Spring clean your business marketing plan

Written on the 31 August 2015 by Snap Marketing

What should I do to improve company profits?

As a small business owner, spring is the perfect time of the year to take a good, long look around you and see what needs improving.  After all, there's nothing like warmer weather to invigorate you and your team.

It doesn't matter whether you're a service provider or a retailer it's natural to get caught up in the day-to-day problems of running a company and not look at the bigger picture.  First, look at your physical surroundings. Then, look at your business plan. Finally take a moment to look at you and your team.

Step one: spring clean - literally

Look around your office or shop. There's bound to be a few of these:

  • The box in the corner that was never quite unloaded
  • The stain in the carpet
  • The window sign that's faded
  • The desk piled with folders
  • The light bulb that hasn't been replaced
  • The messy group of computer and telephone wires.

Write everything down, then cross them off them one by one, or organise the team to tackle them all in a single afternoon. The energy that you'll feel once you've improved your surroundings is far greater than the energy you'll expend working on it.

Now, look at your business plan

Are there changes that could result in better business? Here are a few questions to ponder.

  • Why should customers come to me and not my competitors? Claiming that you're 'the best' isn't enough you need to be specific. Let's say you're selling 'widgets'. What can you say about our widgets?
    • The finest quality
    • The cheapest
    • Hand crafted
    • Highly engineered
    • Backed by outstanding service
    • Guaranteed for a lifetime
    • Come in the widest range of colours
    • Company with a history of success
    • Works every time
  • Am I marketing my point of difference clearly? If you market your products or services in a 'general' manner, your clients and potential clients won't remember what you stand for. Be specific:
    • "Our widgets are of the finest quality."
    • "You won't find a cheaper doohickey if you do, we'll match the price plus take 10% off."
    • "All our widgets are individually handcrafted with passion
    • "So highly engineered, you'll think our widgets were made in Germany."
    • "Our widgets are backed by 24/7 call-out service."
    • "If your doohickey doesn't last for a lifetime, we'll replace it absolutely free."
    • "What colour do you want your doohickey in?  We have hundreds."
    • "Our widgets have been made for over 100 years."
    • "Your doohickey will work first time, every time."
  • Is my pricing strategy right? It could be you've overvalued your offerings, but you may also be underselling yourself.
  • Can I diversify? Even heating specialists and ski resorts can make money in the off-season if they're smart e.g. special out of season offers.
  • Am I targeting the right people? Have a picture in your mind as to who your average customer is. Then, use language that they'll relate to.
  • Am I treating my current clients well? If you spend most of your time trying to gain new customers, you may be losing your loyal ones. Good customer service should never be underestimated. Why not send 'thank you' cards to all your clients? Personalised print is a terrific way to do this they'll be delighted that you value their patronage.
  • Is my website good enough? More importantly, ask yourself 'Is my online presence good enough'? Today, more people are 'shopping around' online. Even if you don't sell online, they'll compare online. If they can't find you, that's a huge missed opportunity. 

Finally, some self-analysis.

  • Are my skills (or my team's skills) up to date? You don't need to sign anyone up for an expensive seminar there are online tutorials available for anything you may need just allow you or your staff an hour a week to learn new skills or brush up on some core skills online.
  • Do I need to network? If you want to build your business, yes. Relationship are forged face-to-face and from those relationships come word-of-mouth recommendations. It's completely understandable if you're uncomfortable about getting out and about. Give it a go it's easier than you think. And just remember, chances are most of the other people at these events are nervous, as well.

What else can I do to build my business?

The sky's the limit, but if you manage to tack the list above, you're well on your way.

 


Author: Snap Marketing

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