scaling your future, you have to invest back into your own business. Otherwise, you are trusting in whatever fate may bring to you. Without that predictability, you’re going to be awake every night at 3 am wondering if another referral or another word-of-mouth customer might come your way tomorrow.
Did you know you can literally buy customers through a well-planned digital marketing campaign? Yes, buy them! The challenge is not to pay too much, but there are agencies, consultants, and online help to educate you and help you figure that out.
Have you been wearing a badge of honor because you only get business from word-of-mouth? Burn that badge!
That belief will limit you.
Break free from unpredictability and control your future. If you truly have big growth goals for your business, marketing and advertising are the best investments to obtain those goals.