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The best time to plant a tree is 10 years ago

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The wonderful thing about Captains of Start-Ups is that they can do everything!


The best time to plant a tree is 10 years agoWe have a client who is a lawyer. Her specialty is tech start-ups. This week she commented: “so many of these start-up guys think they’re lawyers, marketers, financial whizzes…”. Her point was that many entrepreneurs think they can do everything, and it’s when they find themselves in a barrel of pickles that they realize they can’t.

To be fair, a start-up entrepreneur has to believe in themselves – often beyond reality – because few others do. But that belief has a price, and marketing is often one of its casualties.

Not very many entrepreneurs get into business to be marketers. More likely, they want to make chocolate, or coach people, or write software, or consult. So marketing takes a back seat until it’s needed – until sales mysteriously slow and the beast starts to grumble, “feed me”. “Time to start marketing!” says the owner.

Unfortunately, starting to market when you need it, is like planting a pair of seedlings this morning so you can swing in the hammock this afternoon. Stories of flash-success aside (“Our video went viral!”), marketing takes time. It takes time to get your story right. It takes time to build awareness and audience. It takes time to create relationships that eventually, on the customer’s timetable, convert to sales. It takes time.

So while you may choose to incorporate your business online, bypassing legal counsel (which my lawyer client would argue can lead to all kinds of unforeseen pickles), the ambitious entrepreneur should never defer smart, focused marketing. The best time to plant a tree is 10 years ago. The best time to start marketing your business is now.



About Drew Williams

My name is Drew Williams. I’m an author and marketing entrepreneur. “A what?”, you say. I call someone who’s passionate about building businesses a marketing entrepreneur. So that’s me. Full Profile | Google+