You know your brand and its operations better than anyone. And so, you're the best person to answer this question:
What is bad money?
In other words, what types of customers (and their money) are bad for your business?
If you've never thought of money in this way, consider this:
There are some customers (your ideal customers) who are happy to pay you what you're worth, and who talk about your brand to others like them. You enjoy working for them, because what you do is exactly what they need. They're grateful. You feel fulfilled in your work. The money feels like a bonus; like it's been easy to earn.
Then there are customers whom you know will never be satisfied with what you're delivering. The money feels inadequate. They don't talk about your brand (or talk badly about it). Their money isn't worth the headache, the heartache or the extra time you spend trying to make them happy.
And now, back to that bad money question. Are you feeling clearer on what bad money is for your brand?
Let's delve even deeper
How Bad Money Erodes your Brand
As you work to build your brand, you know you're going to need profit—profit that compounds to support the business growth you desire. And because you're focussed on earning that profit, you think 'money is money.'
And so, you take on any project or sale that comes your way. After all, you 'need the money.'
I'm going to be honest with you here: this type of thinking will destroy your brand.
There are lots of ways bad money can creep into your brand, and even more ways it can erode it from its core. Here are some examples:
- Bad Money is any money that comes in as a result of tasks that aren't related to your long-term goals. It can be tempting to take on the 'wrong jobs' just to 'create capital' for future achievement. I've heard it many times. I've even tried it myself. Don't give in to the seduction of bad money. Not only will you not cover the cost of exchanging your time for money, you will be no closer to the realisation of your goals.
- The more visible your brand becomes, the more Bad Money opportunities you'll encounter. And, the temptation to earn the bad money will be just as strong as it was in the beginning. Why? Because you're 'bigger now.' You have 'more staff.' You're 'more skilled.' And so, you'll convince yourself that you're better equipped to handle tasks that weren't ideal a few years ago. And you will be wrong. Stay focussed. Bad money never turns great.
- Bad Money compounds itself, leading to more bad money gigs. And that's not all. It will corrode your brand by stealing your focus from your main offering…and whilst your skills decline, so will your ideal customer's interest.
- Understand that Good Money is also Bad Money. Even after you learn to say no to money that is clearly bad, you'll be seduced by good money (i.e. mediocre money). What's that? It comes from jobs that are just acceptable—closer to your goals—but still not ideal. This is bad money in disguise. It will rob your motivation, your energy and your ability to reach your goals. So, unless a job feels like a resounding YES, it's just bad money.
- When saying no becomes a way of doing business, you'll find that more people begin to say yes to your brand. Consider your ideal customer for a moment. She doesn't live in a vacuum. There are others like her, and they're her friends and acquaintances. Do you think she's more likely to say yes to your brand if you're serving others with her exact problem and preferences? Do you think she's more likely to say yes if your case studies include people just like her? You know the answer, and I think you also know that if you're wasting time on bad money, she will determine that you're just not the right brand for her.
- Even Big Money can be Bad Money. Avoid the attraction of a big paycheck, because even if it solves money problems in the present, that condition will be temporary if that money doesn't plant you closer to your goal(s). Great money, on the other hand, will put cash in your account and help you to make more of the same.
- Understand that Great Money is also Easy Money. Did you know that it takes the same (or more) effort to build an average brand than it does to build a great (and profitable) brand? That's because most average brand owners work really hard on all the wrong things. Do the right things. Seek the great money. Live the great life.
Are you going to tolerate your own Bad Money behaviour? Or are you going to refuse to allow it to continue…so that you can get on to bigger, better and more productive ways of building your brand?
Take a highly introspective look at your past business deals and delivered services. Divide them into two categories: Bad Money and Great Money, remembering that the only deals that should make the cut are those that bring a smile to your face. Now make a list of all the things that those Great Money deals had in common, and commit to looking for those types of qualities in future opportunities for your brand.
As always, there is a rich community of business owner, brand builders and entrepreneurs available to you. They have advice to give and support to offer. They have answers…and if they don't, they know someone who does. I am one of those entrepreneurs, and we're all waiting for you in the Brand Builders Club. Email me at [email protected] to schedule a call in which we'll discuss your brand, the club, and if they're a perfect fit for each other.