Your small business strategy is based directly on the foundation of your marketing system; and if you don’t have a marketing system and you’re not busy developing one, then you have no small business strategy, and very soon after that, no business at all. End of
If you only ever pay heed or listen to just one thing I share with you, then, please, let this be it. It’s a gazillion-groat tip you can take to the bank.
Here it is: if you’re serious about succeeding with your marketing, it’s essential to have a plan and a strategy.
If prospering in business is important to you, then there is no alternative but to take marketing very seriously indeed, and to educate yourself to become very, very good at it. Frankly, the degree of marketing expertise I see from most small business owners is embarrassing.
At best they have an ambiguous notion of what they’re up to; at worst they simply keep fingers crossed things will turn out well. It’s something they do only when they can be troubled, which is usually when they discover they desperately need the money. Maybe they’ll throw some money into a crap postcard campaign, or run some half-hearted ad in the local rag.
But, as I say often: marketing is the most important and vital activity you can engage in in your business. Because no marketing means no clients; no clients means no money coming in … and no income means you very rapidly have no business left!
If you want to enjoy the of a profitable marketing system, you need to recognize most of what you hear, believe, and probably think you know about marketing and small business strategy is incorrect. The business world is dominated by marketing myths, and they serve none but a few charlatans.
Small business strategy idea # 1: Marketing is a money maker
Most small businesses work with a strict marketing budget. This is a huge mistake, and a very dangerous small business strategy. Yes, you are correct: I am suggesting you should be prepared to invest an unlimited amount of money in your marketing.
Here’s why: marketing is meant to make money. If it doesn’t, you shouldn’t be doing it. So, if it makes money, then from that it follows for every pound you put in, you get more than a pound back, yes?
That’s your return on investment. Same as a bank giving you interest.
Small business strategy tip # 2: Accept the money machine!
So, imagine you have a marketing campaign or system you can “crank the handle” of, and find out, to within a few percent, the Return on Investment you’re going to make. Sounds good, yes? (it’s eminently practical for your business, too).
Given the above … if for every groat you pump into your marketing system, it spits out a groat and a half, or two groats or ten each time you press the “go” button, then would it be the act of a normal person to limit the number of times you push that button just because of some daft “budget”?
Nope. If you had any sense at all you ‘d keep pushing that button like a rat with an electrode in its brain giving it the shots of “happy juice”
This is exactly what comes about when you have a legitimate small business strategy and a tried, tested, and proven marketing system.
This is one of those “too good to be true” things that genuinely IS true. Deal with it.
Small business strategy idea # 3: Test first, dive in later
There is one warning: never invest more than you can bear to lose. Now and then — it happens — external events work together to zap your campaign with no warning.
That’s why you limit your direct exposure per run of your campaign, and why you should determine your “budget” as a proportion of turnover, and be ready to change things if the shit hits the fan.
More than once, business owners have told me they could not continue or repeat a profitable marketing campaign that was making them a profit … because they had reached the limit of their “budget”.
Stupidity – a small business strategy destined to failure
Small business strategy idea # 4: How to make it pay
Just how do you know when your marketing is working?
When it’s making you money.
And how do you know that?
By relentlessly and conscientiously recording and quantifying everything you do.
This is the problem small businesses face with their marketing: nothing’s measurable. They try to match big-business marketing ad for ad, dollar for dollar, and waste their money on “brand marketing” and useless “image” ads, none which brings in any business. But they don’t even know this and have no way of telling.
So the “key” here is to ensure your small business strategy is tailored to let you trace every sale to the marketing activity responsible for it. Right down to every email, postcard and sales call.
You can never ever have too much data about this, because it’s the difference that’ll make you wealthy..