How you’re setting yourself up to fail in your business

apply strategy

What is in this article:

  1. You need to be playing the game or risk losing
  2. How you maybe setting up your marketing and sales for failure before you even start
  3. Examples for accountants and lawyers
  4. How you need to play to succeed

If you have a business you are in the game.

How you play it will determine your long-term outcome – a win or a loss.

And if you are not playing, you are losing.

Why so?

Let’s start from the beginning.

Whether you’ve been trying to grow your business or just keep it open you would have experienced ups and downs, wins and losses, joy and frustration; many times.

You would have looked for answers – on your own or through a friend, or advisor.

You would have heard and seen a lot of good advice; often contradictory, often self-cancelling advice, such as:

“Never give up” and “It’s smarter to quit than to continue and incur further losses”

“The answer is in the plan” or “The answer is in the action”

“You need to focus/niche” or “ You need to diversify”

So which one do you follow, which path do you take?

Just thinking about it is overwhelming, so you just continue running…

How about we look at your business in both serious and not so serious way ( I know it’s a contradiction ?)

Let’s look at your business as a game – a game of chess – it’s both fun and serious at the same time.

Why chess?

I could have used a more current game, such as Warcraft.

But perhaps not everyone can relate to the games of the new time…whilst chess is timeless.

Even if you’ve never played it you will still get the analogy and what I’m about to share with you in very simple terms.

Why is playing a game of chess like running a business and doing marketing and sales successfully?

Here are some of the reasons:

  1. You need resources and tools in your business/marketing and sales; they are the equivalent of your chess pieces
  2. Not all of your resources are of equal strength and importance
  3. Your resources and tools should not be used at random (neither are chess pieces)

That’s all

How you are setting yourself up to fail in your marketing and sales before you even start

Here are some of the ways you maybe doing it and not even realising…

As a professional service provider you are focused on delivering great expertise and service and rely on repeat business and referrals. This is great but no different than being an expert employee in someone else’s business.

So you decide to give marketing a go – you set-up a website (1 chess piece) and you set-up a few social media pages (1 chess piece) and you start sending a newsletter to you clients (1 chess piece)

If this is what you have /do then you are entering the game of winning more clients/business and growing your business, which is great but you are doing it with just a few pieces.

How do you move these pieces? Do you have a plan?

Just having a website will not generate interested customers/leads automatically, they need to be sent there in the first place. Are you doing this – do you advertise or promote your website?

If you are sending out a Newsletter, is it customised according to the interests and needs of its readers (your clients and leads)? Do you know what these interests are? Newsletters, just like general news or worse like ads, can be seen/heard as “noise”. People learn to switch off and become situational listeners. They start paying attention only on what is directly and immediately of interest to them. So your Newsletter may get ignored.

Overall, this approach to marketing is like playing chess with few pieces and no strategy. Not a wining set-up.

Now let’s say you have more pieces: you have prepared yourself and have invested in creating strong and versatile set of marketing and sales tools: a website, social media pages/accounts, advertisements (on radio and on the net), live roadshows/presentations, the lot.

How are you “moving these pieces”; how are they helping each other to reach your goal; are they working in unison with a strategy or are they moving at random?

Are they even moving on the same chess board (same market)?

Spending more time and money on your “pieces” will produce results but at a high cost, so you won’t get a good return on your investment, which in business terms does not exactly mean a loss but it’s not a win either.

Learn how to move your pieces more strategically to win here.

What does this all mean for you?

The  dangerous thing about having many resources but not a good strategy is that you are open to manipulation / wrong advice even if it is well-intended.

Let’s look at the financial and legal services market.

If you are an accountant or a lawyer dealing with SMSF (Self-managed Super Funds) for example, you would have read/heard/ even experienced the effects of the huge publicity surrounding big data and accelerated automation (in accounting) and the regulation tightening and the ATO offensive in the area of SMSF.

Depending on your pre-disposition you would have either looked at this in a favourable way – as a great opportunity to grow your business – by productising your services using automation and cloud-based tools (accounting) or by deciding to get into the “fixing your SMSF mess” legal services (law).

If you are looking at these market trends as a threat, then you would be considering turning into a mainly advisory business (accounting) or exiting SMSF altogether (who needs the hassle after all).

If you have/are doing any of the above, great – it means you are thinking long-term.

But it is not fully strategically.

You need to consider quite a few other things before you decide on your winning path of action.

You need to decide on what pieces you will need and how you are going to move them, to ensure a successful future for you and your business.

What to do next?

Frist we’ll look at what exact trends are shaping your industries and how you can use them to your strategic advantage, regardless of the way you see them – as opportunities or as threats.

We’ll be publishing both statistical information and analysis about your industry trends starting with accounting, legal services, financial planning and finance brokerage services.

If you’d like a copy of these industry reports and want to learn how to make better strategic decisions for your business take action here.

PS. My first boyfriend was a chess master but ironically, I did not learn to play chess then. I did, however, fall in love with strategy.  I’ve learned how to simplify it so it’s easy to understand and execute. Most business people don’t have time to learn complex moves; if you’re already in business you have to learn and do things fast and well.

I’d be happy if I have inspired you to learn and do strategy too ?.

If you would like to discuss any of the points raised in this article contact us here


Denitza Genova
Denitza Genova, Marketing and Service Strategist at Sparcus Group.
Denitza helps service businesses simplify and organise their marketing, sales and service activities into an efficient and profitable system, which does not require high marketing and sales expertise from the business owner.
It drives the most value and money to your business and prevents you from investing in marketing fads or in unprofitable product or markets.
To see how this could work in your business book a call with Denitza here.