I was unfortunate enough last night to be subjected to an episode of the Jeremy Kyle show – I won’t go into the details, but there was no escape!
On the show there was paraded a number of what I can only describe as low life wasters who will never amount to anything. From what I can tell, they were all breeding with each other and the women were using the unlucky offspring as a weapon to punish the father for his further cheating and lack of support.
There was one thing in common though that rang true through each and every one of the participants of the show. They all blamed someone or something else for their misfortune and their current woes. Not one of them took any responsibility at all for their situation. None of them accepted that they could change anything or make a difference to their own lifestyle and they all had an attitude of expecting others (The taxpayer) to pay for them and their children.
Anyway, before this turns out to be a full scale rant about the nanny state and our inefficient benefit system, there was a valuable lesson that this reminded me of.
Someone once said to me “Trevor, It’s All Your Fault!” He asked me to imagine 5 years into the future, that my business had been doing incredibly well and that I had an offer from someone to buy it from me at a price of £2m – “Trevor, you’ve worked hard, put a lot of effort in and it’s all your fault! Well done!”
Then he burst my bubble. “Now imagine, things haven’t gone as well.” he said. “Imagine that you’re really struggling, on the verge of bankruptcy. You’ve got creditors chasing you every day. The bank has withdrawn the overdraft facility, your mortgage is in arrears, your relationship is in tatters and your wife is filing for divorce”. Then he asked “Who’s fault is it?”
As a business owner, it’s all your fault. It’s not the economy, the government, the tax system, the banks, the weather or anything else that causes a problem – It’s how you react to these issues and look for the opportunity or the work around that makes the difference.
It’s easy to lay the blame of poor sales on the economy or that your salesperson isn’t performing, or there’s too much competition. That’s rubbish. As the business owner, if the economy is bad you need to make some adjustments, sell more of the same thing, alter your pricing, sell something else, sell somewhere else or sell to someone else. If your sales person isn’t performing, then either give them better training, manage them more effectively or get rid of them. If there’s too much competition, then make sure you differentiate your self from them and make sure your marketing out performs theirs.
Sh*t happens in business and in life, by it’s what’s in your head and how you deal with issues and problems that makes a difference between a thriving business and a succesful one.
Often I’ll speak with business owners and they complain of the lack of enquiries that they are getting and again look for an excuse to blame someone or something else for this. “It’s slow at the moment, everyone’s saving their money and not spending.” – This doesn’t wash. I’ll ask them what marketing they’re doing and usually the answer is “None” or “The same as we’ve always done – We rely on word of mouth and an ad in the yellow pages”
It’s their fault and it’s something that’s easily fixed. If you’re in this situation, then again, it’s your fault and it’s down to you to do something about it.
If things are quiet, then you’ve got to look at changing the message, changing the market or changing the media. People are still spending money, they may need a bit more convincing to do it, they may need a few more touches before they start speaking to you or you may need to think differently about how you get in front of them and the message you’re giving them.
So, if we can help with this, if you’d like an alternate way of getting your message in front of Milton Keynes then give us a call on 01908 760800.