Ah! The million dollar question. In fact, this is the most popular question asked by clients and small business owners in general. Well, I was going to write this blog post today…and I remembered a great article written by Sue Clement from Success Coaching that pretty much says it like it is…so here it is. Enjoy the “reality check”.

“Regardless of what business you’re in, you’re really in the business of sales & marketing”.

I know this is a broad statement – but frankly, many small business owners don’t spend enough consistent time and energy on marketing. For some it tends to be more of an “oops… sales are down so we better do some marketing.” Then off they go with a flurry of activities until business increases and before you know it, the marketing focus gives way to service delivery until the next “oops sales are down…”

Inconsistent marketing creates a feast – famine cycle in business. To level off the peaks and valleys and create steady incremental growth, consistency is key! Marketing is like breathing, you can’t live on one breathe, nor can a business survive and grow with just one marketing effort.

I’m often asked, “how much time should I spend on marketing?”
Here’s a simple formula to keep you on track. It’s the 60 – 30 – 10 Rule.

Invest your time running your business the following way:
Spend 60% on marketing and sales
– 30% on making or providing products or in service delivery
– 10% on administration and management

Or simply, prioritize your time as: marketing – making – managing.

The exception to this is when you’re in start-up. Since you have no customers (or very few) spend 80 – 90% in marketing and sales and 10 – 20% developing systems in administration and management.

This 60 – 30 -10 rule transfers into other aspects of your business as well.

For example, when it comes to client retention and acquisition, spend 60% of your time and effort on keeping and growing your current clients. Spend 30% on getting new mainstream clients in the short term and 10% on long term sales for those bigger projects or clients.

For training, spend 60% of your training time and budget developing and enhancing your strengths; 30% learning new concepts; and 10% working on improvement of your weaknesses.

If you don’t have a budget for training, I suggest you rethink this. Imagine how much more business you could grow simply by sharpening your edge and honing your strengths. I’m confident you’ll realize a high return on your training investment.

If you have staff, spend 60% of your time on the superstar best performers. 30% on the high potential staff and 10% on the low performers. Just like enhancing skills, investing time and energy into winning opportunities will yield greater results than trying to improve weaknesses or poor performance.

So how does this 60 – 30 – 10 Rule translate out to an actual week?  In an average 50 hour work week, these percentages equal 30 hours sales and marketing, 15 hours providing products or service delivery and 5 hours doing administration and management.

Thanks Sue for reminding us that spreading the word consistently is more than a high priority…it’s a must!. Having the best product or service means nothing if no one knows about it. Being the “best kept secret” is not good for the wallet!

Are you having a bit of a reality check?


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