Mistakes Small Business Owners Make that Can Be Avoided.

Posted by michaelringrose on June 29, 2015

Sometimes it is necessary to be blunt with your message. One can surf around the edges or endeavour to be subtle by hinting in a vague way as to what needs to be done or even imply that any criticisms are really meant for some other small business owner. Frequently, far too frequently, that is just not enough. When you see from cursory observation or detailed analysis of a business that it is simply not developing and definitely not making profit, it is time for any credible Consultant or Marketing Coach to lay the cards on the table, – face up.

A Marketing Coach is not worth the fee if his suggestions and advice do not land, in a coherent, constructive and relevant format in the mind of the client. The message should presented in a way that it should be clear to the client that to do other than seriously consider its import and where possible and practicable, to implement the recommendations, would be bordering on fool-hardy, to say the least.

But, if you follow much of the discussion on LinkedIn, for example, you observe many Consultants, Coaches and Mentors,  timorously dancing around critical business issues, with the delicacy of a ballerina, performing her piece in a pas-de-deux.  They become so transfixed with a sense of their own importance and spend more time and energy contemplating their “Style” and “Boundaries” and Models” that they overlook the really critical issue. They, perhaps, need reminding that the critical issues are, ” How can I help my client?”. How can I convey to my client, what steps he/she needs to take to, for example, attract more leads, increase the number of customers, increase the number of transactions they make, increase  sales and grow profits? These are answers that the business customer is searching for and when engaged in listening to his Consultant or Coach, the expectation is that clear, concise, coherent, constructive steps will be clearly set out for him.

In many instances Consultants and Coaches stop there. They take no cognizance of the capacity of the business owner to understand, not alone follow and implement their recommendations and suggestions. Many do not feel it within their remit to do so and simply undertake to identify the strengths and weaknesses of a given business and spell out what they are to the owner. Many feel is not their responsibility to worry about the capacity to understand or implement strategies for success.

That approach can be described as a “Cop-out”. It can be relatively easy to identify where the weaknesses are in a business. They may be many or few but it would not necessarily, in many instances, require a very high degree of perspicuity to identify key problem areas, nor in many instances, require high degrees of ingenuity to suggest practical resolutions.

Top Performers

Many businesses fail because the owners fail to get professional help. Observe the myriad of high performing athletes, across all disciplines and note that those who consistently perform at the top, the real high-achievers, all have the benefit of expert, professional coaches. The same can be said of top business men. They are not shy about seeking advice and insights from those who have been equally or more successful than themselves. Multi-millionaires and, billionaires boast about their own coaches and talk about the thousands of dollars they expend annually on getting up-t0-date coaching expertise to guide and mentor their activities. Far to often, sadly, small business owners rarely consider engaging a marketing advisor or coach when singularly struggling with the daily pressures and problems associated with running a business. They are so engrossed in the day-to-day management that they do not have the time, or feel they can allocate time, to seek out expert support.

They do not know the fundamentals required to successfully market their business and attract as many clients as their business can handle. They have no idea how to use their marketing to generate immediate cash flow. In fact, many doe not have a clear idea as to what marketing is supposed to do.

Marketing is meant to capture the attention of your target audience or market. It should stimulate the hope that your marketing will provide enough information to help a prospect make the best decision possible when buying what you sell. Fundamentally, it should lower the risk in the next step of the buying process. Addressing these three objectives will result in your prospects coming to one simple conclusion and that is, they would have to be an absolute fool to do business with anyone other than you, for the goods or services that you offer, regardless of price..

If you need more information or advice on growing your small business, check out our FREE Business Assessment.

 

 

 

Find Your Target Market Without Wasting Time and Resources

Posted by michaelringrose on June 28, 2015

Find Your Target Market Without Wasting Time and Resources

You are about to learn how to attract your target audience without wasting precious time and resources. You will avoid costly and time wasting blanket marketing that sucks up your marketing budget and produces little of value.

There are two questions that need clear answers:

What do people want to buy from me?

What other related products are they already buying?

The answers will inform you as to what potential customers are predisposed to want your products or services. Then you need to come up with an attractive incentive that you can offer other businesses with the same customer base with a view to sharing the base to your mutual benefit. This needs to be a “Win-Win” proposition.”

Here is the basic idea: You need to identify existing businesses who have the same customer profile in the same market that you are seeking to do business with.

Use your Networking Events to strike up a relationship with those business owners and present to them the benefits of joining with you to create an incentive for customers to purchase from both of your businesses. This could be by way of JV Partnership in relation to certain products or services or a shared Advertising Program where you arrange to split or otherwise share marketing collateral.

The result is you have an wider or additional audience to market to and they generate an added value from their customer base as well as, if they so wish, offering their customers additional choice and opportunity.

How do you calculate the value to you of this proposition? Follow Jay Abraham’s formula – you will find it very helpful. It helps you calculate the Live time Value of your customer.

Here is an explanation of what it means:

LV = (P x F) x N – MC

  • LV is the life time value of a customer
  • P is the average profit margin from each sale
  • F is the number of times a customer buys each year – number of transactions
  • N is the number of years customers stay with you
  • MC is the marketing cost per customer (total costs/number of customers)

It is imperative that you can calculate how much you can afford to spend in order to attract a new customer. There is little gain in spending $100 on advertising if all it yields is $10. One you have enough information to enable you calculate how much you need to spend to attract a new customer, then you are in a good position to know what kind of incentive you can offer to a business to enable you attract more customers.

So here is what you need to do in three easy steps:

  • Identify businesses and companies that have the target market you are aiming at.
  • Create and present and incentive to them that will demonstrate to them that there is additional value in their sharing the customer base with you.

3                      Target your marketing strategies towards this group of predisposed clients and customers.

If you wish to dip into our comprehensive system of marketing tools and resources, check out our FREE test drive.

 

 

Lessons I Learned from Paris Hilton

Posted by michaelringrose on April 5, 2013

Today we’ll talk about shameless self-promotion. That’s right, I said it! Shameless! After all, we are learning from Paris Hilton here.

It’s all about self-promotion! Self-promotion comes in many forms and you can use different tactics to get your name out there. Look at politicians! Talk about self-promotion and in some not so discreet ways, at that. But, seriously, consider some of the major superstars we all know. Madonna, Donald Trump, Howard Stern and Bill Clinton, just to name a few.

We all self promote. Did you raise your hand in class to show the teacher you knew the answer? Of course! That’s self-promotion. This is the kind of self-promotion we are talking about. With dignity, class and the knowledge to back it up. If you self-promote only to prove you don’t really know what you’re talking about, you’re going to lose business.

Natural self-promoters are the former and I want to tell you about the three major traits they have and use to build themselves and their businesses.

  1. The first is position. You need to position yourself around people who can make a difference in your life. You need to do this frequently. You need to wake up every morning and ask yourself “Who can I meet today who will make a difference in my success?” In fact, go a step further, write it in big, bold letters and tape it on your bathroom mirror.

Also consider:

Who can help me meet my goals?

Is it a prospective customer/client? A colleague with contacts? An association with key members who may become prospects?

Don’t settle into interacting with the people who are the easiest to access. You need to reach outside your comfort zone and there you will find a wealth of new connections that will bring you great success.

  1. Now, let’s talk about Style. No, this doesn’t mean you need an Armani suit to bring in more business (though, let’s be honest-it wouldn’t hurt) J What this really means is how are you different from your competitors and others in your industry. What makes you memorable with customers?

If you are meeting a lot of people and they don’t remember you once you leave the room, you have a serious problem! This means you have an opportunity to present yourself in a more memorable way.

There are lots of little subtle changes you can make. Reassess your:

  • Business cards
  • Company message
  • Your picture
  • Your wording

Maybe even, your hairstyle (of course, now we’re back to the expensive suit, but it really works!)

You get the idea. There are lots of little ways you can work on making your image and business more successful. Also, consider how you sound on the phone and how you great people at meetings or other events. Think about your 30-sec elevator speech.

  1. The third trait of natural promoters is repetition. You can’t say it once and leave it at that. Successful self-promoters say it as many times as they need until they get a response. Would you remember a commercial for Coca-Cola if you only saw it once, no! You see it over and over and eventually you head out to the store.

You, also, have to make multiple impressions on those you are networking with in order to build brand awareness. Repetition is in direct connection with positioning. Once you find people to network with, reach out and find hundreds more who can help in your success as well.