I took a hiatus from blogging recently. There were lots of other things happening in life, which just meant I needed some time out. However, it highlighted the importance of persistence to me.
A break in blogging and related social media meant my readers really dropped off. Perhaps this seems like the obvious conclusion? Well let’s look at an example from a business owner’s perspective and the reason why I really want to highlight the power of persevering.
When someone starts an online store, they are motivated by the exciting new challenge. They build their website and it looks great and everything is functioning well. They start their marketing campaign on social media and gain what appears to be a great following. However, they then start to realise that converting social media followers to buyers actually takes quite a bit of work. The sales aren’t rolling in initially and it feels like SUCH HARD WORK to get more sales. At this point we see a lot of shop owners throw in the towel. Everything is too hard, financially the business just isn’t working, so they give up.
Fortunately there is a way to make a small business successful and usually all it takes is persistence. Keep going and it will get there eventually.
Focus on the small wins
What if you celebrated every sale you got? YAY, another sale! Keeping this positivity up you will soon start to realise that actually the more work you put in, the more sales you are getting. Sales may start out slow, and this can be de-motivating. However, always try and see the positive. You might have only made 1 sale today, but maybe tomorrow you can try and get 2? What if you get 5 on the same day next week? By celebrating these small wins and focusing on the upward trend, your business will eventually be financially sustainable if you keep working at it.
Don’t dwell on the dips
Ever heard people describe business as a rollercoaster? Sometimes there will be periods that are quieter than others. This could be seasonal, or just some anomaly. Perhaps you didn’t do as much promotion in the previous month and you’ve just had a small dip. Or you’ve just come off the back of a huge sale, so your regular customers have ‘bought up’ and don’t need to shop for the next 3 months. A bad month can induce panic. However, remain calm and remember persistence. If business was good in the past, it will surely be good again. A few bad months doesn’t equal a failed business!
Remember that you can’t have everything right away
Some sales and marketing strategies will work right away. Some will not. However, that doesn’t mean they don’t work! Persist. I think most sales and marketing strategies should be given at least 3-6 months as a decent trial period. If at that point you measure your Return on Investment (ROI) and they aren’t working, try something else. For example, if you have a wholesale business and you call and set appointments with potential retailers. Just because a retailer says “no” to stocking your product now, doesn’t necessarily mean they won’t stock your product ever. Never scratch them off your list completely. Ask them if it’s OK to get in contact from time to time. In 6 months time you might find they are more open to stocking your product. Perhaps another brand they were stocking isn’t working so well, and now they’d like to trial yours. Great clients and repeat clients take time to build up.
Hopefully this gives you some motivation to keep going and persist with that business idea. It might take some time, but it will get there if you keep going.