A one cylinder engine for your business?

Have you ever noticed little cars with big sounds?  I get a kick out of the way some kids “fix up” their ride by adding this coffee can size muffler.  The result is something that sounds more powerful than it really is.  In the end it is still a small car with a small motor, it just makes a lot of noise.  Not a powerful sound, just loud.  I don’t care much for loud little cars, but I’ve always liked the deep sound of the muscle cars of times bygone.  Those 8 cylinders sound like the purring of a big powerful cat.  What does all of this have to do with growing your business?  Let’s look at a couple of ways to add more power to your business.

A one cylinder engine doesn't have much power.

A one cylinder engine doesn’t have much power.

Don’t put all your eggs in one basket

My grandmother used to use the expression – don’t put all of your eggs in one basket.  This made a lot of sense on a farm.  If all the eggs were in one basket and the basket fell, it wasn’t a pretty sight.  If the eggs were in more than one basket, and something happened to one of the baskets, there would still be eggs in the other basket.  In other words by distributing the eggs into more than one basket, the overall risk for the eggs was lowered significantly.

Businesses that receive their flow of customers from one source are in a similar situation to the farmer with all of his eggs in one basket.  If anything happens to that basket, the result is not pretty.  For the long term health of the business it is important to ensure that your streams of customers are flowing in from more than one source.  This ensures that your business and your income are better protected.

If the primary source for new customers is the phone book, look to add a new way for customers to find you.  If your primary way of finding customers is networking, look to add some type of print or on-line advertising to reach new customers.

More cylinders = more power

There is a reason that 8 cylinder cars have more power than 4 cylinder cars – they have more cylinders at work producing power.  Each cylinder transforms a raw material (fuel and oxygen) into a finished product (power and exhaust).  The more cylinders that are working, the more power is produced.  To carry the car analogy a bit further – your business doesn’t run on gasoline, but it does run on customers.

You add more cylinders (more power) to your business when you add new streams of customers.  Customers come as a result of your marketing activities and word of mouth referrals from previous customers.  Expanding your marketing activities so that you multiply ways that you are actively pursuing new clients adds great power to your business.

Adding power to your business can be a bit overwhelming, but the result is definitely worth the effort.  Don’t try to do it all at once – that will just wear you out and won’t be sustainable.  Instead, look to add a new marketing or advertising element one at a time.  Building in this way will strengthen the foundation of your business and over time provide you with the power to serve many more people through your business than you are right now.


Leave a Comment