By Ericka Simpson
It sounds like an oxymoron, putting off marketing to grow sales. However, there are times when it’s a good idea to postpone marketing strategies.
As a small business owner, it’s not a stretch to see you wearing multiple hats. You might lead product development, communications, customer service, shipping and handling and marketing at your organization. The way that you juggle minute as well as large tasks is truly admirable. But, how do you handle the product development stage after you’ve looked at the accounting and realize that, if sales don’t pick up within two weeks or less, you are going to be headed deeper into the red?
Pushing for sales doesn’t always work
Does your focus switch from developing the best new products to speeding up the development phase, so that you can start pushing marketing strategies? Unfortunately, it’s a common panic routine.
Creatives complain about how they are pressured by managers to hurry and finish a new album, book, painting or movie or television script. They know that their name is on the work. Rushing could make or break their personal brand. Pushy managers, including pushy finance and marketing managers, could hide should the product not be up to par and flop due to lack of quality.
Allow engineers and designers to focus on developing the best products. While they are working, hold off on giving tentative release dates to the media, especially if product development teams are a long way off from finishing new products. Develop products that surpass other offerings in your industry and market and that achievement alone can become a key part of your marketing strategies and tactics.
More reasons to postpone marketing strategies
Besides giving developers time to create your best products, other reasons to postpone marketing strategies include:
- You’re still building teams
- Processes and procedures are not finalized
- Compliance officers are still reviewing policies
- Loans and other financial resources are yet to be agreed upon and signed
- Branding templates are still being worked on
If you postpone marketing strategies until your teams are built and processes and procedures are fully vetted, you could avoid problems down the road. For example, you could avoid under or over hiring. If you under hire, employees or contractors could feel pressured and start to lose work/life balance. Let that happen, and don’t be surprised if workers start exiting.
Of course, hiring too many team members will have a negative impact on the bottom line, forcing you to push for more sales. Both under and over hiring can have a negative impact on morale.
Perhaps even equally important is the lasting impression you could leave on consumers should you market too soon, sales take off and your teams cannot keep up with the demand. It’s called having to deal with too much success too soon. So, pace yourself smartly. Build out your teams. Finalize processes, procedures and legal aspects your new offerings before you open the door to the public.