Now I’m sorry if that upsets you or offends your sensibilities but that is what it is really all about. Most business people believe that the primary reason for the existence of their business is to provide a service or to produce various products.
The reason you are in business and what you are in business for are two different things. As a business owner, it is crucial that you don’t confuse the two, totally different, concepts. You may well, through your business, supply one, or a whole suite of services. A different owner, or yourself if you are sufficiently diversified, will manufacture or fabricate a range of products for sale to either consumers or to other businesses.
You could even be doing both, producing a product and providing a service. It is important that you realise that what you do is different from why you do it!
The name of the game is Making Money. Nothing else. If you think otherwise, you won’t be in business for very long and you will be working for someone else who does understand the concept. Every shop in the high street, every company in the Industrial Estate, runs on profit, the profit made from selling the service or product that is supplied from there.
Profits come directly from sales and sales come directly from leads. Whether those leads are created by a customer walking past the shop window, looking in and having their salivary glands excited or a person browsing on his/her computer, seeing an advertisement or an article which interests them. They are both leads, different in type, obviously, but leads nonetheless.
No leads (customers), no sales (obviously), no profit (bugger!), no business (back to the J>O>B>!).
In order to make a profit, you must have sales and that means that you must have leads! One of the best ways to generate leads is by promotion and the primary purpose of promotion is to raise the profile of your business among the general public.
Shops can do that by having an enticing display in the shop window or by advertising, other businesses only have advertising, in any of the myriad forms (or all of them) to generate the leads that will bring customers.
When the public becomes aware of your business it will also become aware of whatever it is that you are trying to sell whether it be cup-cakes, the ingredients for them or the recipes for them or even the machinery that will mix the dough for them. Maybe you are trying to sell just the idea or the system for making excellent, reproducible cup-cakes.
In turn, this will wake a realisation among them that perhaps your products or services could solve a problem they are having or just satisfy a need they have. They might have neither a need nor a desire but simple curiosity may be enough to bring them to enquire of your business who you are and what do you do or make.
The visit is the important part. Every visitor is/was a lead. Why they visited in the first place is how you can turn the visit into a sale and thence, profit!
Paying customers are generated by leads.