I know that we’re all community loving people,who are all about using acupuncture to change the world. And we’d all rather worry less about marketing.
That’s one of those “business” concepts for those big dark corporations that are out destroying the world. Oh no, not us. Not our pure little community oriented community clinics. Those ugly words have nothing to do with us.
I mean we’re practically giving it away. Offering acupuncture (usually so unaffordable to everyone) at a sliding scale. I mean people should just be pouring through our doors for this all natural, non invasive, can only help, can’t hurt, beautiful thing we’ve got here. Once one person comes to us, they’ll just tell EVERYONE and we’ll be a thriving community acupuncture clinic in no time.
Sadly, that’s not reality. Any entity (social business, nonprofit, or not needs to market, market, and market constantly, consistently, especially through the first 1-3 years of opening)
- But Why? Shouldn’t people just be pouring through our doors?
Let’s try a little analogy here.
Let’s said one day a little organic restaurant opened up. It was serving up all natural, all organic food, all locally grown, incredible flavors, at a quarter to a fifth of normal restaurant prices. It was so community minded that it had a sliding scale for its food from $2-5 a plate. I mean at those rates, who would even have to cook at home anymore?
And because it was a little organic restaurant that was all about the food and what good that could do, it didn’t go with a fancy schmacy location, or a big sign. It opened up in a previously empty storefront somewhere. Had a little unlit sign that said “Community Restaurant”. Because they were all into reusing stuff, they picked up their tables and chairs from here and there and not everything matched. But no matter, as soon as people experienced the food at those price they would fall in love with it and tell everyone. To keep the food costs low, they didn’t do any marketing and advertising and knew that word of mouth would definitely carry them.
- So what happened to this beautiful little community restaurant?
Organic food at $2-5 a plate is something incredible. I am sure EVERYONE would fall in love with the place if they only knew about it. “Community Restaurant” made perfect sense to the owners. But no one on the street knew that it meant that it was $2-5 a plate. How would they unless they went in?
- But how do you get people to go in?
I mean a restaurant is much more inviting for people to explore than something like a medical clinic, where people only go when they have problems (wink, wink).
- But how were people supposed to know a new restaurant opened up?
Well, there is a sign. So anyone walking around or driving by that exact street could be curious and go in. Well, did a lot of people walk in this neighborhood, especially new and different routes everyday instead the same circles around the lake or their neighborhood? And did all those people driving around drive slow enough to see the little unlit sign, or were they driving too fast and too busy on their cell phones to see this little restaurant?
And next year it would show up in the yellow pages for free with “Community Restaurant” and the phone number attached to it. I am sure with just that, lots of people are always browsing their phone book for a new place to go try.
- Think about it
What if this little restaurant opened up a one block from you? How long would it take before you tried it out?
- I am such a couch potato. People ask me if wintering in Minnesota is very hard on me compared to FL. And since I don’t really go outside that much. I haven’t really noticed a significant difference. And I am such a bore, I was raised in the suburbs and drive the same fastest route everyday from home to work and work to home, and to the grocery store. And I am such a boring person, I know what I like. I know exactly what I am ordering before I even get to a restaurant. When people tell me to try somewhere new, unless I am in a super (ohhh I haven’t had work been cooped up inside for days, need to go outside now) crazy mood, I don’t. I mean unless they personally invite me and really MAKE me go. All that dampness in me just makes me super stagnate. I might as well be a pile of pudding.
- I am sure with the incredible deal this little community restaurant was, it did just fine.
(please take into account that this post was written with humor, please don’t take it too seriously!)