Fell sick last week.
Now this is news because I rarely fall sick.
When I got home, I just became very uncomfortable; I did not understand what was happening to me.
I could not sleep.
I felt thirsty and so I went to get a glass of water.
As the water just hit my tummy, I felt like throwing up, and I ran to the nearest rest room.
That’s how…I started vomiting.
I was just shocked.
I vomited and vomited and vomited, I threw out all the food that was in my tummy.
This was strange, because I was not having a fever, I was just vomiting.
I felt relieved, and I could sleep but when I woke up, I started the day by vomiting.
In addition to that, I started purging.
And I had to be somewhere by 9am.
I called a doctor. I told him about what I was going through and asked for his advice.
He asked me a couple of questions and said I should not do anything.
He said I should just monitor my body to see how I progress.
I said, “Should I not just take some drugs to stop the vomiting and purging” at least.
He said, “No, Stephanie…those things are Symptoms, the problem might be something else”
As soon as he said that…I got it!
Because that’s the same thing I see with businesses.
If you are not having enough customers, that is a symptom, it is not the problem.
I know this might sound confusing because “not having enough customers” seems like a major problem.
“Not having money in your bank account to pay for certain things” seems like a major problem.
But it’s not…it is just an indication that there is a serious problem somewhere.
The ability to decipher what the problem really is, is the magic bullet, because when you know what the problem is, then you know where to go to solve it.
Unfortunately most times, people take a symptom and try to solve it.
For example, let’s talk about Ada.
She is not making enough money in her business, she can barely pay the bills. She assumes that her problem is that she does not have enough customers.
She has heard so many people say that you can get customers from social media, and so goes on Social Media, and just starts posting images, asking people to buy.
She is very religious about this. At least once a day, she must post.
And yet…nobody is buying.
Someone advises her, go and do an advert on Linda Ikeji’s Blog.
So she looks for money, pays Linda Ikeji for a sponsored post, and puts up ad advert….yet…no sales. Infact, there is no comment on the post.
Ah ah, she complains to her friends, and someone advises her to print some flyers. She uses her remaining money, prints flyers, distributes them around…still…no sales.
She can’t sleep at night, she wakes up, types a BB Broadcast, sends to everybody on her BBM list. She gets a few responses, from people encouraging her, and telling her well done, but still…no sales.
You see what’s happening? She is becoming exhausted.
When she comes on a session with me, she says. “Stephanie, I have done everything but it’s not working”
By the time I start asking several questions, I find out that the reason she is not making money.
Steph: Why are you marketing on Social Media?
Ada: I am looking for more customers.
Steph: Why are you looking for more customers?
Ada: I need to make more money.
Steph: Why are you trying to make more money?
Ada: I can barely cover my costs
Steph: Why are you not covering your costs
Ada: I find that I am always giving discounts or reducing the price, so that people will patronise me. My market is saturated and if I don’t reduce the price, they will just go to the next person who can offer them a lower price
Steph: Why are you doing what everyone else is doing?
Ladies and Gentlemen…that is the problem.
The immediate solution is not Social Media, we have to work on what makes the business unique.
When we have done this, we can now use Social Media to project the uniqueness.
On Social Media, people will see that the business is unique and hence will be attracted to the brand.
If you have heard me talk about Online Marketing, Attraction is the first step in the Online Marketing Sales Cycle.
Is your business even attractive?
Do people want what you have to offer?
If the answer is no…at least be honest with yourself.
It is a bitter pill to swallow, but the earlier you accept the truth…the quicker you can start doing something about it.
I have heard people tell me, “But Stephanie, In business, I know that I am supposed to suffer for about 3 years before I make it”
That’s not true.
What’s the point of suffering for three years when you can just look for what the problem is, and fix it.
Why should someone be walking around with a headache and be saying it’s normal?
Perhaps the headache is still mild…when it becomes a migraine…nobody will tell you to look for help. Lol.
Find what is your real business problem. That’s a great place to start.
If you noticed, in my story above, I asked Ada “why”…5 times.
Ask yourself why 5 times too, let’s see what you come up with.
I want to read from you, tell us about it in the comments below.
If you know someone who needs this, please share this post with them too, post it on Social Media. Do it now, before you forget. It’s very easy to change someone’s life…just a tweet can do it.
PS: I’m well now. To God be all the Glory
Source: Stephanie Obi Blog