Have you got your backbone in place?

Posted on:01. 04. 2014

By Cliff Findlay

Maybe a good reason to listen to what I have to say is that I have over 26 years experience working in advertising and marketing alongside clients that have gone on to great success. So let me start by asking you, did you bring your backbone with you today?

You are going to gather, whilst reading this, that I'm a plain speaker. That's because I'm not going to waste your time or mine by pandering to your ego just to make you feel better and I am not going to put up with excuses as to why your business is underperforming. Trust me I have heard it all; every lame excuse over the years as to why things aren’t growing as wanted, or even worse you're making less profit now than in the past whilst having to work so much harder for smaller gains.

My job here is to tell the truth, no matter how unpalatable it may be, because I respect you and your business and my own advice enough to want to help you make money. Ultimately that's the bottom line and let's face it, that's not a crime in my book. 

However, before I can even start you need to make sure you have your backbone in place because I don't pull my punches and quite frankly you shouldn't want me to. In an era of increasingly tough marketing conditions there is no time for sentimentality and if you really do want to achieve what my past clients have, (a construction company who followed my rules and moved from £1.8 million turnover to £4.2 million in one year, or a tech company who went from a £1.8 million turnover to a £5 million turnover in two years) then now's the time to ensure your backbone is in place. I could list many more of our success stories, but I think that's enough to get your attention. Without your backbone, together we can’t achieve the results needed by looking at every tough private area of your business.

So now I'm going to say something and you are going to think I'm mad, but hey you've got this far so you may as well read on. Stop working with rubbish clients; sack them, get rid, shut the door and just say no!  However much you feel you need every client in tough times in fact it's exactly what you do not need. Trust me, the first thing you don't need is a client that pays badly, drags their feet, is never happy blah blah blah you know the ones I mean...

Try looking at it like this. A bad client costs you money. For every hour they take up more time and effort than good clients and they reduce your profit. They drag you down, waste your time and sap you dry. Get rid and go and spend that valuable time finding good clients. Never underestimate how priceless your time is. If you don't know your own worth why should your client?

However, much as that may go against the grain it can totally be the difference between stagnation and growth. If you have continued to read this, you know the type we are talking about (every business has them) and you are one step closer to turning things around. If in your head right now you are identifying those clients within your business, you are 50% there to moving forward, congratulations.

Of course, our job is to hold your hand through this and other tough processes in order for you to have serious growth. We do however expect you to have your backbone in place because without it you will go back to your old ways and we can’t do our work. I practice what I preach, we get rid of bad clients all the time; if you won’t step up to the work, then I will suggest we stay friends but stop working together! We don’t waste people's time or money, life is simply too short. I do promise however that we will give you a hug along the way and celebrate your success at the end!

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