Managing your family business or any type of business can be challenging and daunting at times.
One of the biggest obstacles most SME’s face is managing a healthy cash flow. We also know that increasing sales or profits by creating a workable sales funnel through improved marketing outputs is vital to attract new customers and closing more sales. Business owners may experience a lag or a loss of effectiveness in their current strategies that have been used repeatedly throughout the years.
Businesses are typically being run without proper marketing strategies or plans for execution. A general observation is that businesses have a habit of overlooking the necessity of the marketing function – placing it on the backburner and focusing on other operational areas when circumstances become unstable or their predicted sales forecasts seems “promising” enough – but do these forecasts always deliver the expected outcomes? Notably, one must continue with marketing efforts, even during peak seasons as it helps increase or stabilize sales during the slower seasons to minimize any negative cashflow impact.
For instance, we are in a form of lockdown now and are searching for means of surviving and increasing lead generation or creating a workable sales funnel. A business goal would be to start working on marketing now so by the time lockdown is over, the business recovery period is shortened. During the recovery period, your lead generation sales or profits will increase, therefore your market share expands as your plan of action becomes more defined and your stress levels will lessen!
Here are six ways you can grow your business through effective marketing:
Focus on developing a quality database and email marketing campaigns.
Take advantage of email and social media marketing to create awareness around your business and your offerings.
If you don’t have a qualified email list, now is a good time to start a database. Email notifications can be sent to subscribers about special deals, promotions and news. Automated email campaigns can even lessen your workload!
Increase your database by giving away free information (freebies) to educate, in that way your business remains memorable and your database stays loyal and attracted to your offering.
Remember to work on your marketing message. Ensure it is refined to appeal to your target market.
Don’t be afraid to try new things.
Marketing is evolving and what worked yesterday does not work today so it is important to remain innovative. Don’t get stuck in the founder’s syndrome, as it is easy for multi-generational businesses to stagnate and continue doing the things that were successful decades ago.
For example, if you relied on print media, consider venturing into digital channels. Online advertising is surprisingly affordable, if you know what you are doing. No budget? No problem! There are various free tools you can use to market effectively to your audience.
Sometimes the fear of technology stops people from trying new strategies, however most of the latest trends used in digital marketing are easy to implement once you know how! Invest in developing your skills by attending workshops or courses – you will soon realize that your fears were unfounded.
Know Your Customers.
It is up to 6 times cheaper to sell to an existing customer than a new one.
It’s easy to say that you know your customers; especially your business has been around for several generations. But times and people change – just look at generational trends.
Knowing your customer or KYC sets the foundation – know their shopping habits, buying patterns and what platforms they use when looking to purchase a product or service. Are you speaking their language or is your message getting lost in translation?
Create a website that works.
The format and functionality of your website is the key to its success. When potential customers visit your website, they want access to the information they are looking for in less than 3 clicks. Not only does your website create brand awareness but it creates a sales funnel for online shopping alternatives.
- Keep your website user-friendly. Remember what Donald Millar wrote in Building a Story Brand … “If you confuse you lose.”
- Here are some of the basics that need to be in place:
- A speedy, mobile-friendly website
- A professional design that will attract more visitors
- Have a prominent call to action – like “buy now” or “request a quote”
- Offer value and don’t just try to sell
- Use your website to build your database
Get proper customer feedback.
It’s all about getting customers and once we have them, building relationships to retain them!
Customer experience can make or break you – be it via your product or service offering or even the general customer service they received from your business when purchasing. How do you market customer experience to your potential customers and what measures do you have in place to ensure you deliver on your promises?
Make use of surveys or automated feedback forms when needed. A tool worth noting is the Net Promoter Score which measures the willingness of customers to recommend a company’s products or services to others. It gauges the customer’s overall satisfaction with your offering and loyalty to your brand.
No Business is No Life.
Overall business health depends on business owner health and how they choose to grow themselves. Having a business that works for you is important. Your marketing plan must compliment your business plan and aid in achieving your desired objectives in order to promote business growth and profitability.
As a professional business coach, I have come across many businesses who are not reaching their full potential due to lack of marketing. I coach owners on how to think differently to reach their goals. After all, one small change can make a huge difference!
So begin investing in your capabilities and your marketing to start noticing positive changes and feel the difference effective marketing makes on your life and in your business.