I’m sure you’ve heard the saying Don’t put all your eggs into one basket.
It’s been around for years and can apply to many areas of life.
So why is it then that so many people keep doing this? With their finances, with their business and with so many other things.
From a business point of view, I’ve heard too many stories of businesses that relied on:
Then when something changes and they lose that client, traffic or marketing source, their business struggles to survive, often either closing completely or coming to me for urgent assistance in how to turn things around … and quickly.
I know of several successful business owners who made 6 digits each year for several years relying on only AdWords Pay-Per-Click ads to send traffic to their sites. Then one day – about 3-4 years ago now – AdWords changed their policies and with no advance notice, the ads these customers were uses were no longer compliant with AdWords’ new policy.
Those ads were all banned and the business owners involved lost almost all of their sites’ traffic overnight.
One friend lost more than $10,000 in monthly revenue as a result of that change but thankfully he was able to quickly implement other effective marketing strategies that kept his business thriving. Others weren’t so lucky.
Another business-owner I know has relied on SEO (Search Engine Optimisation) for the majority of his business for the last 7 years. However over the last 18 months he’s lost most of that business as a result of changes and updates to the search engines.
I know it’s easy to think we have it made when things are going well. We’re getting all the business we need from one source and may take our business’ marketing a little for granted.
But when it comes to long-term business success it’s so important to ensure that you have multiple sources of income, multiple sources of traffic, multiple effective marketing strategies … always have at least one backup plan. Just in case.
As a business-owner I’m sure you’re very busy however, for the sake of your on-going business success, I encourage you to allocate 1 hour sometime over the next week to looking at this part of your business.
Think carefully … is there any area (or areas) where you are putting all your business eggs in the one basket?
If so, how can you change that?
What other back-up plans can you implement?
Once you’ve completed this exercise you may need to allocate some more time to implementing the strategies you’ve come up with.
However sometime down the track you may well be extremely grateful for the effort you’re going to now, to help ensure your business continues smoothly if one of these sources is no longer available.
Today I’d like to encourage you to think about different ways that you can promote your business by giving.
Watch the video below for more details or continue reading below.
(Or CLICK HERE to watch this video direct in YouTube.)
Now I understand some people are not too keen on the sounds of this, but let me explain.
What I mean is to give away some of your services, goods, time or knowledge and this can be a way of marketing your business.
If you’re busy and you don’t have a lot of time or a lot of money then this may sound a little bit daunting. But, trust me … if you do it right, the benefits and the increased profits will be well worth the time and money commitment that you make.
Some different ways you can do this are:
You can give a donation – whether a financial donation, some of your products or your services – to a local community group or to a charity of some sort.
Quite often when you do this you’ll be able to get some sort of a thank you or public appreciation. It might be a link and message on their website or in their newsletter. Just the word of mouth messages from that can bring you more clients … if you do it correctly.
Something else that you can do is to offer your services. When I first started my business I offered to create the newsletter for a local community group.
I did this free of charge, it was a monthly newsletter. As a thank you for me creating their newsletter for them they were happy to include an ad for my business and they also allowed me to include my business’ contact details on the footer of each page of that newsletter.
That was a printed newsletter that was sent out to about 500 people every month. For me, this was well worthwhile and it brought in a lot of local business for me.
Another suggestion is to give your knowledge.
A good way to do this is to offer to give a talk for local groups, if you know of any local groups that might be relevant for your area of expertise.
Libraries will often encourage community members to come in and give a talk about a specific topic that might be of interest to locals.
This is another strategy that I used well. I regularly gave presentations at my local libraries and community centres. Libraries worked extremely well for me but sometimes I’d organise them on my own, out of a local community centre.
I would give a presentation for 1.5 to 2 hours and would often get 30-50 people attending my free information session. During this time I would share everything that I could. I was quite happy to share my knowledge, for no cost.
What would usually happen was that a select number of those who attended would ask for my business card and contact me later or they’d ask if I could help them and would buy my book or pay for my services.
I would also invite those who attended to subscribe to my newsletter. Some of those people who attended the information sessions are still on my newsletter list more than a decade later and are still customers of mine today.
These sorts of things can be done for a very low cost.
Keep in mind also that when offering something for your local community – and especially for no cost – you can often get publicity from the local newspapers and community radio stations. So always send a press release to announce your events.
There are multiple benefits to this:
1. You’re meeting new people and have the opportunity to share your skills, products and services;
2. You have a greater chance of getting free publicity for your business; and
3. You’re providing a great service to your community.
So no matter how small your business marketing budget may be or how much time you don’t have, remember that there’s always way that you can give.
In doing so the results will pay off, often several times over. This can be a great help for your business … and it also feels pretty good to know you’re helping others.
A question that I get asked about a lot is, “What do you do when you’ve got a small business but your family and friends aren’t supportive of you?”
Sadly, this is quite common, so if you’re in this position don’t feel alone. It doesn’t mean that you need to give up either.
This is something I can relate to very well as a lot of my family and friends weren’t particularly supportive of my business ideas in the early days. (I think they’ve since learned to let me do my own thing over the years).
I share more about my story getting started in business, and why I suspect they weren’t keen on my business plans, in the video below.
Quite often, loved ones aren’t reacting negatively because they doubt your ability to run a successful business. It’s often just that they’re concerned in case your business idea fails.
If this is something you have ever faced, hopefully my suggestions in the above video will help you too.
Please feel welcome to leave a comment below if you’d like to share your story of starting a business without 100% support of those closest to you.