Managing your family business is sometimes just plain hard work.
One of the biggest obstacles most SME's face is managing a healthy cash flow. We also know that increasing sales through improved marketing is key in attracting new customers and closing more sales.
You would also have experienced that the strategies you've been using for many years may have lost their effectiveness. Here are six tips to help you grow a profitable family business.
1. Focus on developing a quality data base and email marketing
Family-owned SME businesses are typically being run without a proper marketing strategy and plan for execution. Business owners here typically have a habit of putting marketing on the backburner when things are going well.
We know however that one must continue with your marketing efforts, even during the busy seasons as it will help increase sales during the slower seasons and make it easier to manage and minimize the impact.
You can take advantage of email and social media marketing to spread the word about your business and your offerings.
If you don't have a qualified email list, now is a good time to start one. Emails can be sent to your subscribers to spread the word about special deals, promotions and news.
Many of those customers will spread the word about your deals, which can help expand your list.
2. Don't Be Afraid to Try New Things
Is your marketing strategy and action plan delivering the results they used to?
Like any other industry, the marketing is constantly evolving, and what worked yesterday might not work as well today and it is thus important to try new things.
Don't get stuck in the founder's syndrome as it is all to easy for multi-generational businesses to get stuck in the past and continue doing the things that were successful then.
An example would be that if you relied on print advertising for your business, you might consider venturing into digital channels. Online advertising can be surprisingly affordable, if you know what you are doing. I would suggest that if your budget allows, you should seriously consider outsourcing your marketing to a professional.
3. Truly Know Your Customers
It's easy to say that you know your customers, especially if your company has been in business in your town for several generations. But times and people are changing.
You need to get to know much more about your customers. Knowing them personally is just one aspect, do you know their shopping habits and buying patterns? Which marketing strategies and tactics perform better and are most effective with your target market?
What is the best way to reach them and which re-marketing strategies should you employ?
There's no better time than right now to start learning more about your customers. Remember it is up to 6 times cheaper to sell to an existing customer than a new one.
Does your customer know all the products or services that you offer? Remember we are after 100% share of wallet.
4. Create a Website that works
The messaging look and functionality of your website is 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.
The key focus of the design of your website is your potential customers. Remember what Donald Millar says in "Building a Story Brand" … If you confuse your loose.
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 (and keep them around)
- Have a prominent call to action
- Offer value and don't just try to sell
- Use your website to build your data base
5. Get Proper Customer Feedback
It's all about getting customers and once we have them, keeping customers!
What are your customers experience of your products and services? If quality is a strategy, does that reflect in your product experience. What can you do better? What do they dislike about your offering and business? What do you have to change?
There is a tool called the Net Promoter Score that measures the willingness of customers to recommend a company's products or services to others. It can be used as proxy for gauging the customer's overall satisfaction with your company's product or service as well as the customer's loyalty to the brand.
It might just be worth investigating so you can increase the lifetime value of your customers.
Lastly, remember your business gives you your life and … No Business is No Life
You know that running any family business, starts with ensuring the key elements are in place.
It includes elements that are essential for growth and must be in place for growth to happen and sales to increase. Yes, every company should have a business plan and a corresponding marketing plan, a strategy for recruiting and retaining talent, an understanding of margin on all products and services, and much more.
Have an awesome day!