Dead End. . . ? Not so fast.

Dead end

Dead End! I love those spooky little words! Much has been written using them over the years. Those words have been used in novels, movies, poems, signs, etc. In your mind, it’s usually raining and dark and foggy on a cold and lonely road when your car lights illuminate the black and yellow sign and it’s right then that you know something terrible is about to happen. There’s always a dark shadowy figure lurking in the mist as a raven flies overhead. The music in your head is eerie and creepy. Dead end.
Take the word “dead” for instance. It literally means – no longer living – but there are at least thirty-five different variations to this word where it refers to something other than life ending. “Dead End” really has more than one meaning. It’s also slang for “the end”, where you’ve run out of options. Dead end is very similar to reaching the end of your rope. But for some reason we tend to see in our minds the Edgar Allen Poe image above when we hear the words “dead end”.
The reason why I love these two little words is because this is where uncertainty is living large in the hearts and minds of many small business owners and it’s usually where they choose to do nothing. Frozen with fear! Dead end has a new meaning. It means stop! Don’t go forward, don’t go back, just stand there. The fear of the symbol and the shadowy figure has immobilized them and therefore doing nothing seems pretty safe and comfortable.
Do SomethingToday, and right this minute I might add, all small business owners have come to a digital and brick-n-mortar fork in the road. They see an obvious shift in what needs to be done for their business, but they still don’t know which way to go. They didn’t prepare for the fork in the road and now they question themselves on what to do, believing that if you ignore something long enough it will somehow just go away on its own. When in the history of the world was it ever documented that doing nothing was the best choice?
Here’s how that story reads. “The Barbarians are at the gate, we’re out numbered and out gunned. We have several weapons and options to defend ourselves but our King decided that the best course of action was to do nothing. The Barbarians, seeing us do nothing, were so confused that they decided to leave us alone and we lived happily ever after . . .”  It’s a page turner, man!
Why is this choice of direction so hard to comprehend? Why is change so resisted that it causes some people to become blind and hard of hearing? I believe that part of the reason business owners are confused with what to do is because change is going to be expensive, but the real reason is because business owners are terribly IMPATIENT. Anything that costs money better be profitable right away or forget it. Money is tight and they can’t afford to be patient. (They’re also afraid of being wrong, but that’s another article.) But seriously, this is a no-brainer on what you should do.
Covering the costs and being impatient is what I see more than any other reason why someone will resist change. You have to be patient to see results and being impatient is like the farmer who plants his crop and then three days later rips them out of the ground because nothing happened. Or it’s like going on a diet and jumping on the scale every thirty minutes. You’re going to be very disappointed, hungry and fat. I’m only asking that you add a strong web presence to your arsenal of business weapons because that’s what your customers want and expect and if you don’t give it to them, the once loyal customer will go somewhere else.
For some reason, many small business owners cannot see the cost versus the benefit of the Internet – even though they pull out their iPad and read about the tremendous increase in Internet sales month after month from the news – which they choose to ignore. The same business owner will also see that a magazine ad once or twice a year is a safe way to market their business because this is what they’ve always done and they’re sticking with it. Is this their version of “doing something” as opposed to “doing nothing”?
If you’re a small business owner without a strong web presence you’re not dead “yet” or even at the end of your rope, but doing nothing isn’t an option anymore. It’s time to stop procrastinating and act. Be the smart farmer, plant a few “www’s” and watch them grow over time. Are you afraid it’s going to be expensive? Well that’s a legitimate concern, but it’s not necessarily an expense. It’s more like an investment in your future. If you do it right and work hard, you’ll get your money back tenfold.
We help our retailers make their  new online business is as cost effective as possible, and they even have some fun along the way. Make some cuts, endure the sacrifices, and change how you think just a little bit – then take a seat and watch what happens.


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