I often talk to companies of all sizes that tell me they have no money and no time.

That’s a bold face lie.

What they have is very little interest in what they asked me to come talk about.

The one that I especially disbelieve is the lack of time.

We all have time. We all have the exact same amount of it. It’s the great equalizer.

I don’t care if you are Warren Buffett, Bill Gates or the guy begging for money on the street corner. We all have 24 hours a day. How we spend it is what makes the difference.

I’m as guilty as anyone of misspending my time. As a business owner the only thing I need to be focusing on is achieving the goals of the company. And, as with the vast majority of businesses, there is only one goal: make more money.

You know that’s the case with every publicly traded company. They are in business to bring higher returns for their stock holders.

Private companies (especially small ones) often like to think they are more complicated than that. But they aren’t.

If you are trying to save the world you are in the wrong business. You would do better saving the world by doing any myriad of things that don’t include trying to stay profitable as a business.

Of course you can create a product or service that makes a difference in the world. In fact, if you want to succeed you have to bring true value in some way. Drug companies do that by creating life saving medication. Monsanto does that by selling us cheap corn. But if they didn’t make money at it I promise you they would be doing something else.

This amuses me because I talk to many people personally who feel this is dirty. They think that somehow these things should get done without the gears of commerce working. Everything stops working without money.

If you believe the primary goal of a business is not making more money please tell me in the comments. But if not, if you agree making more money is the primary goal of a business then as the leader of the company you need to be spending as much of your time and money as possible making that happen.

You make money one of two ways: Sales or marketing. I actually believe doing both gives the best results.

Every spare moment and dime needs to go into these areas. Sales and marketing are the oxygen and blood of your company. Constant growth and refinement is absolutely critical.

A company only is going up or going down. You and your employees want to be on a ship that is going exciting, interesting places. No one wants to be on a ship that’s sinking.

Sales and marketing is how you stay afloat and thrive.

If we (SageRock) were in competition with other sales initiatives or marketing strategies that would be one thing. But often I’m in competition with doing nothing.

“Should we invest in Internet marketing or should we do nothing?”

I hate losing to “do nothing.” I’d much rather lose to a quality competitor.

Other things I hate to lose to:

  • Yellow Pages
  • Direct mail
  • Newspaper ads
  • Cold calling
  • Door to door sales people

Those are all losers. They are in decline. Online marketing is cheaper and incredibly more effective.

It’s important to note that I’m not absolutely against any of those offline methods. But they should always be tied to an online approach.

Online can tell such a richer story about you and your company. Plus you can instantly determine success by driving people online.

How effective is your Yellow Pages ad? I’m willing to bet you have no idea.

Invest in online first. Then figure out how those other items fit into that.

And above all else: DON’T DO NOTHING.

If you don’t want to hire me, fine, call one of these competitors, I feel reasonably sure they will try to give you good work:

TheSearchGuru 440.306.2418  (866)517-1900 617.449.4300
OneupWeb 231.922.9977

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  1. Sage, I flat-out just dig the heck out of you. You are truly made of ‘The Right Stuff’.

  2. “Those are all losers. They are in decline. Online marketing is cheaper and incredibly more effective.” Oh really? Then how come unique call tracking numbers in print yellow page ads saw an increase in calls last year???

  3. Good stuff Sage. They are afraid of success. What will happen if it actually works! If we don’t change anything, we can just go on forever!

    Wrong. Focus on the clients who get it and leave those that don’t want change to die on the vine. By their own choice.

  4. “Time is money.” Thanks for the inspiring article Sage. I watched a video this morning about getting funding in the new economy from the Manta blog and wanted to share it with you and your readers. Video link:

    I love being a business owner and making money; it brings out the leadership qualities in me. The key is spending the precious time we do have in the right way. Keep on rocking Sage! TB

  5. Thanks Jim! I think you are right. I’m all about just focusing on the future now. I want to be with people who are driving forward.

    We are on the cusp of us digital marketers ruling the business world. If you aren’t innovating, learning and just plain into this stuff you are being left behind.

    Ken: of the things I called losers, you chose print yellow page ads to defend? Show me a study anywhere that shows print yellow pages increasing. Sure, call tracking numbers are on the rise in yellow pages. That simply means more people are are wisely using those than there main number. Call tracking is just a way (a smart way) to track offline initiatives online.

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