Planning + Marketing X Effort = Success
Have you got your plan together?
Today's business owner is short on time and therefore must prioritise the most important tasks. However, many business owners and/or managers become caught up in the day to day 'workings' of the business such as closing sales, invoicing, staff rosters and so on, but neglect the strategic aspects of running the firm ...
Many business owners can be accused of being a bit short sighted when it comes to their goals for the business. Marketing is often seen as 'non-chargeable time' and may not be prioritised as a result.
As such, it's important to focus on the impact that marketing has on the business. The goal of the marketing function is to generate business/sales – after all, if nobody knows who you are or what you do, you won't have any customers!
"Successfully marketing your business entails focusing on what you want the business to achieve!"
What type of clients do you want? How do you find these clients? There are many different strategies for achieving your business targets, but the question we are asking here is can you afford not to increase your firm's profile?
The answer to the above is inevitably no – you need to increase your firm's profile in order to attract new customers. Therefore business owners/managers need to devote time to working 'on' the business an not just in it.
If you don't already invest time and resources into marketing then it's time to build a marketing plan for your business. The plan should include the following:
Identify your target market.
Identify your goals for the next 12 months (sales targets, market share, etc).
Identify strategies for achieving these goals.
Build a month by month marketing plan to enable you to successfully implement these strategies.
Identify the likely cost of the above activities and set this in stone (this is your marketing budget).
Business owners and managers, regardless of their industry, have one thing in common – they all want to win more clients. In today's challenging business environment, small and medium sized businesses need to work harder to develop strategies that win new business. Here are some tips to help you develop a winning strategy for your business.
Sell the benefits, not the product
Customers buy from you because you give them a solution to a problem. For example, businesses buy new computers because they need to update and replace old, slow machines. The attractive solution to this problem – new computers at a fair price with some added benefit such as good backup and support services from the supplier. Regardless of the product or service that you offer, sell the benefits to your customers. Differentiate your firm and increase your chances of closing the sale by offering added benefits such as great service, a free add-on, etc.
Focus on the numbers
There is no point in selling huge quantities of a product or service to your 'biggest customer' if you are selling at a loss. You should focus your business development efforts on targeting new 'high margin' customers and build your business into a more profitable entity. Equally, you should try to reduce the number of or even eradicate non-profitable customers from your business. You can do this by increasing the price of your products or services to a level where you make a healthy margin. If the customer stays with you then you have a positive result – they are now profitable. If they leave you for another supplier – no harm, since they were loss making for your business.
Build relationships with your target market
This should be viewed as an investment. It requires time, effort and budget. In order to become a market leader your business needs to demonstrate its expertise. You can do this by blogging, writing articles for business magazines and newspapers, producing newsletters, public speaking at seminars and events or just by meeting potential clients face to face. Essentially, you are giving a little something away to potential customers for free. Over time, by continuously demonstrating expertise and giving away some free advice, potential clients are more likely to buy from you.
If you would like some help with setting your goals for this year or want to talk to me about developing your marketing plan then call me on 07521 790284 or click here to ping over an email and let's arrange a chat over a coffee to see how I can help you.
Until next time ...
I'm Kirsty Parris and I specialise in helping business owners, like you, to realise the true potential of your business. Whether that is getting you back on track with your business plan or helping to devise and implement new plans that you never thought possible.
Some of my clients see me as a coach, a mentor, a consultant and some even as a financial therapist!
Based near Milton Keynes I primarily work with owner managed and family businesses between London and Birmingham.
I offer a broad spectrum of business development services including business coaching, business growth planning, sales and marketing support, personnel support and systems reviews.
I am not just another business consultant as I see the job through with implementation should you require it and I will work with you on a retained basis as an addition to your team or on a project by project basis...your call...and there is no tie in. You work with me for as long as you are seeing the results.
Your minimum requirement? You need to be ambitious enough to reach or exceed your personal and business potential. Together we will make it happen!
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