Thursday, November 21, 2013

The Formula for a Successful Start-up

Towards the end of an engaging coffee meeting with Harold Brown, a well known and self defined serial entrepreneur and investor in the rising tech community of metro Atlanta, he made this observation, “As I am getting to know you Mike I’ve come to the conclusion you are not a ‘creator’ you are instead a ‘doer’ and I bet if we paired you with a good creator we’d get one heck of a start-up.”   

I wasn’t insulted by that observation at all.  In fact he captured me perfectly.  I am a doer and always have been.  My consulting company is all about helping business owners become more disciplined doers.  There is no doubt the aircraft engineering degree (process orientation) and military upbringing (Dad was career USAF) contributed to these traits.  The whole conversation got me thinking about what the necessary ingredients are for a successful start-up – outside the risk taking, free spirit characteristics you hear about most often. Here’s what I concluded:

(C + D) + Fr = SSu
(Creator + Doer) + Financial resources = Successful Start-up

Leave it to a former engineer to turn an observation into an equation. Let’s take a moment to dissect this formula.

Financial resources:  The inclusion of this in the equation should not be a surprise to anyone. It takes money or equivalent to start a company.  We all know that - whether that means going without pay for years or writing checks for website, business cards, office space, travel, capital equipment, etc…. I read somewhere that one of the top three reasons for a start-up failure is being under-capitalized.  In other words they simply run out of money before sales revenues are sufficient to support the business.  Now I will argue that a vast majority run out of money because they spent unwisely namely because they lacked a Doer who would ensure a plan was in place to control precious cash.

Creator:  This is the passionate idea person who can see a problem or need as well as the business solutions to address it.  Though there are common traits between a creator and an inventor the difference is dramatic.  A creator in this case conceptualizes a business solution before a technology solution. Sadly an inventor‘s approach is exactly opposite, which explains why so many inventors are flat broke.  Jeff Stibell wrote this in a Harvard Business Review article titled, Are you an Inventor or an Entrepreneur?

“But don’t confuse being an entrepreneur with being an inventor. Great ideas are a dime a dozen. Action is what differentiates an entrepreneur from an inventor. If you want to focus on ideas, become an inventor — not an entrepreneur.”

Guys like Henry Buckley typify the definition of a creator. He conceived and started 10 businesses, the latest a jogger-based door-to-door pamphlet delivery service called JogPost.

Doer:  This is a person (a) with the discipline and skills to develop and execute a credible business plan, (b) who possess fundamental selling and marketing skills, and (c) who is versed enough in financial balance sheets to make critical and timely decisions, (d) who knows how to find, hire and motivate a talented workforce, and (e) who knows when and how to engage outside experts (legal, accounting, etc…). 

Now don’t get me wrong, I am not suggesting that this is an entirely different person from the creator.  Though quite rare, a creator may in fact possess some or all of these traits.  The important message is a business cannot make it without a well thought out plan, good marketing, strong sales and a disciplined approach to how capital is being utilized.  Take away any one of these and you’ve significantly impacted your chances of success.

Jim Flannery, Founder of the Four Athens technology incubator, reinforces this formula when he shared with me the reason the word “Four” is in his incubator name.  His experience says that you need the following four things to make a successful start-up:
  • A business person
  • A marketing/sales person 
  • A technical person that can implement an MVP (software/hardware start-ups exclusively) 
  • A service provider (legal/accounting) 
“I am very fearful of solo founders,” Jim says.  “My advice, rather than say "do you possess these traits", is "can you find two other people that possess one of these traits each AND believe in your (creator) vision"  

My strong message to those creators is to be brutally honest when assessing your skill-sets and if you lack any of those under the category of doer don’t make the mistake of thinking you can get by without it. I’ve seen enough to confidently say you can’t and won’t.

Want some growth advice for your metro Atlanta start-up from a proven "doer"?  Let's chat over a cup of coffee.  Contact me here.

Mike Gomez is the founder of Allegro Consulting, a business growth specialty firm.  He has served as a program manager and business development executive in both Fortune 100 companies as well as small businesses. Through the use of sound yet simplified business processes he has helped Georgia companies achieve remarkable sales growth. Mike is a growth strategy and complex sales expert, prolific writer, speaker, guest lecturer at GaTech and UGA, and a mentor at FourAthen technology incubator and Atlanta Tech Village.

Monday, November 4, 2013

“I’ve fallen and I can’t get up!” - Staffing needs and the early stage start-up.

So you have this great idea for a business.  You are prepared to make the sacrifices to self finance until sales can support the company.  You’ve analyzed your personal strengths and weaknesses and recognize you lack some of the critical skills required to get the business off the ground.  You need help.  But you can’t afford the full time salaries to hire the talent your business demands. 

What do you do?

This is one of the recurring scenarios I have seen with start-ups.  It’s an ugly sight really; watching a founder run full speed into this brick wall of reality.  And my advice is always the same.  If you do not have a solution to overcome this particular weakness then STOP. Don’t continue to build, or develop or spend time or money on this business idea because you will fail.

The staffing shortfall I see most often is the role of sales – sales strategy and implementation. Most founders first believe that selling is the easy part, that it’s something they can do themselves.  Or, there are those who attempt the, “if I build it, they will come” philosophy of sales. And finally, the last group, believing that social media and email blast will be a sufficient sales force.  They eventually learn that selling is crucial to the business and requires a level of expertise and experience. 

So, assuming you need more talent than is available through a free intern, what are the options for securing such talent? Let’s run down the choices.

  1. Commission only.  This approach will have the least impact on cash flow because you only pay when sales are generated.  Yes, you might have to pay upfront for car allowances, cell phones and computer charges but that’s about it.  However, you’ve heard the saying, “you get what you pay for”?  This applies here.  Those who will take a commission only job are no doubt self starters but they will also ditch you in a heartbeat for a better offer. Their bottom line is the driving concern not your company nor your customers. If your product or service is a fairly easy sell and the rewards flow quickly this may be a good option for your start-up business. On the other hand, if it is a longer more challenging sales cycle and pay-out of commissions will take longer, I have found that more time will be spent by your new salesperson revising his or her resume and looking for a better gig than actually selling.
  2. Base pay plus commission.  This is by far the surest method for hiring the exact talent you need – qualifications, industry experience, past performance.  The downside of course is impact on cashflow. You will be writing checks before any sales are generated.  Striking the right balance between the amount of base pay necessary to secure talent while keeping the motivating force of the commission will be one of your tougher challenges. 
  3. Deferred pay plus commission.  This is an interesting variation of the base pay plus commission approach.  Here you and the candidate agree upon a market base pay and commission structure.  Then, predicated on current and future cash flow projections, you decide how much of the base pay you can afford to pay now and how much you will ask the prospect to defer to a specific date or milestone. The prospect is basically letting you use his pay as operating capital until there is sufficient cash flow.  Here are the four areas available for negotiation (flexibility) with this approach:
    1. the length of the deferral,
    2. the interest rate applied to amounts deferred,
    3. the amount of compensation deferred, and
    4. the pay mix or combination of cash and noncash forms of compensation that are ultimately paid.
This can be a particularly compelling tactic if there is a milestone on the horizon that will trigger an influx of new capital (meeting a performance standard, venture capital infusion, achieve positive cash flow status). As you might expect significant trust in the business idea, the business model and most importantly the management team to execute and monetize the idea is critical. As founder it is your job to instill that trust and make absolutely certain you pay the deferred amounts with interest as promised.  

Having the right talent on hand to support your start-up is crucial to success.  Attracting that talent can be a challenge with limited cash flow.  It starts with identifying the roles and responsibilities you expect that person to fulfill.  Follow that with writing down the qualifications and experience you feel are necessary for that person to be successful. Lastly is outlining a cash flow appropriate compensation plan that you will use to attract that individual.  

Mike Gomez is the founder of Allegro Consulting, a business growth specialist.  He has served as a program manager and business development executive in both Fortune 500 companies as well as small business. Through the use of sound yet simplified business processes he has helped Georgia companies achieve remarkable growth. Mike is a guest lecturer at GaTech and UGA and a mentor at FourAthen technology incubator. He can be reached by phone at 678-908-8433 or by e-mail at Visit

Monday, July 1, 2013

Why 'AboutUs' Matters?

So how much thought did you put into the "About Us" tab on your website?

A new client called to tell me they were having problems getting any traction with their new start-up. They are a tech company specializing in a certain field.  They acquired a list of qualified prospects and proceeded on a phone and email campaign to try to garner interest and an invitation for a more formal presentation. Though feedback to the email and phone inquiries was positive they were only able to secure a handful of appointments and those meetings produced no tangible results.    

Before meeting the two principals I pretended as if I received one of their calls or emails and began doing some relatively light due diligence about their company - something you should expect any prospect to do before you meet.  I looked up their Linkin profiles. Scanned their Facebook page. Read some of their Tweets. I then perused their website to learn about their product and services paying particular attention to the "About Us" page.  In this case it explained their brief history and offered links to the leadership biographies.  It was here where I became puzzled.

Let's say, for example they are a company who specialized in selling back-up generators for skyscrapers.  Let's say they not only supplied these generators but they also installed and integrated them into the building's electrical system by providing project management services. In this case one might expect to see something in the 'About Us' tab that tells me not only when the company was formed but also the depth of experience they have in this field.  One might also expect to see this case further reinforced by notable accomplishments/experience in project management and/or expertise in large generators when reading their leadership biographies. 

What if you don't see any of these attributes?  How would you react?

I imagine this is what happened in their case as well. There was nothing in their bios or in the company story that showed me they deserved some of my attention - that I could learn something or benefit from their expertise. Nothing!

I have this simple phrase I use when coaching salespersons, "Keep them nodding up and down, because the second their head goes side to side your work just grew substantially."

Anytime you cause a potential customer to pause the selling process because something is "just not right" with your story you make his work substantially harder as well.  But in the case of the customer he will more than likely abandon further interest than put the effort into uncovering why there was a disconnect.

The "About Us" tab is a sales tool.  It should complete the story of your website by answering the question "why shop here?"   If you specialize in a certain field, here is where you show your credentials.  If your company holds patents or retains a renowned expert, brag about it here.  This is not the page to be humble.  This is the page to boast and make a compelling case for why a potential customer should want to do business with you and your firm.

Was this helpful?  Want to see what else you can do to improve your metro Atlanta sales win-rate? Let talk over a cup of coffee.  Contact me here.

About the author.  Mike Gomez is President of Allegro Consulting, a growth specialty firm helping to turnaround privately-held businesses wrestling with stagnant/slow growth. He grew his very first client’s business from $8M to $35M in just two years.  Prior to Allegro, Mike sold military fighter aircrafts to foreign allies for aerospace giants, Boeing and Lockheed.  He is a prolific speaker, writer, three-time marathoner, a former USAF officer and pilot of both aircraft and helicopters.

Monday, April 29, 2013

Networking - Your Responsibilities

I had one of those "ah ha" moments recently about networking. In a nutshell here it is, it is my responsibility to equip those in my network who want to promote my business with a way to do it within their comfort zone.

Here's the rest of the story.

I was asked to present a business "challenge" to my bi-weekly networking group of 23 people. Here is the email I sent with the challenge:

My challenge centers on networking. Specifically I am looking for suggestions on how I can better improve my networking effectiveness. I know what you are thinking - not another networking question! But please read on to see why this is unique. 

It is fairly common to hear a business person state he/she needs a good real estate agent, or a payroll expert, credit card processor, lawyer, promotions guy, website, marketing,  insurance provide, or even someone to help sell or buy a business. After all there is no stigma associated when asking for any of these services. Thus, in each of the above cases we can offer up the network of experts we know and trust who can fulfill their needs. 

But how often will you hear a business owner state he/she is struggling with running their business; that he/she is overwhelmed, working ridiculously long hours, or that sales are sinking and they don’t know how to turn things around? The fact is ego, and a multitude of other forces will prevent a business owner from ever admitting they need help let alone solicit openly for a solution. They won't even tell their wives or husbands when there is a lingering problem.  The business graveyard is overflowing with businesses whose leaders were pulled down into the death whirlpool despite being thrown one ring buoy after the next. Though I know each of you (in my networking group) can spot a company in need of my business consulting services, I also know it is unrealistic for me to expect you will ever say anything to that owner or even suggest a counseling coffee meeting with me. It is sort of like telling a psych patient he is psychotic. Nobody wins. So given this reality, how should I network? What should I ask of those I meet in networking meetings who are sincere about finding ways to connect me with potential clients? I haven't figured this out which is why I now only ask for speaking referrals. That seems to be something most are more comfortable taking about.

This response from one of my strongest advocates (Daniel Mastrodonato of Payroll1) is a reinforcement that I had failed in fulfilling my responsibilities as a good networker - to make it easy for those in my group to connect me with others.

"That is a tough one because I have been pondering over that since I met you! I want to refer business to you, as you have done to me, but I fall over my words when I want to say to some of my business owners……… You need HELP and I have just the guy that can HELP!"

We all know that a personal referral is one of the most powerful marketing tools for any business.  Getting that referral requires more than just being great at what you do.  To truly leverage your network you must equip them with a script that is natural to them, that won't be awkward, or make them come across as inappropriately nosy.

Have you equipped your network with a script for how to promote your business? Are they comfortable with using it? Have they tried it in a business networking environment?  What kind of response does it generate?

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Success Diagram

I can't take credit for the humor in the first two - it's the last one that I added. Though thoughtful planning and sound execution (based on a plan) doesn't guarantee smooth sailing to success it sure will lessen the severity of the deviations.

Friday, April 5, 2013

Need for More ProActive and Accountability-Based Business Incubators/Accelerators

Over my eleven years offering sales strategy and long-term growth guidance to business owners I have had several opportunities to work with start-ups located within the communal walls of a business incubator/ accelerator/co-working space.  An increasingly common experience I recently had with a company in such an environment made me wonder.  Are we really helping these start-up companies by simply giving them encouragement (cheer-leading), access to mentors (which are rarely called upon), discounted office/bull-pin space, refrigerators full of Red Bull, pin-pong tables, good WiFi and conference rooms?  Is this enough to make a real difference, to lessen the high failure rate (40% first year) typically experienced by start-ups (hi-tech or otherwise) or create good jobs through growing enterprises? Or are we just being enablers, offering a site (albeit discounted) other than say home or a more expensive office space (like Regus) from which they will still unwisely burn precious cash on an questionable idea without a well vetted plan or realistic sales strategy.

I will argue most of these start-up sites (whatever you want to call them) would see dramatically different results (jobs, success, revenue) by (a) being more selective with whom they welcome (have the basics of a business plan and ability to say how they will make money (don't laugh, it is sad how many can't answer this question))  and (b) are more pro-actively engaged with those housed in their facilities (periodic mandatory reviews with ramifications).

I became a better engineer, salesperson, pilot, program manager, and leader because I had bosses who were motivated to hold me accountable, teach, challenge, measure and coach me (whether I liked it or not) because they too were expected to achieve aggressive performance goals.  I can vividly remember both how much I had to prepare for and how nerve racking it was to undergo a top to bottom program management review of a project I had P&L responsibility over or a "black-hat" review of a international sales campaign I was leading or even a check-flight while in the USAF.  These intense sessions in front of company leadership could be career making or career ending events. Did I have a choice on whether I participated? No, of course not, this was a condition of my job - these were my bosses. But I will tell you with absolute certainty I grew with each one.

Those who have started companies and failed one, two or three times before succeeding are walking encyclopedias (look it up) of valuable information that can be used to PREVENT others from experiencing the same pain and waste of valuable resources. Unfortunately there is a pervasive belief by those sponsoring or operating these co-working/accelerator/incubator spaces that failure is the best teacher, and further, that forced performance/strategy reviews will poison the collegial "creative," "stimulating," "nurturing," environment they are trying to foster. I say "nuts" to this notion (stealing a line from General Anthony McAuliffe during WWII when responding to the German's insistence that he surrender because he was clearly surround by an overwhelming force).

Let me share the most recent experience that prompted this outburst.  A partner of a two-person software start-up housed in an incubator called and asked for a two-hour sales strategy consult. That partner had already experienced one failure and didn’t want to be involved in another. (I was later told the principal was resistant to the idea up until the very moment I arrived.  After all, he felt they were just fine, that this was an unnecessary use of $400.) In those two-hours we discussed the product and what was unique about it, the characteristic of their current customer (just one) and why they purchased the product. Then I let them explain and I provided feedback on their sales strategy - who they were targeting and how.  Here is an email I received from the principle the next day:

"That was a great session and extremely helpful. Your no BS approach is what a lot of startups should be getting. Problem is most people advising start-ups don't know what they are talking about. In 4 years I have not had one person advise me that my approach sucked and was a waste of time...when it did. That's the right advice to really help someone. I think our new strategy will be (emphasis on will be --- because we have some homework to do) extremely simplified and measurable based on our conversation. Time to build the war room."

Left alone I am certain, based on the course they were on, they would have run out of money and folded. Not because they didn't have a good product, in fact it's a great product. In just two short yet intense hours we discovered the shortcomings of their approach and set them on a new course.  How many other start-ups in these settings could be saved from this experienced and regular scrutiny? Are we doing them a disservice by sitting back and waiting for them to seek help (usually too late) or should we do like my bosses did to me and insist on regular reviews? Wouldn't it make for a better story if those who entered sites like ATL Tech Village or FourAthens are say 50% more likely to succeed because of these mandatory tough love reviews? I bet it would improve the attractiveness and PR of these sites as well.

About the author. Mike Gomez is President of Allegro Consulting, a growth specialty firm helping start-ups and established businesses alike wrestling with issues of growth. He formerly sold military fighter jets to international allies for the largest aerospace firms Boeing and Lockheed. Under Allegro he grew his very first client’s business from $8M to $35M in just two years. Mike is also a prolific speaker, writer, three-time marathoner, a former military officer and pilot of both aircraft and helicopters.

Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Marketing Basics - the Internet - Being 1st with Google (Part 2 of 2)

In Part 1 of this 4 part article I talked about the importance of being purposeful about your web/social media presence and the first step in that process is understanding who you are targeting.  I shared that the more you know about the person (demographics) sitting behind the computer you want to target the more success you will have attracting that person through your internet strategy.

I then wrote about the importance of knowing what’s going on in the head of the person about to do a web search – at that exact moment in time.  Is he searching to make a purchase or is he doing research or could it be both?

Today I will share with you why you should care.

First and foremost you should care because you want your website to be a valued resource to potential customers.  Why? Simply put, because this translates to qualified leads.

If that alone isn’t motivation enough then do it because Google and Bing (Microsoft) care.  After all it is their mission to interpret what the customer has entered into their search window and send him to a site that best addresses those needs. You want Google to like your site because if they like you they move you to the front of the line.

Why is that important?

Here are some facts about what it means to be the 1st, 2nd, or 3rd site on a Google search page:
  • Websites ranked number one received an average click-through rate (CTR) of 36.4 percent; 
  • Number two had a CTR of 12.5 percent
  • Number three had a CTR of 9.5 percent. 
  • Being number one in Google, according to Optify, is the equivalent of all the traffic going to the sites appearing in the second through fifth positions.   

I am not qualified to tell you all the algorithms Google uses to evaluate your website and rank you but what I can tell you from personal experience (Allegro is the first site for “Atlanta Business Consultants”) is if your are genuine and sincere about being a valued resource for your target audience Google will reward you with higher ranking/placement.

So how do you determine the content you should include in your website and what other social media outlets your company should spend time working on?  I will answer that in Part 3 of this series on internet marketing basics.

About the author. Mike Gomez is President of Allegro Consulting, a growth specialty firm helping turnaround businesses wrestling with stagnant growth. He grew his very first client’s business from $8M to $35M in just two years. Mike is also a prolific speaker, writer, three-time marathoner, a former military officer and pilot of both aircraft and helicopters.

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Tough Decisions are Part of Entrepreneurial Landscape

Whether you are the owner of a start-up or a well established business you are going to be challenged to make tough, agonizing decisions that will have a lasting impact.

Peter Drucker said this about decision making and business, “Whenever you see a successful business, someone once made a courageous decision.”

Decision making is part of the landscape of business.  And in the true spirit of the immortal words "The buck stops here," the toughest decisions are reserved for you the owner.  So how do you make these types of decision.  First and foremost you use your strategic and tactical plan as a guide.  A well vetted, market-based long and short-range plan is a very valuable tool for making tough business decisions. "Is it consistent with the plan?" is one of my favorite questions to ask owners struggling with a tough decision.

But what if both or all the options are consistent with the plan. What then?

There is something to be said about trusting your instinct and making decisions that way.  If you have a lot of relevant experience from which these "instincts" originate then you are likely to make a pretty good decisions. But I am a data guy.  Even with my depth of experience I feel more comfortable and confident when unemotional data is added to the decision process.

Here are the steps I would take to guide me towards making a tough decision:
  • What strategic problem am I trying to solve? (Be as specific as possible.)
  • What solutions are there to solve my problem? (short-term and long-term)
  • What is the approximate cost (financial ($cash)) of each solution? Ballpark it.
  • The strategic impact (pros and cons) be of each solution over say a 2-year period? KISS principle
  • Rank the solutions by cost.
  • Rank the solution by strategic impact.
  • After compiling this data step away for a day or two.
  • Now put your CEO hat on and look at the data as if a person on your staff is presenting these options to you for the very first time. 
  • Make an executive decision.  Document your rationale (On this date, I chose this course of action because.....).
  • Proceed - and don't look back.
Getting input from an advisory board for those decisions of strategic significance may also be prudent.  But recognize, you and only you will be held accountable for the decision you ultimately make.  There is a reason for the saying, "It's lonely at the top."

Want some unbiased help exploring options and assessing impact of different strategies?  We can help. Contact us here. The first coffee is on us.

About the author. Mike Gomez is President of Allegro Consulting, a growth specialty firm helping turnaround businesses wrestling with stagnant growth. He grew his very first client’s business from $8M to $35M in just two years. Mike is also a prolific speaker, writer, three-time marathoner, a former military officer and pilot of both aircraft and helicopters.

Thursday, January 31, 2013

Marketing Basics - the Internet (Part 1 of 2) - Know your target

Print, billboards, TV ads, car-wraps are all tools used to build a brand, generate quality leads or both.  The internet should be viewed as another tool in your marketing tool chest. And just as you would target a TV ad to a specific demographic (based on what time and what channel it airs) your collective internet presence should also be targeted.

Who are you targeting with your internet investment? Here are some good questions to ask and answer  (ideally BEFORE) you spend money and resources on a web/social media presence.

What does that potential customer who is sitting behind the computer about to do a search for your product/service look like? Culture, race, age, background, experiences, and job shape the way we think, act and talk.  It also affects how we search the web. Thus, the best way to connect with a potential client on the web is to first know them.

Think about the customer you'd ideally like to sell to or design your website for.
  • How old is he/she?
  • Position in a company?
  • Who does he/she work for?
  • Race?
  • Gender?
  • Head of household?
  • Working mom? 
  • With or without kids?
  • Retiree?
  • Ex-military? 
  • Business owner?
  • Athletic?
  • Outdoor enthusiast?
  • Income?
With these type of questions answered you've painted a vivid picture of the person sitting at the computer.  The next challenge is to understand their frame of mind at the time they start searching. For example, if you are an online retail company, what stage of the buying decision are they likely to be in when they start a search on the web?

Is it, “I have decided to buy, here is my credit card”?  

Or, “I have decided to buy and want to know my choices”?

Or, “I am contemplating the idea of buying and only doing research at this time”?

Knowing the type of person and their mindset at the time their journey on the web begins is crucial for any successful web marketing strategy. Why? Because with this knowledge you are better equipped to understand (a) what that person will type into a search engine and (b) what questions will be foremost in his/her mind when they first land on your site.

Already spending money on a website, twitter account, company Facebook page?  Then try this simple test. Pretend you are that customer and search like he or she would search.  Did you find your company? Is it on page one, two, three, or fifteen of the Google search page(s)?  Now go to your website and company Facebook page and experience your web presence as if you are the customer. 

Are you happy with the results?

As I said in the beginning of this article, your web presence should be part of an overall marketing campaign . That campaign should be supporting a comprehensive long-term growth plan, it should be targeted and tailored.  Sadly, I have seen way too many business owners burn money to create a web presence only to discover later that simply a presence is all they received for their investment.

Marketing Basics - the Internet - Being 1st with Google (Part 2 of 4)

About the author. Mike Gomez is President of Allegro Consulting, a growth specialty firm helping turnaround businesses wrestling with stagnant growth. He grew his very first client’s business from $8M to $35M in just two years. Mike is also a prolific speaker, writer, three-time marathoner, a former military officer and pilot of both aircraft and helicopters.

Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Strategic Marketing

2013 has been an interesting year so far.

I met with five owners who came to me with stories of spending $5K, $8K and $10K respectively on marketing campaigns. They proudly showed me their new website, logo, car wrap, etc... They each said they thoroughly interviewed the marketing firm - great credentials and reputations.

So why did they call me?

Despite the spend they weren't getting new customers.

Clearly these marketing campaigns were ineffective.

Stand by for a new article I'm writing about the role of marketing and when and how to engage this service.

Hint: The role of marketing is to generate quality leads - it takes a strategy first to determine what type of leads you want. It takes a strategy to understand the competitive market your campaign will be conducted in.

Do you have a long and short-term strategy?

About the author. Mike Gomez is President of Allegro Consulting, a growth specialty firm helping turnaround businesses wrestling with stagnant growth. He grew his very first client’s business from $8M to $35M in just two years. Mike is also a prolific speaker, writer, three-time marathoner, a former military officer and pilot of both aircraft and helicopters.