Are All Your Eggs in One Basket?

Before answering that question let me ask you something else. How much money do you have to market your business right now? Zero dollars? $200? $1000? $3000? More?

What marketing decisions have you made at the points in your business where that is exactly all you had? Are you happy with the choices you made?

It is a rare new entrepreneur that can say YES, I am thrilled with how I’ve spent my money in the past. In fact, the truth is, I’ve met women who are downright heartbroken with some of the marketing spends they’ve made.

One lovely woman spent $4000 on a radio “remote”. That was all the budget she had to launch her retail business and that was all she could do. It didn’t work.

Another lovely woman spent the only $2000 she had to hire a highly referred, reputable public relations firm. They provided a well-written press release… which generated no coverage, no results of any kind, not even a personal ‘buzz’ of having something created which tells her story.

These stories are endless. I hear them weekly. And it is heartbreaking for me too.

Do NOT Put All Your Eggs in One Basket
One of the great tragedies of very early start-up businesses is that they DO fail. And the failure if often anchored in the lack of knowledge of proper marketing. You cannot dedicate ALL your resources to just one activity at any point in your business. And you certainly can’t in day one. Your industry is RICH with affordable marketing ideas. The trick is to choose 3 or 4 activities that WORK TOGETHER! And by work together I mean, hone in on who your ideal target customer is, figure out where many of them live, work, play and do everything you can to get one clear message to that group as many times as you can!

Pick one ‘anchor’ marketing idea that is big… as big as you can afford using no more than half of your total marketing budget right now. Whether that is $100 or $3000 find a promotion, a sponsorship, an advertising platform, a media relations opportunity that really makes sense to your business, your customer and feels right to you. This can be an online opportunity if your customers are online, or it can be a traditional opportunity.

Then, discover other ideas to support the one anchor idea, reaching the same target customer group. Spread your remaining budget over promoting the big anchor idea or connecting other ideas to the anchor idea. This is a traditional integrated marketing approach! I create visual marketing maps to help me and my clients ‘see’ how this works… and it really does come together!

Don’t Spread Your Blooms Too Far Either

I really dislike the visual appeal of spring flower beds where one random lovely bloom pops up in one place, then another place, then another place. Or those where people evenly, meticulously distribute their single annuals with calculated precision three feet apart! Each bloom is lovely on its own. But think of those single blooms as a collective bunch! Now THAT is a garden that gets noticed. Nothing makes my marketing mind spin more than learning someone is spending their marketing budget as if it is a scarce, barren garden rather than a foundation for a beautiful, lush English garden. (okay, full disclosure… my green thumb is green with envy but I do know what looks nice and what works!)

If Your Business Was a Large New Spring Garden Bed With Rich Soil…

Instead of taking $100 to buy 20 annuals to spread your budget as far as you can, think of isolating a portion of that big garden and dedicating your budget to making that one portion gorgeous this year. Imagine doing that annually for three years. And then imagine the garden of your dreams that can be nurtured from today.

Imagine taking taking that same $100 and buying a few robust seeds (cheap, take a long time to nurture), 5 hardy perennials (expensive but yield results quickly and last), and 8 blooming perennials (instant blooms that are affordable and look good right now).  Planting these together gives you a garden rather than individual blooms. And this kind of garden yields immediate, soon and eventual results. Some of them will only last a season, some of them will provide many blooms in one season, and most of them will return season after season.

If every customer was a flower, don’t you think that garden sounds like the ideal customer mix too? If that garden was your business, doesn’t it sound great to be able to plant seeds that will grow later, but still have immediate, inspiring results? It is! So don’t put all your eggs in one basket and don’t plan a sparse garden that can only last one season.

Eggs break. Flowers die. But the smallest of lush, well planned and regularly tended gardens will grow bigger and can last forever.

Happy Easter! Enjoy a lovely long weekend with your family and friends.

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