If you’ve ever heard yourself say something like that, or even had the thought enter your head, then here is a challenge that needs to be overcome!
Perth-based business consultant, Tony Inman, said that this is an everyday problem experienced by a lot of small business owners, particularly those with a small team of staff or even one person bands, such as self-employed ‘tradies’.
“When I was mentoring with the Entrepreneurship Unit at Curtin University, we used to call it ‘busy fool’ syndrome. Although that sounds a bit derogatory, it’s actually just pulling no punches in describing how unhelpful that practice is, in terms of preventing you from building your business,” said Mr Inman.
It’s a perfectly easy trap to fall into when you have either no-one or very few people to whom you can delegate tasks.
There are only so many hours in a day that you can work, so owners of small and medium sized businesses often find themselves working back extra hours to catch up on the quoting, the invoicing or other administrative aspects of their enterprise.
“It’s ironic how a lot of people go into business for themselves because they’re sick of working long hours for a boss, then find themselves working even longer hours trying to make their own businesses work,” Tony Inman elaborated.
“The implications of failing to promote your venture sufficiently can be disastrous,” he stated.
“I remember a friend of mine who was a fantastic tour guide, driving tours down South to Albany and up North to Exmouth. He’d spend a week in Perth going around all of the hotels and backpacker hostels promoting the next trip. He’d then be away for a week leading a tour, but while he was on the road, he was reliant upon those hotels continuing to book people on the tour after that. Consequently his cash flow was up and down like a yo-yo, he burnt himself out trying to make it work and eventually had to close down his business.”
“The sad thing is that he was one of the most charismatic tour guides I’ve ever met. He could easily have been Australia’s next ‘Bush Tucker Man’ or ‘Steve Irwin’, but he never really fulfilled his dream or made the kind of money that he deserved for the talent that he clearly possessed.”
When a business is not promoted, either by the owner, his (or her) staff or by word of mouth in volume, it often falls short of its potential.
Mr Inman did offer some good news, however in that he revealed that there are simple steps that even a busy owner can take to ‘promote as you go’.
“Let’s take an example I had recently with one of my business clients who has a carpentry business,” said Tony. “He was in that same up and down pattern of good week, bad week and it was causing a lot of stress”.
“I gave him some simple tips that allowed him to promote his work as he goes about his daily business:”
- Put signage on the work vehicle (turn your car or van into a mobile billboard)
- Use free advertising sites on the internet (they promote you while you’re doing something else)
- Display a sign outside the job (passers-by and locals may also be considering having a job done that requires your skills
- Use social media to showcase your work (customer testimonials and case studies online give you great credibility)
“I could tell you a lot more, but time and space precludes it,” said Mr Inman. “The point is that it’s not rocket science – there are a lot of small things you can do easily that can lead to a lot of new business, but as the famous author and speaker, Jim Rohn once said, “The things that are easy to do are also easy not to”.
“When you invest a little time and money in asking for some help from an advisor, you’ll be amazed at how simple ideas can bring massive results”.
– Tony Inman, Business & Lifestyle Consultant
Club Red Consulting coaches and mentors business owners to be more effective, so that they can lead more fulfilling, less stressed and ultimately happier lives.
Information is available from http://clubred.com.au/contact-club-red or by calling 9328 2203.
Tony Inman has 34 years of management experience, mostly in retail, tourism, transport, cleaning and coaching, of which over 18 years have been spent running his own businesses here in Perth.