Marketing is the be-all and end-all for too many small businesses?
We see it all the time and all small businesses are bombarded by the latest and greatest silver bullet to take your business to the “next level”. Unfortunately, it seems all too often the sales teams are great at marketing their products and not yours.
We have people come in and ask us all the time about how they should go about marketing, how can they increase their sales from their website or social media. The truth is that most people don’t have their story planned out for their businesses direction.
When you decide to go on an overseas holiday, you certainly wouldn’t leave it to be planned until the last minute or even the day before! So why do we do it in our businesses? Why do we do it with our businesses story and direction?
This takes me back to my initial premise, where it seems all the markets have the silver bullet you and your business need; more marketing to drive home more sales and new business. The problem is the silverbullet is not working or does not work well enough to deliver a great level of return on investment.
The 12 Reason Why
Your Purpose: It may sound obvious at first, but if you don’t have a written plan you might find people are not into what your selling because the reason behind it is just not congruent. – For example, Walt Disney’s purpose is ‘to make people happy’ what is yours?
Your Vision: Your vision should be the driving force that gets you out of bed and do what you do to achieve what you want. If you’re not clear on this then what are you aiming for? How will you ever reach it or work hard enough to relish in it? This is your long term goal, it’s important for you and your team to know where your business is going so you can get there.
Yearly Goal: What do you want to achieve in the next 12 months? While this should align with your long term vision, it will also help determine where you will need to spend your marketing money. Do you need to get a clear focus on what your business needs to deliver to you – a sustainable,? (measurable) and ultimately saleable business.
Your Values: Seems like an unlikely reason your marketing might fail, but your values will need to align with your potential customers to ensure they not only become customers but raving fans. This will allow you to continue to attract more raving fans. Your values are the key principles or work ethics that the business upholds and should shine through your marketing messages.
KPi’s: If it cannot be measured then it cannot be managed. KPIs are the key drivers of your business that you can track to allow you to make changes when things are or are not working. You need to check your marketing efforts in order to see that it’s working and attaining the desired outcomes.
Budget: Throwing money at the wall or marketing material and hoping it might stick is not a great way to grow a business or the bottom line. Having a solid budget to work with will ensure your tracking your progress and ensure that it’s working effectively.
Ideal Client: let’s be clear on this, everyone is not your ideal customer. While you might find everyone could buy your products, at the end of the day, you don’t want to work with everyone. While everyone might be able to drink Mt Franklin water, not everyone is their ideal client as not everyone can afford it or possibly want to buy a wasteful plastic product. Understanding either who you want to work with or at least who you don’t want to work with is a good start.
Value Proposition: How will you deliver value to your customers and ensure your message is on point. How will you deliver the message to potential customers and ensure its communicated to them so that they will buy from you? Having this is key to ensuring your marketing message is consistent across your brand about what sets you apart from your competitors.
Opportunities: This is the ideal place where you need to work your butt off to make progress in a specific place. It could be in your business through learning new things or it might be as simple as opening up new markets.
Vulnerabilities: We all have our weak spots. However, it’s important to know them and reduce or eliminate them when possible. It could be from closing stores, regions, certain items on sale to new competitors opening up down the road. What keeps you up at night and what is holding you back or it could be the same reason others are up and your products might be the solution they’re looking for. Maybe a competitor is about to release a similar or competing product.
Critical Challenges: This is the big hurdle your business needs to overcome right now in order to achieve its current goals. What is holding back your marketing from getting the message across to achieve your dreams in business?
Action Plan: Sounds simple, but if you’re not currently running a 90-day action plan in your business, how do you or your team know what things need to change or get done and in what order. An Action Plan helps block our your marketing activity and what your focus will be, for example, if you have events or big changes coming you can plan your marketing around that. Having an action plan for your business plan and marketing plan is the key two key tools that work cohesively to attain your ultimate goals of freedom.
The above hopefully sound family and they should as they form the solid foundations for your business plan. They are the framework to which your business runs to and if at any point you’re missing out on one, the ship could be going in any direction. Worst case you stuck in the spin cycle of the business and just going round and round on repeat and not really getting anywhere.
This is where the marketing aspect come in, a shiny new object to attract more customers to bring in more money, but not really change any of the underlying issues. Its kind of like sticking plaster over a white ant infected wall, its probably looks good for a short time, but at some point, it’s all coming crashing down. If you’re looking for the silverbullet that is going to fix your business, look no further, it simply does not exist. You have to work hard yes, but smarter and more directly towards your long term goals is what really matters.
If you want help or looking for some direction on where to start, you can book in for a free proactive accounting meeting to discuss your concerns and options in your business with us or feel free to look further into our Planning 4 Success workshop.