Avoiding the Broke Zone


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The Broke ZoneAfter observing so many small business owners struggle trying to attract new customers, I have come to the conclusion that too many are unwilling to prospect outside their comfort zone; and unless their comfort zone  is filled with people matching their ideal customer profile (which most don’t), their comfort zone ends up being The Broke Zone.

The Broke Zone is the place where business owners do only what comes easy, take little risk, search for microwave (quick) solutions and usually end up with little in the way of results to show for it. Who and what lives in the Broke Zone? Below is my, less than scientific assessment and some real comments I have heard from business owners. Determine where you fall.

  1. No commitment to investment in marketing (Comment: “That xxx costs too much…”Response:  “It’s not too much if it generates enough revenue above its cost!”).
  2. Strong technology aversion (Comment:  “I’m not into that new stuff…” Response:  “Consider hiring someone who is into technology, because your customers are probably into it.”)
  3. A marketing strategy consisting of handing out lots of business cards at every networking event in town (Comment:  “It’s all numbers game”…Response:  “Honestly, you don’t have the capacity to meet enough random people to make those numbers work for you!”)
  4. The expectation that implementing one single marketing tactic will lead to a customer flood. (Comment:  “I bought that full page ad and nothing happened”…Response:  “Perhaps it was a poor ad, unattractive offer or placed in the wrong publication…one ad or tactic alone, rarely works”)
  5. Aversion to courting the press for publicity and exposure. (Comment:  “I am not that type of person.” Response: “Ok, show me something better than  a free opportunity to reach thousands of your prospective customers”)
  6. Not finding out what your customers WANT, vs need. ( Mr. Dentist:  “I sell what my customers need.” Response: “Your customer’s bad tooth NEEDS to be removed but he certainly doesn’t want a tooth yanked from his head, he WANTS relief”
  7. Camera shyness. (Comment:  “I don’t want to be on camera, my hair isn’t right”  Response:  “Don’t leave the house if you are not prepared to promote your company…there goes another free opportunity to reach thousands of prospective customers.”)
  8. Shuns public speaking. (Comment:  “Speaking in front of people is scary” Response: “Not quite as scary as the bankruptcy process.”)

Get in your zone.  Just make sure it’s not the Broke Zone!

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3 Responses to “Avoiding the Broke Zone”

  1. Steve Yankee Says:

    This is a terrific article, John…if you’re in business you should be avoiding the Broke Zone like the plague! Lots of food for thought in this one…

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