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If I ask you what business you are in, you will likely say “I own a such and such store” or “I own a restaurant” or “I’m a dentist” or something similar. If I ask you what you do in your business, then, you’ll say “I help customers with such and such products in my store” or “I prepare meals” or “I fix teeth.” The problem with all of these typical responses is that they reflect working “in” the business, performing the day-to-day operations…things that, for the most part, lots of other people could do. There is a chance that your business could flourish based simply on providing the best service or the best or lowest cost product…but it ain’t likely! The way to make your business flourish is…


Marketing is the thing that you should spend most of your time on. You can hire someone to stock shelves in your store or operate the cash register. You can pay someone to fill orders. You can even pay someone to work on your customers’ teeth. But the one thing you can (or should be able to) do better than anyone else is BRING IN NEW CUSTOMERS.

I am not saying that you have to actually implement every marketing strategy yourself. If you want to use SEO to drive traffic to your website, you can save yourself a lot of time and frustration by hiring a search marketing company to do it for you. But the DECISION to hire the company in the first place should be yours. You should orchestrate the pieces of your company’s marketing campaign.

Another way of putting this (and I am definitely not the first to use this expression) is that you should work ON your business, not IN your business. Pay other people to do the day-to-day stuff while you focus on making your business as profitable as possible. THAT is the key to making your business grow.

Now…this is easier said than done. It has taken me a LONG time to embrace this concept. I first read this advice years ago, but it has taken a long time to sink it. I am a bit of a perfectionist, as I imagine most of you are, so it is difficult to let go of even small pieces of things that are going to eventually have my name stamped on them. But most businesses are far too complex for one person to effectively handle every function. The less you do, in terms of the number of different activities, the more successful you will be; the more finely focused you will be.

So, as the business owner or person responsible for generating business, where should your focus be?

On MAKING SALES. Focus on making sales and filling the future sales funnel.

There are a lot of ways to make this happen. You can get out and knock on doors and shake hands and ask for business cold. It’s a hard way to go, but to tell you the truth, if I had done a lot more of that when I was first trying to start a business (around 1998), I would have acheived more short-term success. I did some of it, but like I said, it’s a hard way to go. What I didn’t really understand at that time was the concept of direct marketing, which is the direct ancestor of what my company does, Internet marketing.

So rather than door-to-door selling, why not orchestrate a focused, targeted marketing campaign to get your marketing message in front of a group of people who have a reasonably high likelihood of wanting what you are selling?

Search engine optimization. Sales letters. Pay per click. Social media. These are all strategies that can you use to TARGET your message. Of course, being a search engine guy, I strongly recommend that you have a search engine visibility component to your marketing. If you are strategic, and pick the correct set of keywords…and hire the right search engine marketing company to do the work…you can drive a LOT of people to your website who are already searching for your products or services in your market.

But the point of this article is not to recommend any particular marketing strategy, or to give specific marketing advice.

It is to knock into your head this idea:

Find competent people to run the day-to-day operations of your business (presumably using a system that you have developed) and spend your time on growing your business through marketing.

Or call me to do it for you.