What leads to business success? If you’ve ever gone back to your high school reunion, you’ve probably seen some surprise success stories and scratched your head while asking the same question. For small marketing firms, success typically follows one of two paths.Read More
The first step toward an improved business environment is stepping out of denial with a deep sigh of relief as you begin to use new found energy to fix the problems instead of mask them. We all have ways of talking about specific situations that make them a bit more palatable.Read More
I’m frequently asked how to fund growth. I’m going to answer that question here, too, but first I want to lay a foundation for why I answer that question a certain way. In the end you may disagree with me, which is fine, but you at least deserve more than just a simple answer.
Let’s first review our options for funding sources.
First, growth can be funded from ongoing operations. When more comes in than goes out, there’s a certain amount of leftover funds called profit, and that profit can be used to make investments in the future of a company. These investments may take the form of hiring an employee before you really need him or her, purchasing equipment for that employee, building out a nice new space, etc. The money to do these things isn’t missed because there’s plenty of money there in the form of ongoing profit.
Second, growth can be funded by deferring expenses. Even though you may be on the hook for certain obligations, you may decide to not pay them promptly, stretching the vendor out and using the money in other ways until new money comes in. So a client might prepay you for media expenses, but in this scenario you don’t set it aside for that media expense but instead use the funds to cover growth....Read More
I’ve always advised firms to view growth (defined as an increased body count) as something largely neutral. It’s not good or bad—just different. That can relieve the inappropriate pressure to grow, grow, grow. So called “developed” cultures place a premium on growth, even to the point of saying “if you aren’t growing, you’re dying.”Read More
What better time to point out the advantages of being a smaller firm than when the industry is experiencing a contraction. All the more so since we have this strange obsession with growth, captured in phrases like “if you aren’t growing, you’re dying.” You can’t fit deep thinking on a bumper sticker, and that looks like a bumper sticker to me.Read More
There are four things that will do more than anything else in making you successful at landing new business. If these four things are present at your firm, you’d actually have to work very hard not to succeed.Read More
Most of us would acknowledge that marketing our firms is important, though such a statement is often followed by “but…” It’s nothing to beat ourselves up about, but not having a marketing mindset will hold your firm back.Read More
Whether or not you have articulated it, your firm is mission driven. (Furthermore, what looks “balanced” to you because it aligns with your own interests might appear imbalanced to someone else with different priorities.) In the absence of a clear statement surfacing this focus, how would I discover the unique nature of your firm or the firm where you work?Read More
What does it mean to build and then lead a staff? Few of us received any formal training for it, so we often model our own style on the examples we’ve had in other bosses (and parents). Too bad, really, because learning to do this ought to be a lot less accidental.Read More
Burnout is widely felt in marketing field. So much so that every individual will face it at some point in his/her career.
Some of it stems from a propensity toward short attention spans, developed at an early age. Oddly enough, if you didn’t have access to a TV or hours of video games, you might be more creative now! (So much for the impact of your profession.)Read More