When You're Busy and You Know It, What Do You Do?

Posted by David Chism | Thu, Feb 26, 2015

 When You're Busy and You Know It, What Do You Do?
Remem­ber the song you or your kids sang in preschool, When You’re Hap­py and You Know It”? There were spe­cif­ic actions involved and, if you were like the rest of the kids in the group singing, you would fol­low suit: clap your hands, stomp your feet, and say Amen!” As odd as it might ini­tial­ly seem, learn­ing these kinds of reac­tive respons­es can tie in today with your over­all mar­ket­ing strat­e­gy, and how you han­dle the nat­ur­al cycles of work­load and growth. 

Two Prob­lems — One Solution

I have two sce­nar­ios going on at the moment that inspired this week’s blog post. When I paused to reflect on them, I real­ized that the prob­lem and solu­tion of each are the same even though they appear to be total­ly oppo­site issues. Maybe you can relate! Businessman putting last block to the towerProb­lem 1: I have a lot of Mid­west and East Coast clients who have very sea­son­al busi­ness­es due to the weath­er con­di­tions. As you might imag­ine, when it is cold out­side, you can­not paint out­side! Because of this (and our abnor­mal­ly bru­tal win­ter!), these paint com­pa­nies are cur­rent­ly scram­bling to keep their entire staff work­ing inside. That cre­ates a lot of extra work for me dur­ing this time of year, and there­in lies the issue: I am incred­i­bly busy with extra strat­e­gy calls to keep guys work­ing. As my email inbox fills, the phone keeps ring­ing for new and exist­ing work! Prob­lem 2: I have my West Coast clients (many of them!) who are expe­ri­enc­ing 80+ degree weath­er, paint­ing inside and out, and their phones are ring­ing off the hook. In fact, I was talk­ing with one of my clients yes­ter­day who basi­cal­ly asked me how we could cut back on mar­ket­ing because he was hav­ing staffing issues, not lead gen­er­a­tion issues! He said he can­not han­dle any­more leads and won­dered if we should stop the cus­tomer email newslet­ters and mail­ers. The same day I had anoth­er West Coast client basi­cal­ly say the same thing. So, what do you do when you have too many leads and you can’t keep up?

Grow­ing Pains

All of this brought back to my mem­o­ry a con­ver­sa­tion that I had about ten years ago with my then busi­ness coach, Mark Fack­ler. The issue we were run­ning into at that time was a reoc­cur­ing trend in which we would cycle through busy and slow­er sea­sons, but nev­er expe­ri­ence any real, sus­tained growth. The tem­po­rary busy sea­son” dis­tract­ed me just enough that I lost sight of the larg­er pic­ture and ulti­mate goal: the growth of the busi­ness. Mark, how­ev­er, told me that I need­ed to move through the busy sea­son and expand. This is done by push­ing through the cycles of a small busi­ness, even when one por­tion of your team com­plains that their job is too busy while anoth­er por­tion says that they are too slow (the ten­sion typ­i­cal­ly exists between sales and pro­duc­tion in the paint­ing world). Rather than try to appease one side then the oth­er, push through each cycle as it comes and grow your busi­ness! Do what it takes to nev­er break the nat­ur­al rhythm of expan­sion. This was hard to hear at the time, but I have only come to appre­ci­ate its val­ue and wis­dom over the years since then! I am expe­ri­enc­ing this same thing at the moment in my mar­ket­ing busi­ness. As I said, I have a lot of work on my plate! My cus­tomer and friend, Bar­ry Stohlman, has come along­side of me to help keep A David Cre­ation work­ing at full throt­tle, push­ing (and grow­ing!) through this par­tic­u­lar cycle. We have begun to ana­lyze my list of ser­vices, sales sys­tems, staffing, and so on. Instead of turn­ing away work to make my load lighter today, I’m try­ing to make changes in my busi­ness to bet­ter serve both my cur­rent clients and the new ones that could come through the door tomor­row. Here are a few things I’ve done over the past months to keep my busi­ness mov­ing forward: 
  • I’ve hired an accoun­tant to review my num­bers each month
  • Recruit­ed a book­keep­er to help with billing
  • I’ve invest­ed in a full-time con­tent writer
  • I am in the begin­ning stages of bring­ing on a new sales­per­son and a sec­ond mar­ket­ing manager.
These are grow­ing pains that require care­ful plan­ning and even an ini­tial invest­ment on my part. And you know, I’ve already seen a lit­tle load lift­ed off my back. It feels good and is reward­ing!

Adapt Your Mar­ket­ing Strat­e­gy and Grow!

When you and I are busy and we know it, let’s not stop the mar­ket­ing and sales, try­ing to sim­ply coast through a busy sea­son with our heads down. And, if busi­ness is slow, don’t cut mar­ket­ing strate­gies and tight­en your belt to a degree where you are crip­pling your hope for lead gen­er­a­tion. No, let’s talk to our men­tors and friends who will help push us for­ward to grow our busi­ness­es. The cycles come and go, but with con­sis­ten­cy and deter­mi­na­tion they will lead to where you would like your busi­ness to be! 

About David Chism

David Chism started his business out of a passion for helping small contracting businesses grow, be more profitable and become better known to their target clients. One lifelong hobby of David is using techie gadgets. So this blog is a place where he writes about technology, marketing ideas, just for fun (humor), personal thoughts on small business and more.

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