This week was a good reminder of just how fragile our businesses can be if we put ourselves in, seemingly harmless, but yet so dangerous positions.
I had someone come to me who was stressed out of their mind, because his business is in the worst state it has ever been and he doesn’t have any money to fix it.
He lost “one” major client, which accounted for 80% of their business.
His “one” core piece of machinery broke down and they can’t afford to fix it, because their leads have dried up, so they have no new clients coming in.
And it’s all because of one thing…
Literally “one thing”.
This person has been very successfully promoting their business online for around 3 years, with a one legged table.
Now before you go to Google and search for this magical new traffic source, I need to let you know something.
It doesn’t matter what stage of business you are in, if you are just starting out or if you are in a global powerhouse. “One is the most dangerous number in business”, at least that’s what some famous guy once said. And I agree.
As we all know it doesn’t take much to knock a one legged table over and in this businesses case, Google came past and bumped their table.
It bumped their table so hard, that they have lost their one and only seemingly reliable traffic source overnight.
Now I don’t need to go into what the traffic source was and have you think that the cause of his problems was Google or that this particular source is unreliable.
The cause of his problems is that he became complacent with having one of everything.
Now I’m not talking about being greedy or having excess (like my sister in law, with 250 something pairs of shoes).
I’m talking about being smart and diversifying your traffic sources as soon as you can, because it doesn’t matter if it is Google, Yahoo, Bing, Facebook, banner ads, email marketing, Twitter or anything else.
I can guarantee you that if you are doing well out of it now, things will change.
Now I’m not being a pessimist.
Things will change, whether it is more advertisers come in to your market and drive the price of ads up.
The rules of the platform change and your type of product is no longer allowed.
The traffic source falls out of fashion and all the people that were on it have moved to the latest and greatest thing.
Just because Facebook is hot right now and has over a Billion users it doesn’t mean that it will be the market leader in 5 years time. Look what happened to the giant Myspace. Gone, well not entirely they are still struggling to reinvent themselves in an effort to gain some market share.
I could go on and on about how many times I have seen problems like this arise because either;
1) The business owner gets complacent
2) They say “we can’t afford to do more advertising and we are busy enough”
DO NOT mistake this for a sales pitch for our services. It is not my intention.
This is a heart felt plea, for you to put a reminder in your calendar for every 4 months to explore new traffic sources online so you don’t suffer the same fate as the guy this week.
Instead of making it a “should” make it a “must”, because you don’t want to be a one legged wonder.
I’d love to hear what you are currently doing that is working well, so post your comments below.
Samuel Junghenn is the Managing Director of Think Big Online and has over 12 years experience in Online Marketing. He is passionate about building businesses using the power of automation and the Internet along with the thrill of motor racing.