Assess: The Cost of Failure 


This is the second post in a twelve-part blog series on how we help industrial companies generate business-to-business sales leads. There are four steps in the process: Assess, Plan, Build, and Profit. In this series, we dedicate three posts to each step, providing the reader with one complete year of inspiring monthly content. 

2. The Cost of Failure | Assess

An old friend of mine was talking with his kids one day. One of the kids said, “I’m paying top dollar to go to college and all they give me is grief. It’s so expensive from a money, time and focus point of view.” And my friend looked at them and said, “If you think education is expensive, try failure.”  

Assessment will give you the opportunity to look coldly at something and say, “I understand this now and I’m turning off the waste.” Because you will never ever spend a better dollar than when you look at something in the cold light of dawn and you turn it off. It’s hard, but it’s the right thing to do.  

However, it’s completely different when you can look at it honestly and say, “I see the market and I see my ability to perform.” Those two access points give you incredibly powerful knowledge, in terms of how to act going forward, not only toward the goal you want, but toward the path you need to take to succeed.  

Assessment is essential. From the beginning, there’s nothing more important than honest evaluation.  

In our business at Wiebe Industrial, we do an exhaustive twenty-point analysis. We do an impartial and detailed analysis of your company’s brand and marketing position, highlighting the industrial benchmark for your sector and then at least three of your top competitors. This information is not readily available to anyone, but we are able to utilize powerful data systems that allow us to look deep into the marketplace. We pull the relevant data, analyze it, and then we leverage it into your new marketing programs.  

Some people tell us, “I have a great website.” So, we look it up and find out that Google ranks their site as garbage. There’s not much hope for that business. The empirical data gives proof, but no matter what they do, they’re never going to the top, because they can’t get past acting on their feelings instead of facts. It doesn’t matter how much gold they put in their garbage, it’s still worthless. That’s really the truth.  

Value That Can Be Measured 

When we’ve completed our assessment, we will have over a hundred points of empirical, three-dimensional data to look at. When we look at it, we find the strengths and weaknesses. If someone is getting into a marketplace and there are no weaknesses in their primary competitors and all of them are functioning well, then they’d better be taking some serious thought about whether or not they want to get into that mix.  

However, if you look into that marketplace and you can see that four of your five competitors are sub-standard operators and have no innovation in their messaging or how they deliver it through their marketing, then you’ve got an opportunity in that market. But how do you know that without doing the research?  

So many companies question the need for research. Yet the companies that have done it have accelerated their business in phenomenal ways.

One of my major clients has grown their business from $400,000 per month to $1,000,000 per month in just five years. Now, in preparation for more growth, they’re developing their margins and ensuring the quality of their products and services.  

We developed strategic and marketing plans for that company based on realities that are both executable and measurable. They have a diversified range of products and services, and everything they offer has its own tracking channel, in terms of facts and figures. That company is doing $12 million a year, but it’s feared by companies twenty times their size.  

If you have a five-year plan, then you’d better be doing this type of assessment exercise at the beginning and again halfway through just to make sure that the whole market hasn’t moved on you in some crazy way. 

Assessment costs something upfront. But it doesn’t cost nearly as much as failure.  

If you want to avoid the high cost of failure, talk to an expert today at Wiebe Industrial. 604.556.6032 

In our next blog post, we will help you decide whether you’re ready for success by assessing your willingness to change. See you then. 

Assess: An Honest Assessment – Who are you really?


This is the first post in a twelve-part blog series on how we help industrial companies generate business-to-business sales leads through marketing. There are four steps in the process: Assess, Plan, Build, and Profit. In this series, we dedicate three posts to each step, providing the reader with one complete year of inspiring monthly content. 

1. An Honest Assessment – Who Are You… Really? | Assess

Assessment is our first step together, and it needs to be honest and realistic. It means getting in touch with your reality and the reality of your competition. It’s based on brutal honesty and thorough research. In the assessment process, you grapple with four simple questions regarding your business:  

  1. Why are you in this business?
  2. What do you do?
  3. How do you do it better than anyone else?
  4. Who else is doing it well?  

The biggest problem for industrial companies is that they don’t know where they’re at. They need a reality check—some way to figure out who they are, where they want to go, and how they can be better than their competitors.  

You have to be honest. It’s better to start with nothing than to think you have something that you don’t really have. You have to get rid of the self-deception. What does your company do and who else is doing it? Who is your competition and what are they succeeding at? 

We do thorough marketing assessments. We conduct honest marketing evaluations. We will help you understand your company’s position in the marketplace better than you’ve ever imagined. 

At the end of the assessment process, you will know who you are and what you do best. You will also understand more clearly who your competition is and what it will take not only to compete well, but to win.   

If you don’t have a clear idea about where you’re at as a business, it’s pretty much impossible to get where you want to go. You need to understand where you’re starting, and you only get that understanding through assessment. 

I’m talking about the need for a painful, totally realistic snapshot of where your business is. At the front end of the marketing process, or the front end of the business process, we have to start with a transparent self-awareness, a clear view of what reality is.  

More Than A Shiny Brochure 

Some businesses might say to a marketing agency, “We just want you to give us a shiny brochure, or get us on social media.” But I’m saying that if I’m going to work with a business, then we need to start at the beginning with an accurate assessment. If they aren’t willing to do that, then that brochure or that exposure on social media is not going to be worth anything.  

I have sat in meetings where people have talked about their current reality with no facts, no figures, and no factual customer insight. They have even discounted the critical thoughts coming from their own employees, simply because it didn’t make them feel good.  

Well, guess what? Maybe it isn’t as good as you think it is. But maybe it’s even better than you think it is. The point is you only think it is. You don’t know it is. You need to know, because in business, you can’t take a dream to the bank.  

Reality-Based Research for Marketing

Your assessment doesn’t have to be a grand 300-500-page document, but it does have to be real. One of the best approaches is to start with nothing, because you don’t have all of the prior preconceptions and prejudices and false thinking of the past. But in truth, that’s never the case. It’s very rare that you get to start up from nothing. In reality, most people think they have a good idea and they want to know how to take it to market.  

They think it’s easy. It’s not. They think it’s free. It’s not. They don’t even know how to test if their idea is worth doing. And if they can’t do that test, why even try?  

In other words, you have to get rid of the self-deception. I cannot begin to tell you how many times I’ve seen people launch a business into a highly competitive field and they have no clue about how strong the competition is or whether or not they have giant gaping holes in their strategy.  

Assessment starts with understanding yourself and what you offer, and then understanding the market.  

If you need help with this kind of honest assessment, talk to an expert today at Wiebe Industrial. 604.556.6032 

In our next blog post, we will explore the high cost of failure and talk about value that can be measured. See you then.