You might think this is an odd article for an accountant to put together. But in fact its very relevant as without marketing your business there are either no or limited sales in your business, which will have a financial impact on your future.
As part of our development of our own company I have been spending time with marketing experts, and reading up on marketing techniques to build up knowledge of this very tricky area of business.
Im sure that an expert on marketing will also have more to say about the subject than I am covering, but thought I would share some of the marketing tips that have helped us develop.
The Mission Statement
This is basically your reason for being in business in the first place. This is about goal setting. If you want to be the biggest social enterprise in the country, then put it in your mission.
Ours is ‘Supporting Your Business Growth’
We not only prepare financial accounts, we also work with a number of businesses in developing their companies into businesses that sustain active growth.
What is your mission?
What Business Am I In?
If you don’t know what you do, it’s going to be difficult to tell anybody else about your amazing idea.
Think about this very carefully put together a 30 second spoken script to point out the benefits of someone buying from you.
Unique Selling Point, why are you different, why should I buy from you?
You are now a walking talking advert for your business everything you do from now on with have an impact on it.
Who Is My Target Market?
Whenever a business first starts up, there is always the impression that the services or product will suit everybody. Unfortunately quite often that is not the case. You need to tailor your marketing to that chosen market, to enable you to sell better to them. You will need to do market research, feedback forms can help with this. By asking your customers questions about what you’re doing you can develop this further.
What Is Marketing Budget?
The majority of businesses have a very limited budget for marketing and have to do a lot of leg work themselves, and choose as much free marketing as possible.
Examples of marketing possibilities
Door to door
Sign writing a vehicle
Paid advertising online (pay per click)
Whatever your chosen marketing strategy, there is not one thing that will be enough to market your business you will need to spend a great deal of time doing a variety of any of the above. There is no quick answer to this as everything takes time to develop, marketing is no exception.
With anything you want to develop and grow there is a point when you need to nurture. Certainly if you have a limited marketing budget, there is a real possibility that in order to grow your business you will need to sacrifice salary to increase your marketing budget, and allow your business to develop into something much bigger than if you had left things as they were. This may need to be done from time to time too, every business runs in stages, and when you reach your limits to that stage, you have to feed it again with investment.
How Do I Manage Working And Marketing?
You’ve now got your customer base but it’s not quite enough to make a living, or you’re looking to grow the business, but time is of limited availability now. As a business owner you need to be putting in a minimum of 30% of your time to marketing and looking for the next prospect. The risk of not doing so means that when you have done the work directly in front of you, and you will then see gaps in your diary, or cashflow, which then with limited time needs to be filled quickly, or you’re on stop.
If you have employees, then you need to be delegating their time to working and you need to concentrate as much as possible to marketing your business. I am never without my business cards, as conversations can happen in the oddest circumstances. Pass your cards to friends and family who’s to say they can’t do a little promoting on your behalf too. Consider outsourcing. We use a company for our marketing strategy and our website, they have proved to be imperative to our business development and have also freed up my time immensely.
Tracking Leads And Conversions
As soon as you start marketing your business you need to know where every lead is coming from, and to also track your percentage sales conversions from those initial leads. Your marketing budget is very precious so don’t waste it by not tracking, and making sure that your money is spent on advertising that works.
Marketing is not a chore have fun with it, let your customers see your personality.
As the saying goes ‘People Buy From People’. So let them see who you really are, it might surprise you and take you to where you want to be.
This blog is intended for information purposes only and is only advice from past experience, you may have other suggestions of your own. It is not intended to be used to make all of your business decisions but as a guide only.