I can understand the value in publicity that an appearance on the TV show Shark Tank gives to small businesses vying for capital to expand. Even if the company makes no deal, they come away with brand impressions in the millions. Those who score a business deal, however, just took on a demanding new “boss” with enough equity to call some of the shots, including profit distributions.
What if these same entrepreneurs continued to ramp up sales work, implemented whatever marketing programs they could afford and then applied patience? Would more time and incremental growth render their quest for venture capital obsolete, giving them greater command of fulfilling their business vision? Experience tells us yes.
I believe financial expert Dave Ramsey who says “cash is king and debt is dumb.” Of course, there are exceptions to such truisms and I’ve used credit card debt in the past to successfully leverage my way out of near-bankruptcy, but I believe I was blessed along the way. I paid off the cards as fast as possible and one day I was able to wipe out that debt completely. That very day, my cash flow and profits began to improve dramatically! Since then I’ve accrued some working capital to keep business humming and growing, thank God!
Mine is a micro-example of so many healthy companies that have chosen organic growth over capitalized expansion. Many of my clients and associate firms have been doing very well without implementing a fully integrated and comprehensive marketing campaign, which can be rather expensive. We execute affordable, strategic and incremental marketing steps that, over time, provide the building blocks for more comprehensive marketing programs with the firepower to significantly increase sales and grow their businesses all the more.
I want to do more with my website! I want to increase the frequency and value of my newsletter. I want to spend more strategic time on LinkedIn. I want to produce a new brochure and direct mail piece. I want to attend more networking events. I want to start a formal PPC and SEO campaign. I want to advertise more… But I have tons of client and administrative work that must get done, so I’ll only do one out of 6 things on my marketing want-list today.
Next week, I’ll get to one or two more marketing executions as I can afford the time and money. I’m reasonably sure there will be tangible results with each new marketing step I take, as they have consistently produced leads and new business over the months and years – 6 years and counting!
A few of my clients are going through exciting growth periods and this has fueled more comprehensive marketing programs to spread our messages out to additional media channels. This kind of incremental approach over time reduces the stress of “burn rates” and high expectations from banks and investors. The cash in your bank account has no strings and can be more freely spent on the right priorities – yours!