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The Cost of Doing Nothing

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Working with small business owners is both a blessing and a curse. The blessing is that they have a ton of ambition, passion and potential. The curse is that they are often far to reticent to try something new, especially when it involves digital or social media marketing.

In my experience, the conversation always ends up being about cost.

Small business owners have been victims, a lot. Victims of poor advice from “marketing consultant; victims of a ready, fire aim marketing strategy. This previous experience lends itself to be on-guard and hesitant to adopt a “new” approach.

These memories of pain and frustration are still alive in the small business owners psyche and thus they begin to tune out anything that is immediately impacting their business.

Basically, they’ve said “forget it” to new technology, new marketing strategies and most of all new customers.

But what is this cost of doing of nothing?

The cost of doing nothing is far more than trying and failing at something. The cost of doing nothing is the slow bleed of revenue loss as competition increases; the cost of doing nothing is lost market share and brand awareness.

The cost of doing nothing is quite significant. Corporations and franchises will always be growing and making moves. For every local cafe, there is a Starbucks. For every independent restaurant, there is an Olive Garden. It’s just a truth. And these big box brands have huge budgets. They can afford to risk moving into new markets or expanding.

It’s always going to be tough to ‘s getting nosier and nosier for consumers and their attention span is shorter. To be successful, small business owners need to understand this and be more proactive in involving themselves in the organic conversations that take place online. I like to use the example of the annoying insurance salesman at the local networking meeting. He/She is always prospecting, alwaysA�interruptingA�and (in their mind anyway) always selling.

That’s old school and quite frankly, really obnoxious for consumers. The opposite of that is the cool guy/gal at the networking meeting, the person who always has a story or joke or something going on that is worth talking about. That guy/gal lets people come to them, mostly because they know they have value. They weave in and out of conversations and truly connect with people, making it easy to come to them for advice. That makes for a smooth transition to a more meaningful business discussion and perhaps partnership. That’s kind of like what social media is; the cool passive way to help people come to you for advice. When used properly, it can help differentiate from all of the “other guys”.

This approach will help you earn media and eventually own your media and marketing strategy. The other option is to pay for it and that is expensive, leading to higher cost. That cost to buy media will only continue to rise. And as your competition adapts to the model I have laid out there cost will go down, while yours continues to rise.

That’s essentially the cost of doing nothing.