You’ve seen eager kids sitting at a lemonade stand. They’re hoping to make money. Yet they didn’t start marketing immediately. And not even after launching.
They woke up Saturday morning and decided, “Let’s sell lemonade on the sidewalk!”
Your heart aches for them: they don’t have any customers.
But maybe someone will stop…
If they’re not in a hurry…
If they’re carrying cash…
If they’re thirsty…
Only then might they stop for lemonade.
Unfortunately, more often than not, potential customers are in a rush, and unfortunately, already carrying an overpriced, icy, sweet cup-of-something they picked up from the international chain just up the block.
The result: ? frowny-faced little kids. If only they had known to start marketing immediately.
“Build it and they will come.” Inspiring movie line. Terrible business advice. Customers don’t materialize out of thin air. No matter how good the lemonade is.
What could ensure better lemonade sales?
Let’s look at a slightly different scenario.
Enter Mom. Kids wake up wanting to sell lemonade. Mom buys herself a week, telling the kids that the following Saturday would be better.
Mom promptly texts all the relatives. Throughout the week, she texts all neighbors and friends, “Kids’ lemonade stand. Our place. Saturday. C’mon by!”
Friends and family get psyched for the kids. They remember how thrilled they were when they set up their own childhood lemonade stand and sold lots of lemonade.
Finally, Saturday comes. The kids sell out of lemonade!
Because Mom marketed those kids for an entire week, friends and family showed up to support them on launch day. Curious passersby saw the small crowd and stopped. Those who didn’t make it on opening day dropped in throughout the week to buy lemonade right out of the fridge.“Build it and they will come.” Inspiring movie line. Terrible marketing advice. Click To Tweet
Start Marketing Your Business Before Your Official Launch Day
The point is not that if you do everything correctly, you’ll enjoy immediate, stellar success. As independents, non-profits, and mom and pop shops trying to make it, there are no guarantees.
However, if you’re looking for guarantees, then, for sure, I’m not the marketing professional for you.
In fact, approximately 50% of new businesses terminate within 5 years. Hard to believe? Then, please see question 6 on the U.S. Small Business Administration Office of Advocacy’s 2016 FAQs. I wonder what the failure rate is for individuals transitioning a hobby into a business. Maybe worse.
WARNING: Beware of the mystical marketing guru who says otherwise and makes lofty promises.
The point is that you must give your business every possible advantage. So, like Mom, share what you’re doing every step of the way. Bring people along for the experience.
WARNING: I’m talking about marketing your business here, not evaluating the viability of your business idea. Business planning includes a complete marketing plan. But if you leapt before you looked (which I, myself, am prone to do), then you’ll definitely want to learn and implement some of the simple strategies shared on my blog. So sign up for my newsletter. ?
Start Marketing Immediately
Remember: If you get stuck with lemons?, then start marketing lemonade immediately. ? I know. Lame. But I couldn’t help myself.
Then start talking about your exciting endeavor everywhere (yes, especially on social media), and most importantly, start collecting email addresses. Doing so can create a solid base from which to grow your business. And provide the funding and profit necessary to pay for advertising.
As for collecting email addresses, well…, more on that later.
Meanwhile, be sure to join our mailing list (see what I did there?), so that you don’t miss out on different strategies for growing your own mailing list.If you get stuck with lemons?, then start marketing lemonade immediately. ? I know. I know. Click To Tweet