Procrastinating on bringing a product to market and starting to generate revenue harms your ability to make intelligent marketing decisions.
The reason for this is that revenue is itself a critical signal that helps you determine how to dedicate your efforts and create a budget, even on a short term basis. Even taking pre-orders for a product that isn’t released yet can help you to put some meat on the brittle bones of a demand forecast.
The amount of money that you can spend on marketing is infinite, but spending money intelligently requires an approach that’s consistent with the amount of revenue that each expenditure brings in. Selling is inherently a reality check: it means you can start recording critical metrics that you can use to then decide what you should spend across which channels to build your business.
Some of the most important numbers you want to establish are:
- Cost of customer acquisition
- Average lifetime value of a customer
With those two numbers, you can then move on to segmenting different sections of customer and determining how much money and effort you can expend to make each sale or acquire each new customer. Anything involving money is more important as a metric than anything regarding traffic and conversion rates. The latter two don’t mean much of anything if it’s not connected to the core accounting metrics that are common to any business.
If there’s no revenue coming in, you can stress out over the design of a website, how much to spend on ads, how much effort or money you spend on content, and how much you focus on other forms of promotion without actually driving bottom line results in a sensible way.
As soon as revenue comes in from any source, you can start trying new things to augment that existing stream of money, even if it’s tiny to begin with.
Especially for new businesses, the money is worth more than the value that’s printed on it. What matters more is that the money is an objective source of information about market conditions. Even when your employees are salaried or you’re doing everything yourself, tracking your time is critical. You can use software to do it, but paper can get the job done too, if that’s what you prefer using.
Don’t be busy just to feel busy. Record what you’re doing so that you know what you’re working on (and what your employees are working on) is driving business results. You’ll get more return on your effort in a more consistent manner when you do.