Business can get incredibly messy and convoluted.
Spreadsheets, timesheets, tax, quotas, KPIs, checklists, quality controls, and the many joys of technology.
The complexity is endless.
And a business can still fail.
In fact, most do.
Within 10 years, most businesses are dead, down, or drowning.
Let’s strip away the jargon.
Most businesses fail for a simple reason: money.
Income minus costs.
Call it what you will, it’s the timeless problem of Not Enough.
“How do I get more leads?” is almost always the question at the heart of our client conversations.
Leads mean sales.
Sales drive a loyal customer base.
A loyal customer base is what keeps a business stable.
And a stable long-term business means we can resupply our family home with life’s important necessities, like furniture, coffee, and laughter.
Whoever said money can’t buy happiness obviously didn’t have to look into their children’s eyes on Christmas morning as they opened stockings filled with lumps of coal.
Now, just for a moment, let’s pretend I’m a good writer and you’re on board with what I’m saying about the importance of sales, money, and buying your way into your children’s hearts.
Assume, just for the fun of it, that the most important thing a business needs to survive is more customers.
Assume, for argument’s sake, that marketing is the critical business activity responsible for bringing in more customers.
Here’s my question:
Given its supreme importance, why don’t more people take marketing education seriously?
Very rarely do I meet business owners who take marketing literacy as seriously as their technical trade and professional qualifications.
Getting serious about marketing doesn’t mean you have to sign up for a 4-year university degree.
Let’s not do anything we’re going to regret later.
Everything that’s relevant already exists on Google, in books, blogs, videos, podcasts, and inside the brains of experts.
Much is freely available.
Some things cost money — but it’s an investment.
To me, self-investment is the most important financial investment you can make.
Recently, I shipped 50 new books to the office.
This is very strange to some people.
Yes, it costs thousands of dollars.
(So does a university degree.)
Opening these boxes of books was better than falling in love and getting married.
I don’t think my wife reads these posts.
Just in case… HI HONEY, I LOVE YOU!
Alright, I think I’m in the clear.
Back to business.
Here’s what I often find myself asking:
Why not take marketing education at least as seriously as one’s technical education?
If you’re unhappy with your business growth and you then look at your total years of marketing education and it adds up to 0, is it really any surprise?
Now, obviously, marketing is not the main reason why people go into business.
Most people don’t get a kick out of creating, launching, and tracking marketing campaigns, although I do employ a few crazy types who enjoy this.
Besides these few crazies, almost no one truly loves marketing.
But mastering the marketing fundamentals is what will ensure your business ultimately survives and makes it possible to continue living the good life…
Complete with coffee….
…. and furniture….
…. and a happy spouse.
So that’s my best business advice — #1: take your marketing education seriously, at least as seriously as a Bachelor’s degree.
My next best piece of advice is — #2: happy wife, happy life.
And to round out my top three — #3: when you need an extremely handsome and charming marketing expert to help grow your business, speak to me.
Broden “World’s Best Husband” Johnson
Founder of Yakk Digital Marketing