Sometimes, you can learn valuable lessons about business and marketing in your everyday life.
A few weeks ago, my wife, Mariah, started having pain in her neck. (No, it was not just me irritating her. Although, that isn’t a horrible guess.) Over the next three weeks, the pain progressed down her arm until two of her fingers started to go numb. We’d seen a number of doctors to try to figure out what was wrong, but once she started to lose feeling in her hand, we knew the problem was urgent.
I texted one of my doctor friends who had seen Mariah and asked if he would order an MRI. He agreed, but her MRI results left the pros with conflicting opinions. The neurosurgeon thought Mariah had an ulnar (aka elbow) nerve issue and wanted to operate in the morning.
At this point, Mariah was starting to experience issues in her other arm too, and the doctors noticed a bulging disk in her neck. The neurosurgeon told us that if the ulnar nerve surgery (elbow surgery for us laymen) didn’t help, he might need to operate on the other ulnar nerve. Then, if she still wasn’t better, an operation on the bulging disk would be next. I thought, “Wow, that is a crap-ton of operations,” and started to wonder whether this doctor was a few surgeries short of his monthly sales quota.
The Hunt For Another Way
With the possibility of three surgeries looming, we wanted more opinions. I called a buddy of mine, Chad Madden, who is one of the best physical therapists in the country. Chad and his team looked at the MRI and told me it wasn’t the ulnar nerve. He said that we shouldn’t let them operate and implored me to fly Mariah to his office. He felt there was over an 80% chance his team could have Mariah feeling 95% better in just five days.
Frankly, it seemed too good to be true. But I trust Chad, so I booked a ticket for Mariah to fly to Hershey, Pennsylvania. I said a prayer and crossed my fingers for good measure. After an evaluation, the issue turned out to be a rib that had been out of place for years. It had nothing to do with the ulnar nerve at all! Five days and seven treatments later, Mariah was 99% better. Crazy, right?
Getting Down To Business
Now, if you’re wondering how all of this ties into business, let me pull back the curtain and share two primary thoughts. First, it needs to be said that the only thing worse than having a sick loved one is not being able to do anything about it. I’ve found that often, that inability to help isn’t about the availability of treatment but the lack of money to get those treatments. I understand the struggle. I’ve been very poor, and I’ve had to accept subpar treatment for my loved ones before. Had Mariah’s neck pain started 15 years ago, we’d likely be on our second surgery right now.
I’m not saying all of this to brag about how I got out of poverty; I’m hoping to motivate you. As an entrepreneur, you can be and do anything you want. You can put yourself in the financial position to make sure your loved ones always get the best care. You can set up your business and buy back your time, so you can spend time with the people you love before they have health issues. You can work hard to create memories that will last a lifetime. You can do it, but you have to choose to go bigger. You have to choose to have a multimillion-dollar business. You have to choose to move your ego out of the way and let others make decisions so you can have more freedom. You have to want this security.
Before I jump to my second point, I’ll ask you this: Do you want this security in your life? If so, the tips below can help you achieve it.
Now, for point No. 2: If you’re on the hunt for new marketing to grow your business to that multimillion-dollar mark, I guarantee you’ll come across promises of “unlimited new customers with the click of a button” and magic marketing formulas that “literally put millions in your bank account each night.” I implore you to ignore those. Even if they work — and that is a big if — you need to fix the foundation of your business before you add new lead generation. Look at it this way: Don’t go operating on both elbows and your neck when a rib and some soft tissue issues are causing all the pain. When you buy marketing gimmick after marketing gimmick, you’re falling into the very trap Chad helped me and Mariah avoid.
How To Make It Happen
Every business I’ve looked at as part of my mastermind has had gaps in its foundation that I’ve zeroed in on right away. These businesses don’t need more leads or advertising. They simply need to get all they can from what they’ve already got.
To improve your business and decrease your ad spending, look at these areas for improvement:
- Current customer relationships
- Marketing to existing customers
- Phone systems (When was the last time you mystery-shopped your own phones?)
- Sales processes
- Follow-up with leads
- Lead-to-sales conversions
- Churn or lost customers
- Lead nurturing
- Employee SOP (Are they following it?)
These areas should take priority over anything new for 99% of businesses, including yours. You may need to spend some money to fix and/or created these systems and processes, but as you do, some funny things will happen. Your existing marketing will start to perform better, your customer acquisition cost will decrease, and your profits will increase — all without a new, shiny marketing gadget.
If you want to revitalize your business, make more money, and make sure you can be there for your loved ones, this is the list to work on. Fix these foundations and watch your business soar.