Jim's Marketing Blog

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How much is inertia costing you and your business?

Today’s post is about the damage caused to small businesses, by inertia.

I’m referring to those things we know we ‘should’ be doing for our businesses, but decide for whatever reason to keep putting off.

Dentists know all about the cost of inertia

Ask a dentist what happens, if someone gets a cracked tooth and decides to leave it, rather than going as soon as possible for the correct treatment.

They will tell you that the longer the person with the cracked tooth neglects it, the worse it will become. After a while, the tooth will become infected and painful, extremely painful sometimes. Then, after maybe months or years of unnecessary infections and pain, the tooth will need to be removed. Had the crack been repaired when it first happened, years of discomfort could have been avoided and the tooth saved.

That’s the danger of inertia. It often creeps up on us very slowly… then boom!

Business inertia

In business, we see examples of inertia all the time. The business owner who puts off investing in data backup, often won’t see anything bad happen for months, maybe years. Their inertia surrounding data backups only becomes apparent when they discover their system is infected or stolen and they’ve lost all their data.

I was inspired to write this post for you today, having recently seen an interesting example of business inertia with one of my new clients. With her permission, I’d like to briefly share her experience with you.

How a 270% increase in client inquiries led to total frustration

I started working with this client (an accountant, who has asked me not to use her name here) just three months ago. We immediately began to focus on how to make her service stand out in a very crowded, fee sensitive marketplace. We put some ideas together and started planning. Then, last month we worked together on turning her website into a lead generating machine for her business. Yesterday, exactly 4 weeks later, she reported an increase in new client inquiries from her website of almost 275%.

On sharing the news with me, she was clearly extremely frustrated with herself. This wasn’t the reaction I was expecting from her, so I asked her why.

She explained that she had been thinking about hiring me for 3 years, but had always talked herself out of it. “I’ve now realised that my inertia in waiting 3 years before hiring you, will have cost me a fortune in lost fee income.” She went on to explain that she’d spent years competing against her competitors, largely on fees; attracting an equal share of the local marketplace for ‘average priced’ accountants. Until working with me, this qualified, hard working professional had been giving prospective clients no real reason to hire her, as opposed to any of her equally qualified, hard working competitors.

Where is inertia hurting your business?

I don’t know you or your business, but here are some common areas where inertia often hurts small business owners:

  • Are you waiting for ‘the right time’ to start backing up your data?
  • Are you waiting until you’re rich, before you hire an accountant who can save you a fortune?
  • Are you waiting for your clients to complain, before you ask them how you can improve the service you offer them?
  • Are you waiting until your business is in serious trouble, before you get the expert marketing help you know you need?

Only you know the areas of your business, which require action. Kick inertia into touch and give your business what it needs, now.

Let's grow your business: I can help you build a successful business, make more sales and boost your profits. To find out how, read this.


  1. As one of your clients for the past three years, I can totally relate! I tell people that though my business is almost 30 years old, I started over in December 2009 when I decided to refocus my marketing and chose you to guide my marketing choices and teach me how to be effective online. My business has transformed from a primarily local career business to one with a global reach. You taught me how to put a value on what I do and how to let others understand that value!

  2. Great post Jim. We cannot expect things to happen by themselves or to go away without attending to them. Successful business people are always action orientated.

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