A consultant I know emailed me the other day to ask my opinion of a workshop he is thinking of holding for small business. I figure his success will all depend on how well he markets it: small-business owners are normally hard to draw out to attend seminars. They're just too busy.
Which is one reason I often warn that the SME community is a "heartbreak market"
Here is the text of my reply:
Hi Jim. Great to hear from you.
As for your workshop idea, I don't know what to tell you.
The idea is very worthy, and this service much needed.
But will business sign up for it? I have no idea. A lot of people have lost their shirts putting on information seminars that small and medium enterprises could really benefit from. It's so hard to get this audience to come out. Regarding the entrepreneurs, they are very busy, and resent paying out a nickel if they don't have to. If they can find an excuse not to attend, they will.
If you go ahead with this, you should consider ways to get around this universal roadblock. For instance:
- Could you pitch it not to the business owner themselves, but to their technology, finance, sales or operations leads? Many owners would pay for others to go if it means they don't have to.
- Could you round up some sponsors and put it on for free?
- Could you reduce this to a series of 2- or 3-hour webinars that people could access for free on video or on the Web?
Whatever you decide, you need a robust marketing budget. You have to work hard to get people out, no matter how good the product is.
Hope this helps.
Please leave a comment below if you think you have a better solution!