Saving a Sinking Ship

Saving a Sinking Ship

Written by +Will Hanke on October 4th, 2015

Last week I received a phone call from a lady that needed help with her online presence. SEO, web design, Facebook ads, etc. We’ll call her Valerie.

Valerie is into alternative healing and “can speak to the dead”. Not exactly a mainstream business.

Two years ago, Valerie said she was swimming in leads – 30-40 a week. She was crazy popular. But since then, those leads (and any new ones) have all but dried up. Facing the closing of her business if she “didn’t make money this week”, she reached out to me.

image“I’m looking for money. I’m drowning and need someone to throw me a rope,” she said on the phone.

Now, in the past I’d probably continue to ask questions, but nowadays I’ve learned how to spot a bad client. This is a bad client and not a situation quickly remedied. She”s aleady stated that she doesn’t have money coming in (ie to pay me) an needs to generate it in short order (not gonna happen, especially without money to run traffic to her site/offer).

If your business is starting to trend downward, learn to identify those things quickly so you can ‘right the ship’. Don’t wait until you’ve already gone overboard and are waiting for someone to come along. It’s too late.

One of the best things I ever did was to seek out a business coach. Meeting sometimes weekly, sometimes monthly, he has always helped me identify trends before they happen just by asking a few questions. He’s my navigator of sorts – keeping me on course and helping me proactively avoid the hidden danger lurking below my horizon.

If you don’t have a business coach, I highly recommend you find one. Ask your successful business friends about the health of their business (not just how busy they are, but how healthy their company is – financially, staff happiness, etc) and then seek out their business coach.

Don’t just Google one either – there are so many people out there that have never run a business but seem to promote that they have all the answers.

And don’t wait until – like Valerie – you’ve already hit the iceberg.


Will Hanke is the Chief Search Marketing Strategist at Red Canoe Media, a top St. Louis Search Marketing & SEO firm. In addition to helping some of the city's most recognizable brands with their online marketing strategy, Will also is an Amazon bestselling author, speaker and teacher.


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