Make hay while the sun shines....

I'm waiting for my friend James to arrive. He was supposed to be coming over for dinner (and was kindly going to bring me some hay for my bunnies) - but it's 9.30 and he's not here. Why? Because he's a farmer, and today provided the perfect weather for the work he needed to get done - so he's still out there, making the most of the conditions in an attempt to make as much money as possible out of this season. In the meantime, his personal life, business admin and marketing activities are all on hold.

I originally met James when he came to us for some marketing to promote his brand new business. James and I immediately struck a chord - his down to earth, hardworking attitude and passion to improve his business matches mine. Given this, we both understand completely if plans to meet have to be cancelled at the last minute because we have a deadline to meet for work. But it's made me think - when we're all so busy to get the job done, when do we find the time to market our own businesses?

It's hardly any wonder that for most businesses, marketing is a knee-jerk reaction to poor sales. The result is a badly planned promotion which probably equals a big cut in profit in an attempt to get some turnover with very little real return and no lasting business growth. Sound familiar? We've all been there. As soon as you become busy with your actual work, there's no time left in the day to dedicate to business growth, which leaves horrible cycles of being busy and having time on your hands, interspersed with last minute promotions designed to try and get new work in. But if you get a marketing professional on board, you'd be amazed at the difference it can make to your promotions. Any marketeer worth their salt will take time to understand what goes on in your business, and help you to come up with ideas that will help your business grow no matter what your budget. Armed with well planned promotions that will actually work, you can make sure your customers are still calling and sending work your way even if you're working in a field at 9pm at night.

Anyway, James is here now so I'm going to sign off so we can catch the last few minutes of Junior Apprentice. I'd be interested to hear your thoughts on how you manage your marketing during busy times - what do you do to keep your workload constant?