Drowning in your business?

Have you ever tried to learn how to swim at a seminar?  It’s pretty similar to learning the in’s and out’s of business.

Have you ever paid for advertising and hoped it worked?

I received a bill the other day.  It was for about $600 for some advertising for another business I have.  I had signed up for a year of some advertising that I figured wouldn’t hurt.  

That’s the thing about advertising, you expect a bit more awareness and hope for the phone to ring because of this awareness.

Needless to say, this $600 and the $600 I spent the month before and the $600 I’ll spend in each of the coming months to fulfill the contract with this advertising company were satisfying my human need for hope.  The real intention was to bring in clients for one of my other companies.

This is not the first time I have spent money on advertising and, I assure you, it will not be the last.  It will also not be the first time I spent money on advertising that brought no real direct results. It will not be the last in that regard either.

In addition to hope and awareness, this spending real money on advertising is giving me one other advantage: experience.

I meet a lot of business coaches that probably do pretty well for their clients with the experience they have gained from reading some books and experiencing vicariously what works and what does not.  But pretty well is not the goal, is it?

Until you have actually written a check out for advertising, you are giving advice based on hearsay.

You see, many business coaches don’t really have businesses outside of their one person show.  They essentially own their job. Most have never actually paid for advertising, or been in the trenches of a real business like you and I.  These business coaches have read about it and probably attended a few seminars. But they have never actually experienced it. Most came from some corporate job that they left or got booted from and figured, “Hey, I like telling people what to do!”

That lead me to think about all that I have learned in the years since I started my first business.  Think of all that you have learned throughout starting and running your business. It’s crazy to think that you took the jump, started your business and are doing all you can to make it great, isn’t it?

Some head scratching moments come when some business coach person comes up to you and suggests they can help you with your business.  Do they have any experience running a small business? Or do they have experience running a small job?

My takeaway?  When searching for a business coach, find a one with at least one other operational business.  Or at least some recent experience of starting and running a business. It doesn’t have to be a crazy huge business, just a business.  Preferably one that has dealt with some of the issues you have or will experience.

Experiences like paying for advertising and hoping it works.

James Kademan is a Business Coach for Draw In Customers Business Coaching in Madison, Wisconsin as well as the author of The BOLD Business Book. When he isn’t paying the cost to be the boss, he is busy guiding entrepreneurs to success in business and beyond. He blogs successfully to the world at www.drawincustomers.com. If you are considering hiring a business coach, take a moment to call James at (608)210-2221.  Investing in advertising will work, unless it doesn’t. Investing in an experienced business coach will always work.

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