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My older sister, Alicia, just opened her first business. She’s a massage therapist in Savannah, Georgia. I’ve been emailing her my thoughts on business, tips, and feedback. It’ll eventually annoy her, but for now she seems to appreciate it. The thoughts below are from an email I sent her. You probably do not run a massage therapy business, but perhaps you can look at this advice and adapt it to your own business.
We’re only going to talk about one of these three jobs. #3 Marketing and Sales (Doing work that will pay later.)
Every well-spent minute you invest in marketing will pay off 100 times in six months. Well-calculated marketing, aimed at a target customer, is an investment. You’re burying money seeds in the ground to harvest next season. Be patient, marketing is a gas pedal with a slow reaction time. More often than not, you’ll “do” marketing and your revenue won’t react for 2-6 months.
Every day you have to do something to help your business. Marketing tasks are done in addition to “doing work that pays.” This means, you have to find/fight for the time to invest in marketing and not allow yourself to get trapped into just grinding out massages.
Remember to keep your foot on the gas pedal every day. Some days you put more time into marketing than others, and sometimes the gas pedal is slammed to the floor. Days that you do not put your foot on the gas pedal, your business is dying. At that point, you’re just treading water.
Example: you’re looking for people in pain, and they’re probably going to a chiropractor. The chiropractor’s customers may be golfers or runners, and they’re in pain because of injuries. Your massage clients might be health conscious, and do yoga and acupuncture. So you and the chiropractor have common target customers, but non-competing products. + Ask for referrals: “I’m looking for referrals for my massage business. And I’m looking for these types of clients. Do you currently refer any of your customers to a massage therapist?” + Ask them how they find clients. Perhaps they can give you insight into the buying habits of your shared target audience. + Ask them if they have ideas for cross promotions. + Be direct in your communications and intent with strategic partners. Be clear, ask and you will receive. If you do not ask, you will not receive.
Remember: Foot on the gas, every single day.
Wake up every day and tell yourself, “Foot on the gas pedal.”