Are you hauling buckets?

Are you still hauling buckets?

“Nothing will work unless you do.” – Maya Angelou 


In a recent article, Colin Receveur compares two entrepreneurs, each starting a bottled water company. One starts immediately by making trip after trip to the river, hauling buckets. Nose to the grindstone, good old-fashioned hard work. His bottled water is ready for sale almost right away. Immediate cash flow, quick profit, what a successful start-up! 

His competitor, however, chose to start by making a plan. He knew there needed to be more people, buckets, or time in the day to make enough trips for his business to see the desired success. He took his time to build a pipeline system that could pump the water directly to his bottling facility. Once operational, his “slow start” was pumping out more product in a shorter period and would continue to do so without his back-breaking efforts for many years. When was the last time you looked at your marketing plan? O

Sometimes we fall prey to the idea that if we are doing more work, that must mean we are being more productive. “Work smarter, not harder” is a common trope for a reason; it’s true! Are you handing your team a bunch of buckets? Are you making endless trips back and forth to the river instead of taking the time to simplify things? 

Think about the systems in your practice that could benefit from a pipeline instead of a bucket brigade. Is the way you are doing things still the best way? 

Your marketing plan can include a mix of interruption, permission and marketing-with-meaning tactics. When it comes to marketing, interruption (advertising) is hauling buckets. Yes, it works. But it’s not the BEST way. Digital (permission) tactics are more effective than advertising, but I know many dentists putting their marketing check in the paper shredder with digital efforts done incorrectly. Developing a consistent and healthy word-of-mouth referral base in your practice takes time and team orchestration. And it’s worth it! The constant efforts of “marketing with meaning” tactics will provide a consistent flow of the high-value patients you want to attract and retain. Does your marketing plan need fewer buckets?