I am sometimes a bit surprised when I hear from Business Owners that they do not want to grow their business. I can be fairly competitive, and hearing someone say that they are happy with their business at the size it is now causes me to stop and wonder. Why would any business owner not want to grow their business?
As a business owner and also as someone who helps businesses grow, I often see very questionable actions taken on the part of business owners or presented to them. Sometimes they are rather innocuous or expensive. Sometimes a play on words without substance attracts a business owner and like a fish drawn to a lure, they strike. Thousands of dollars in worthless marketing goes out the window. I say out the window because those spending the money cannot describe or identify the slightest accurate return on those dollars. I cannot call that Return on Investment because as it turns out…it wasn’t an investment. This is very true for those who buy into the hype surrounding lead generation and the promises of many many leads for the business. In these instances, the business owner just fell for the “Lead Generation Trap”
Your Marketing Strategy is how you’ll sell your product and services as well as to whom. You’ll have to define your ideal customer and in doing so also identify who is not your customer. A common marketing problem for a business is that it tries to be all things to all people. You’ll need to develop a sharp focus on exactly who your customers are and align that with what make or provide. This will ensure that your sales are focused on the right things resulting in more sales.
How do you accomplish this?
Let’s be honest; you cannot operate a successful business without marketing. For most, marketing is advertising. You spend money on advertising or, you hopefully are skilled enough to find other ways of marketing that are free. Regardless, knowing where to advertise is a function of your marketing. Without this important knowledge, your marketing dollars (advertising) are disappearing down a black hole.
Commonly what I see is a business buys an ad in some media where the business operates. They are impressed by the reach that media has, they believe this will get their message in front of enough people and sales will come from that. It might work for them, most often it will not. It will not for the same reason it might, the media itself. Is it the right media for your business, the right marketing venue if you will. Advertising is expensive; you want to put your dollars where they have the greatest chance for a return.
How Do You Do That?
You’ve seen it many times. A business owner sees a competitor lower their price on a product or service and they then decide to lower theirs to the same or slightly lower price. Little thought is given to what exactly has occurred beyond, “I have to meet or better the prices my competitors charge.” In simple words, this is usually the wrong approach.
Price always equals value. Further, when pricing a product or service your goal is to not only make a profit but even before that profit, it is to communicate what you offer to the marketplace while also identifying your business’s brand. Lowering your price sends a message many do not consider, “if you can sell it for that lower price, why have you been selling it at the higher price?”