In case you’ve ever wondered whether it’s even necessary to market your business in the first place, we’d like to share this simple story that says it all:
Once there was a couple struggling to make a living with their hot dog stand by the side of the road. Trucks and cars would whiz by without even a glance despite the fact that their hot dogs were fresh and tasty and their coffee was the best in the entire area. It was very difficult to support themselves and their young son.
One day the wife got a bright idea. “Why not market ourselves? We can put up a big sign and also put our message on billboards. We can even spend some money on the local radio stations extolling the virtues of our great food.”
Before they knew it, trucks and cars were stopping by and business was booming. They enlarged the stand and hired many people to accommodate the traffic. They stayed open seven days a week, 24 hours a day and made more money than they ever thought possible. It was the American Dream come true.
Business stayed good and they grew the business into a chain. Eventually, their son grew up and went to college. He studied hard and earned an economics degree. His delighted parents took him into the business with a fancy title and office to match.
Their clever son studied the general business conditions and surveys of the future by the most reputable people in the nation. He finally concluded: “We are headed for a recession, and possibly a depression.”
He discussed this with his parents and convinced them that his training would now pay off. “Let’s stop advertising and save the money, and when things change we’ll be in good shape again.”
The signs came down, radio commercials stopped and trucks and cars whizzed by as they did before the company started promoting. Business worsened, with the chain dwindling to one stand. Finally, bankrupt, the last stand was also shut down.
As the father sat with his wife one hour before closing he couldn’t help but think to himself: “My son was really right; we are in a depression.”
Moral: You can’t sell it if you don’t show it or tell anyone about it. It’s been proven again and again that those who market when business conditions are slow are way ahead when it gets better.
If you don’t tell your story – and tell it well – everything else falls apart. Prospects won’t know what you make, so they won’t buy it. If they don’t buy, there’ll be no floors to sweep. No need to buy coffee cups. And no invoices to send out. Without your marketing (and the requisite second half; the sale) you’ll have nothing.