Have you seen this .... the cart before the horse?

OMG -- it happened again last week.  Another start-up entrepreneur rushing off to meet with a web designer with scribbled notes on pieces of paper.  Rushing, rushing, rushing.  I shook my head!  I've seen it many, many times!  Doing the wrong things in the wrong order -- like the cart before the horse!

But I totally understand because I made the same mistake myself.  That's right.  I didn't listen to my business coach who said .... 'you will probably change your website several times in the first year UNTIL you really sure of what direction you are heading or which customers you truly want to serve'.

Did I listen to my coach?  No  -- I went out and hired a web master; the web site was created; I paid the bill.  About the same time, I rushed to the graphic designer for my business cards; rushed them over to the printer; had LOTS of cards printed (because they are cheaper by the dozen, right).  Then I paid that bill.

Three months later, I realized that neither my web site or my business cards 'spoke' to the clients I was trying to serve.  I wasn't attracting clients. The web site was started again and the old business cards thrown in the garbage.  Money & time wasted.

Why?  Because I hadn't invested the time and money initially to do the proper ground work.  What I should have done?  I should have spent some time (and energy)  talking to my past clients, investigating my unique strengths, and learning deeply about the concept of a 'perfect/ideal' client. I should have created a Perfect Customer Persona (imaginary person) and learned their challenges.  I should have spent time learning about the difference between their WANTS and their NEEDS.  I should have walked in their shoes and discovered what they thought, said, felt and did.  I should have gotten to know them so well  that I understood their pressing problems, where they hung out and what they might consider the solution to their problem.  Because it's only then that I could offer my solution!

That's the whole point of marketing.  In fact, a definition of marketing that I now like to use goes something like this .... marketing is how your perfect customers knows that you have something that they need!  

So please.... if you see another entrepreneur putting their cart before the horse, tell them to STOP because they won't be going anywhere very fast.  In fact, they will be wasting precious time and money. 

If you would like to learn how to build your Perfect Customer Persona, join the other entrepreneurs on April 9 as they hitch their horse to the wagon the right way!  REGISTER here.  Be happy - it's all part of learning the role of a successful entrepreneur!