From time to time as I wander around this planet doing whatever-it-is-I-do, I get to sit in front of a small business owner and talk about his business in general and then specifically about his marketing efforts. Even more specifically what his options are when it comes to some subset of marketing related to the web – like SEO for instance.
And each time, the conversation is friendly, cordial and all business.
Each time I sit across the table from a small business owner, I am reminded that they take their small business dead serious.
No “well, we might want to try this and see if it works and if it doesn’t, oh well…”
We talk about budget, ROI, effectiveness, lifetime-value-of-the-customer, customer-acquisition costs, customer retention programs, and probably a handful of other topics like this — but no matter what element of business we are talking about, I can’t help but relate the conversation to more of a medical procedure.
I liken it to me being a surgeon talking with them about an upcoming surgery – on their child.
And if you put it into these terms, it isn’t hard to see why they would pay attention.
You see, what I have learned is that for pretty much 99% of the small business owners I have come across, their business is their child.
It loves them.
It hates them.
It rewards them.
And it keeps them up at night.
It is with them for life (either physically or mentally or both) and it is pretty much their plan for retirement.
So just keep that in mind — no matter what you do for a living.
When you are speaking with a small business owner about helping them with some aspect of their business…
It is essentially as if you were talking to them about operating on their child.
Want to test this theory?
Go ahead and tell a small business owner that their business is ugly and watch what happens.