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Even Experienced People Don’t Know What They’re Doing

Date - 25 April 2016/ Category - Facts Of Life
Facts of life

It amazes me every day how other people get employed to do the jobs they have.

I’ve talked before about linking output and value to a person’s salary, but if we move away from that and simply look at the key skills necessary, it’s simply mind boggling how the world of supposed experts is actually just a world of average people in positions way above where they should be.

Take for example my particular field of expertise, sales and marketing. I recently took over a Pay Per Click marketing campaign from a digital agency that had been running it for two years. As standard they had been charging 10% of spend as their fee and this meant that on a budget of £15,000 their margin was £1500.

Now for £1500 I would expect quite a lot. You see to me £1500 a month is a top end Range Rover on lease hire, or a 5 bedroom house. Yet when I got into the account, one which I had been briefed by the owner was “not great” what I found amazed me.

This digital agency that openly advertised the fact that they managed £100,000’s of client money hadn’t made a single change to the campaign in 90 days! They hadn’t even logged in in 60. That means they earnt a blistering £4,500 for doing nothing.

Nothing except existing that is, probably spending the money on that Range Rover.

You see the problem is that the owner of the business had no real idea what PPC was. Not only that but they didn’t know what they wanted to get out of it or even what it was giving them and as such the digital agency just ran amok with their money.

The real problem is though that this problem is systemic up and down the country. People think that small businesses aren’t very good because they have tiny budgets but in my personal opinion they are better at what they do £4£ than the big boys and here’s why.

A small company might only have £1000 to spend on marketing but the return on investment for that £1000 will be huge because they cannot afford waste.

Yet a large business crammed with people who do very little for their money might have a terrible ROI but simply because they can throw money at it on the surface their results look better.

This is despite a small business owner probably only doing marketing part time. In a big business there is usually someone sat over the poor performing agencies adding even more cost.

This problem isn’t just limited to advertising though, it’s everywhere. You see the world of business is one that really doesn’t understand how good businesses operate. They are afraid of being good, because often it means that people won’t have their cushy jobs anymore.

Companies buy great software like hub spot (a CRM), AdWords, even Photoshop and only ever use it for 5% of its potential, meaning that they could have bought something much cheaper and got away with it.

When you’re starting out I promise you that if you put in the effort it’s not hard to become an expert pretty quickly. Ignore the fancy titles, pay packets and offices your competition live in. Being great at what you do isn’t rocket science and it certainly isn’t reserved for the city.

Small business owners are way better at running businesses than you think, the only problem is they often don’t have the money behind them to make the noises that awards companies look for.

Oh and if you think I am taking one example and running with it I’m not. The last time I ditched an equally bad agency it was because they too had no idea what they were doing for their money, and last year they got in the LSE top 100 businesses!

Chapter Summary:

• Success breeds complacency
• Some great ideas succeed in spite of the people running them, but those people get the credit anyway
• The link between cause and effect is often blurred

Read our next blog post “People change”.