10 things that scare me on Halloween – and every other day!

Sometimes fear is a limiting, counterproductive emotion that we need to overcome.

But sometimes, fear is a vital signal that your brain sends to keep you alive and well.

That tingly feeling you get when you get too close to the edge of a cliff or even the balcony on a tall building?

That’s a healthy fear – that’s your brain doing its best to keep you from an untimely demise.

In THAT spirit – the spirit of keeping your business healthy, profitable, and growing – here are 10 things to be AFRAID OF today, and every day.

10) Looking just like everybody else in the market. It’s a copycat world, and if you figure out a formula that works, you’re going to inspire 10 more people to try and do what you’re doing. This is why it’s so important to continually reinvent your business, your story, and/or your marketing message.

9) Not knowing where, when, and why the next customer is going to show up. Operating without a marketing plan means that you don’t really know where your next ten customers and clients are going to come from… “hope” is not a marketing strategy.

8) Not knowing whether a marketing campaign is working or not. Entrepreneurs waste untold sums of money every year on marketing that doesn’t work. Most of the time, they don’t even *know* whether a given marketing campaign is working until it’s too late. I’m not afraid of a marketing campaign failing. I’m afraid of **not knowing** that it’s failing, and therefore continuing to pour money down a black hole. Good news: that fate is 100% avoidable!

7) Overdependence on Facebook Ads, Google Ads, and other big digital lead-gen platforms. Facebook and Google Ads can be great channels for lead generation. Unfortunately, unless you’re spending millions of dollars per year, it’s virtually impossible to get any real support and assistance. Sometimes, they’ll shut your ad account down for no apparent reason and you may never be able to restore it. It’s happened to me! And I’ve seen entire businesses go under as a result. It’s OK to use these platforms – you probably should be! It’s not OK to put all your eggs in any one basket, because you’ll be screwed if something goes wrong. 

6) BORING marketing. Probably the biggest mistake most entrepreneurs make with their marketing. We’re boring. We underestimate how hard it is to grab someone’s attention and drive them towards taking action. You’re selling incredible products and services – you’re making life better for your customers and clients every day. Don’t sell yourself short. Don’t. Be. Boring!

5) Negative word-of-mouth marketing. There’s nothing BETTER for your business than engaged, “raving fans” who love to tell the world how great you are. And there’s little worse than people who have been “burned” by your business and now have a vendetta against you. What spawns these people: Making promises that you don’t keep. Service that makes customers feel unappreciated. Failure to make things right and take ownership if and when you screw up.

4) Dependence on growth factors outside of our direct control. When I was in college, I managed a fast-casual restaurant in Miami FL. Business was good and had been good for years. One day, the strip-mall our store was located in decided to completely renovate the parking lot. The result: for six months, it looked like we were closed. Sales dropped 40% overnight. The owner lost his shirt and shut the place down. Lesson: if your business is dependent on other people, you’re vulnerable. See #7 and #2 on this list for further application.

3) Getting stale. Maybe you’ve got a great business today. But if you’re not continually innovating and moving forward, competition is catching up to you and your message is getting stale. Blockbuster Video thought it was invincible until Netflix showed up. Today, Netflix is under massive competitive pressure of their own as the streaming landscape grows exponentially. In fact, if Netflix leadership hadn’t been forward-thinking and invested HEAVILY in original programming (shows like “House of Cards,” “Stranger Things,” “Orange is the New Black,” that aren’t available anywhere else) they’d be in deep trouble.

2) Not having direct control over marketing communication channels. If you’re relying on channels that other people own in order to get your message in front of the right people, you’re vulnerable. Facebook could shut you down. You could get kicked out of BNI. Google could change their search algorithm overnight. That’s one reason why email lists, “snail mail” lists, and real RELATIONSHIPS are so important.

1) Competing on price. Nothing is scarier than having to constantly justify and negotiate your price points. You need to have a marketing system in place that positions you as UNIQUE amongst the competition, clearly communicates your value, and attracts the right customers so that you can charge the prices you deserve.

Have fun trick-or-treating tonight!

– Danny

P.S. If any of these strike too close to home, I can help you fix it – let’s talk!

The following two tabs change content below.

Danny Decker

I work with business owners to create real, practical marketing plans – and create systems to make sure the plan actually gets executed. I’ll help you put a strategy in place to create predictably positive cash-flow, to generate new leads consistently, to create more referrals and word-of-mouth marketing, and much more.

Latest posts by Danny Decker (see all)