The Single Most Powerful Small Business Marketing Tool On The Planet
Let me get right to the point. The single most powerful small business marketing tool on the planet is a marketing plan. Now before you roll your eyes and run for the hills let me clear a few things up.
When I talk about a marketing plan I am not referring to those academic exercises found in college marketing books, or the templated mumbo jumbo found in business planning software. I will not be asking you to determine your share of the market today. Give me a break, share of the market, most small business owners just need to figure out to get ten more customers.
A marketing plan is a simple (in many cases one page) document that specifically answers who you are, what you do, who needs it, how you plan to grab them by the throat, when you plan to do it and how you plan to pay for it?in a way that everyone in your organization, network, and client base can clearly understand.
Now that was a mouthful so let me back up a moment. Small business owners are doers, not planners. While doing is better than, say, mildewing, without direction, it leads to "marketing idea of the week" syndrome and stunts any chance a small business has for real growth.
Take one day, follow these 7 simple steps to creating the most powerful small business marketing tool on the planet, and your life will become a much simpler affair. Flowers will grow where weeds had previously resided, your children will say thank you at the top of their lungs, and your favorite baseball team will finally make that run for the pennant.
Well, maybe none of that will happen but you won't be as irritated when it doesn't.
Step 1: Narrow your market focus
Look at whom you are currently doing most of your business with. Figure out why they do business with you and what it is about them that is unique. Write one paragraph that describes what they look like and what they want out of life. Take a good hard look at the rest of your clients and customers and decide if they fit that description of your best client. Start saying no when the phone rings and it's not your target market calling.
Step 2: Position your business
Figure out what it is that you do best, figure out what your target market longs for and tell the world that you do that like no one else ever thought of. Maybe it's serving a niche, maybe it's a form of service, maybe it's a way you package your products. Here's a hint: you probably don't know what it is. Call up 3 or 4 of your clients and ask them why they buy from you.
Step 3: Core messages
Create several very compelling benefits of doing business with your firm and find ways to work them into everything you say and do. Just remember it's not a benefit unless your clients think it is. Your clients don't buy what you sell?they buy what they get from what you sell.
Step 4: Marketing materials
Recreate all of your marketing materials, including your website, so that they speak only of your core messages and your target market.
Step 5: Never cold call
Make sure that all of your advertising, including yellow pages, is geared to creating prospects and not customers. You must find ways to educate before you sell. Your target market needs to learn how you provide value in a way the will make them want to pay a premium for your services or products. You simply can't do this in a 3 x 4 ad. Your ad needs to get them ask for more information?then you can proceed to selling.
Step 6: Expect referrals
You must create a referral marketing engine that systematically turns clients and referral networks into 24 hour marketing powerhouse. The first step in the system is to make providing referrals a condition of doing business with your firm.
Step 7: Live by a calendar
After you complete steps 1-6, determine what you need to do to put them into action and then schedule them on a calendar. Whatever it is that you need to pick a month and pledge to get it done that month. The mistake most small business owners make is to get overwhelmed when they realize how much they really need to.
If you can begin to schedule one or two activities each month you will look up at the end of six months and find that you have a fully developed referral system, new website, and a lead generation system. Slow and steady wins the race tortoise.
So what will have completed when by the time you read the next issue of this publication?
Copyright 2004 John Jantsch
About The Author
John Jantsch is a marketing consultant based in Kansas City, Mo. He writes frequently on real world small business marketing tactics and is the creator of "Duct Tape Marketing" a turn-key small business marketing system. Check out his blog at http://www.DuctTapeMarketing.com/weblog.php - gets these kinds of killer tips weekly by sending an email to mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org
A Gift Basket Home Business is an Easy Way to Wrap up Profits
You want to know more about making money with your own gift basket home business. You are a creative person and want a career that you can control and find rewarding at the same time. What better way to do this then to start a gift basket business in your own home.
Small Business Essentials: Start Here
Thinking of starting a business on line? If so there are two things you absolutely must commit to before ever opening shop on the web. Any one who refuses to realistically consider these two factors should not be in business. That may sound a bit rough, but the glut of businesses on line that ignore these factors will soon come to an end as customers demand service in return for their dollars.
City Wide Garage Sales: Hidden Riches!
Most of us remember going to at least one garage sale in our lives. It may have been called a yard sale, garage sale or flea market. The name didn't matter it was all the same. Other people selling what they thought was trash to people who thought the items were treasures.
Uncover Free Veins Of Gold By Prospecting Online Guru Newsletters (Part 1 of 2)
Incredible as it sounds, you have a goldmine of free business advice and resources available to you for starting an online business. Many entrepreneurs are taking advantage of the unbelievable opportunity of financial independence by starting an Internet business.
Grab Your Consumers Attention in a Cluttered World of Marketing Communications
A cluttered world of marketing communications diminishes the ordinary. The consumer can no longer be bother with the dull, trite and a boring hodgepodge of marketing communications that are pandered in front of them every day. They simply haven't the time, nor are they willing to figure out what irrelevant messages warmed over with pseudo-showmanship the marketer is selling them.
Technology Community Helps SMBs Focus on Their Core Business
If you're starting your own business or currently work for a start-up, you wear a lot of hats. Any disruption in your business can eat up hours of your time and kill your productivity. Many start-ups are so focused on getting their business off the ground, that they overlook technology considerations that can help increase their productivity and enhance their efficiency. Unlike mid to large corporations that have dedicated IT personnel, start-ups typically do not have in-house IT resources to evaluate and deploy new technologies to pre-empt unforeseen issues, such as virus attacks, and streamline processes to increase efficiency gains. This is due partly to time and partly due to budgetary constraints. Small businesses want to focus on the next sale, not the next purchase. Largely for this reason, many small to medium businesses (SMBs) are categorized as laggers on the technology spectrum -- classified as conservative IT buyers and slow adopters of new technologies. This profile make it seems as if SMBs are risk adverse, when in actuality, SMBs are more risk takers than corporate employees ? after all, they've started their own business or are part of a start-up where the P&L is felt throughout the company.
Why Internet Shopping is the New Mall of the Future
Last year, trillions of dollars transferred hands on the internet with regard to sales, or as the internet wishes to call it, eCommerce. The internet is becoming an increasingly complex manipulation of do's and don'ts. However, one thing I am sure of is, what are you doing? The cliche says, "Either get in the game, or sit and watch from the sidelines." I've been sitting around long enough and recently took bold steps to leap into eCommerce.
Should I Franchise or Not?
A reader of one of my online sessions asked should he franchise his business or not. He had set up a service business and was getting ready to expand and wanted to know if franchising was a good potential strategy for this. How do I franchise my business? There are many criteria for franchising and if you have ever thought you might wish to franchise your business then this advice could be of value to you:
Power Tools for Business
How do we keep track of our business deals?
11 Things Small Business Owners Can Learn From Tiger
1. There Are No "gimmes" ? They count two-foot putts on the PGA Tour. Hold your small business team accountable for completing everything they commit to starting.
Employee Email and Internet Use - A Small Business Guide
Shortcuts Will Kill Your Business
Think of your business as a living, breathing, organism. It requires you to give it a large portion of your time and effort in order for it to grow and flourish.
The Misconceptions of the Value Of Disclosures in Franchising
Disclosure laws in franchising are suppose to help the consumer. They don't. The FTC, which over sees franchising has in fact created a rule, which makes 5 lb. Disclosure documents for franchise buyers, which is so huge that no one ever reads it. I know when I personally meet a franchise buyer whose application form is approved and hand them a UFOC, Uniform Franchise Offering Circular with attachments and watch their jaw drop and then their hand drop when they clutch it in their hands (due to the weight of the 155 to 200 pages), I see a blank look. I apologize every time for my unreasonable government and the US legal system for the rules.
Excuses Franchisees Make; When They Violate Exclusive Territory Agreements
One of the biggest excuses franchisees of home based and serviced based franchises make when violating their exclusive franchise agreement with their franchisor and fellow franchisees is: My Family Works There. As a franchisor, I cannot believe how many times neighboring franchisees steal each others clientele or work outside their exclusive franchise area. This jeopardizes trust within the franchise system between franchisees and franchisors.
Starting An E-Commerce Business: Baby Steps
Starting your own e-commerce business can be quite the adventure. There is nothing wrong with falling head over heels in love with your ideas and plans and becoming overly excited, but always remember, feet first. Creating a business from scratch is like a child learning to walk. You need to grab on to something solid, feel around, get a sense of balance, and take baby steps.
Community Relations Strategy for Small Business
Does your company have a community relation strategy? Have you even considered it? It is essential to have policies in place. Having run a small business for years which eventually turned into a multi-state franchise system, I realized early on that a business who is part of the community it serves can survive the ups and downs of the business cycles, making it somewhat recession proof. Nothing turns off the community more than a business which refuses to give back a little and gives some ridiculous excuse of; "It is our corporate policy, sorry!" Many times a volunteer for a club or organization will come in and ask for a hand out. Rather than giving them an excuse, talk with them about what you can do, have a policy which helps them too. Do not just tell them sorry; "No can do" offer them other assistance instead. For instance if they come in a are looking for a donation, you might say. We are not able to give a straight donation, but we are allowed to give you an item or two on the discount rack for a door prize or silent auction.
But This Is Just My Opinion
Hi, Charles...here, Your Cap and t-shirt guy From Texas. How are you doing today.
A corporate shell could be liken to a house that had been occupied by a family, prior to the family moving out it was a home. But now it is just shell, a skeleton a plain house with nobody in it, but if a family was to purchase the house and moves in, it becomes a home.
The Step Zero Effect
The key to organizational focus and helping those who need what you do is knowing, precisely, what you do well -- and what you don't do well.
Keep TRACK of your Business Relationships and Gain Profits
How do you know when an alliance needs to be monitored and tracked?
|© Athifea Distribution LLC - 2013|