Why this myth causes a problem: Let me give you my example. When I opened 20 years ago, I picked up six clients in the first two weeks. "Hey, this is easy!" I thought! "I should have started my own firm much earlier!" Well, the next client took six months to pick up. Now that was a wake-up call!
Yes, I had plenty of experience being a CPA, but I did not have any experience getting clients. What I was doing was providing a good product with great customer service and hoping that people would notice (heck, it better have been great service – I only had six clients, I had a lot of free time!). But I had no marketing or sales plan! I now call this doing excellent work in the dark. Who cares how good your services are if no one is noticing!
The truth successful business owners learn the hard way! Being good at what you do isn’t enough to succeed in small business. You must put together a marketing plan that identifies:
- Who your potential customers are
- What problems they have
- When your customers are ready to buy
- How your product and/or service solves their problems
- How you can communicate to them that you can solve their problem
Whenever a new client comes to my office and states that they are going to start a new business, I give them a list of books that they must buy, read, and implement if they wish to succeed. The most important is Guerrilla Marketing by Jay Conrad Levinson. I then tell them, “Remember, a business without customers is called a hobby”.
Lesson learned: Doing excellent work isn’t enough. You need to do excellent work that provides a solution to a problem that your clients and prospects need solved and you must have a marketing and sales plan that lets them know that you have a solution to their problems.