One of the problems that small businesses run into is the issue that, when we’re busy with our projects, we sometimes don’t make time to keep our marketing and other efforts going so that we will continue to have business into the future. We’re not the only ones that run into this type of problem. Many people are already talking about their 2014 schedules. If you haven’t, you might want to give it some thought.

Small Services Businesses
I’d recently been talking to other small businesses about what we’re doing for our Fall marketing. First of all, most of us talked about the exact problem of fitting that in. So, while I was telling my cronies about the networking groups I plan to become more active in, I was also talking about how to best fit these activities into my schedule so that I could both keep-up with my project work, but plan for 2014.

Otherwise, what happens, is that we get so busy with the actual project work that, one day, we find we don’t have any and no more is planned to come. Also, when you go out to try to find out what’s going on in the industry and to find more projects, there’s a lead time on doing that — it doesn’t happen, immediately. This means that, if you don’t plan ahead, you have more gaps and longer gaps between projects. That is why many of us struggle to keep our marketing efforts going even when we’re busy.

Everyone Else
Likewise, everyone else has similar problems. Larger services firms and the software vendors probably also find that they have to continuously sell and market in order to keep the activities going.

Even customers run into these issues with planning. Customers sometimes kind of know they have the need for someone but they don’t always plan for finding that person. Some customers do plan ahead, building a list of people they think they could call on to do their project or who might be able to help them find someone. Then, even before the project is ready to start, those customers are probably e-mailing and calling people just to get an idea how busy things are and how far ahead they have to look to find someone. Other customers wait until the last minute, give someone a call to possibly just put in an order to get someone to work on their project and, in busy years, find that there isn’t anyone.

For 2014
With 2013 having been so busy, more people, whether on the customer side or anywhere else, seem to be planning more, rather than leaving things to chance. Thus, I’m certain that these discussions that we are now having about 2014 planning with continue. Considering how early this really is compared to when we usually starting talking about the next year, I suspect this is just a small start to them.

Gloria Metrick
GeoMetrick Enterprises

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