Large businesses have a kind of discipline inertia in allocating resources to all the functional areas that need it. Everything from R&D to marketing gets counted in somehow. But for this companies that are not so big yet, there is much more of a shuffling of resources. And it’s not shuffling for the sake of shuffling, or some level of management ineptness. In the name of agility, it is a matter of steering resources to the area where they are needed the most. With a scarcity of resources, there is a level of reprioritization that must take place as the need arises.
Especially in the case where the business has a steady-level of work, there comes about a mindset that marketing and sales efforts can be dialed back. Maybe yes – maybe no. It all depends on how far back you dial. So go ahead – ask yourself a few questions.
Engaging New Customers?
Are you attracting a sufficient stream of new prospects? Even if your business is at capacity at the moment, all customers have a customer lifecycle to them. Customers will come to the end of that lifecycle at various times. You need to have a process running that steadily keeps the pipeline primed.
Dependence on Existing Customers?
Prospecting within the existing customer base is ideal. You can work the relationship with those buyers who already know you from real experiences. But if you begin to rely on a small core of customers for the majority of your business, your relationship becomes more like an addiction on them. A dependency on too small of a customer base will cause your business to go into withdrawal if the customer decides to leave or change the terms of the relationship.
Reflective Marketing Messages?
Are your marketing messages up to date with what your business is doing? Even if you have dialed down the marketing to be at a passive level, what you stand for needs to be out there. With prospective customers doing much more research on their own, your communication needs to be up-to-date with how your solutions are solving problems today.
What Is Your Forecast?
How do you stack up with your forecasting? Can you forecast what you expect in terms of new order bookings and new revenue bookings for the next 12 months? You need to have enough facts and assumptions to gauge what kind of outlook you expect.
Sometimes the most dangerous thing is that you become satisfied when the business is busy. You become heavily focused on fulfilling current customers. And you lapse into that satisfied mindset. “It’s good to be busy”.
But simply being satisfied is not what moves the needle in the direction that you want. There is a reason why Chris Gardner’s book and movie are titled “The Pursuit of Happyness”. In a recursive kind of way, it is the pursuit of goals that is the source of happiness. The danger to your business while you are being busy is that you start to ignore things that are easy to ignore – and then somehow you just outright start to miss things.
Take some inspiration from Oliver Twist and internalize the mindset. “Please sir, I want some more.” When it comes to generating new customers – stay hungry!