Is Fear Holding Your eCommerce Business Back?by Kevin Lucca, Founder on Sep 1, 2020 / Perspective
I want to increase revenue for my eCommerce business. I want to hit my set revenue goals. Sound familiar and normal doesn’t it? It turns out, it’s not that simple.
Businesses will come to an agency like ours and ask us what can we do to help them get to the next growth level because their stuck. We often see that businesses believe the answer to what they’re searching for is more revenue and typically it’s not revenue that’s holding them back from getting to that next level. It’s often fear. They’re afraid of the unknown. Afraid of what it might take to achieve their goals. They’re afraid of failing like everyone is and we’ll see this in different stages. This often can show up when there are more than expected positive results through different campaigns or initiatives. At first a person will appear excited by the success, but then that fear shows up with some anxiety and it’s typically followed with excuses for slowing down.
Fear is Not Simple
In a pure mathematical situation or some may say, a logical situation, if a campaign is running at an effective return on investment, naturally we’d want to keep investing in it. If this campaign is converting at a goal ROI, you would naturally choose to continue to invest more money. You want to see how far the campaigns can scale at that level of return to help the business grow. Naturally at the start, we say that we want more revenue and we want to grow the business. However, far too often there comes a point where a positive return on investment is reached and all of a sudden things stop. It’s not because the numbers aren’t there, it’s not because it’s not profitable, the problem is we’re human and fear sets in.
It can be very hard to admit and even say out loud:
- I’m starting to see this change and growth happen and it’s a little scary
- I don’t know if I can handle the orders
- I don’t know if I’m ready for what it I thought I wanted
- I never thought I was going to get here
We may say we want to achieve something, but in the back of our minds, we don’t really believe it can happen or we setup unintentional roadblocks to slow it down.
We start to ignore reports, we start to ignore logic, and the excuses come. “I know what the numbers say that but I don’t trust it”. The wonderful thing about eCommerce and all the beautiful tracking tools available is that they can be compared across platforms from Facebook to Google Analytics to Google Ads Manager. With data, the subjectivity can be taken out and it’s all objective. Either it made money or didn’t. You know what your products cost to produce and all of your other expenses, you can figure out a very clean way to know whether you’re profitable. It seems like a black and white situation, but with emotion involved, it becomes complicated.
Stop and Ask Yourself Questions
This brings us to an important point before you start the business, before you engage with an agency, before you decide to transition from a hobby to a business.
It’s important to take the time to ask:
- What am I afraid of if I pursue this business?
- What am I going to do when I reach a series of benchmarks?
A helpful solution is to layout the fears ahead of time and put in place plans of what will happen when different benchmarks and goals are reached. You are effectively taming crippling fear. The level of depth in the plans is completely up to you but know that it will need to have flexibility built in.
Here’s an example:
- Once the RoAS (return on ad spend) reaches 4.5x for a sustained period of 2 weeks, we will invest an additional 10% of our ad spend budget
- When our monthly sales reach $100,000 we will expand our product and shipment processing team to handle the additional workload
Growing a business and running a team is no easy task. It’s challenging, scary, exciting, and rewarding. Not everybody can do it. It takes courage and selflessness. Remember, great brand is more than just finding a product to sell. It’s finding a market need and striving to improve the lives of those who use it. As long as you take the time to slow down, think about your product offers, your purpose, and your growth path while actively being aware during those times of fear that excuses don’t hold you back from success.
As an agency so often, businesses will come to us without goals in mind but with short sighted questions:
- How much does it cost to run a Google Ads campaign?
- How much do you charge for SEO?
- What do I need to pay you to build an email marketing campaign?
- How cheap can I get a website?
- How long do I need to run a campaign?
These are asking short-sited questions. In these situations, that business is looking simply for an execution of different tools and nearly every time they have not taken the time to set goals, and understand their fears of growth.
Find a Partner
It’s important to ask the right questions, look in the mirror and asked what am I afraid of? What are my limitations and what am I going to do when I face them? This is often why we have discovery sessions with our potential clients. We want to unpack where you want to be, what are your true goals, and what are your hesitations because these are important partnerships. These are long-term partnerships and if we’re going to invest our time and our team’s energy into this just as your team is, it’s important to slow down ask the right questions, set the right goals, and execute.
You’ve got this. Plan and fear won’t stop you.
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