Business Strategy Archives

What’s Your Marketing Strategy?

Almost daily, I (Roger) get an email or call from a business owner lamenting how they have their “strategy” all mapped out.  What I typically find, after talking with them for 5-10 minutes, is that they have a group of disjointed tactics that they’re planning to test out.  They’re confusing being “busy” doing tactical stuff with having a strategy.

How Marketing is Like Sex

Yep, I said it … marketing is like sex because everybody thinks they’re good at it.  Rarely do employees tell a business owner they’re not good at marketing so the lie only gets reaffirmed in their mind more often than not.

Consider this … even when sex is bad, it’s still pretty good right? Marketing is the polar opposite because it can make you look like a complete buffoon when you screw it up yet you won’t take the hint. You’ll blame it on the market, economy, some consultant, or the timing.

Take some time to read this post right now because it could save you from making a buffoon out of yourself.

What a Strategy is NOT

Let’s be straight with one another … running a business isn’t easy. Being a strategist isn’t either so let’s understand what strategy is not before defining what it is, shall we?

If you go from chamber meeting to chamber meeting then BNI group to BNI group looking for a stockpile of leads while running a Yellow Pages ad and you just overhauled your website to look “prettier,” that’s not a strategy.

If you’re planning to implement SEO and PPC within the next 3-6 months, that’s not a strategy.

If you do a bunch of tradeshows every year, that’s not a strategy.

If you have an outside sales force that’s making 100 cold calls/day, that’s not a strategy. That’s a tactic!

Even if you do everything just outlined, you’re operating tactically.  In fact, that’s what I like to call “Silo Marketing” where you do a bunch of separate tasks in hopes that they somehow deliver a windfall at some point in the future.

What a Strategy IS

A strategy enables you to leverage a combination of marketing vehicles to build your business seamlessly and systematically. A strategy also has a defined timeframe associated so that results can be measured.

For example, a marketing strategy may involve the following:

1) You create a special report entitled “The 5 Things You Must Know Before Buying Your Next Widget That Can Save You Thousands” which you offer to new prospects free of charge. You also repackage that report as a video and a podcast to reinforce your message.

2) You then develop a lead capture form on every page of your website so that prospects can get your report in exchange for their contact information and permission to follow up.

3) Their registration to get the report feeds an auto-responder follow up sequence in the background that also triggers telemarketing efforts at pre-determined intervals to prevent leads from slipping through the cracks.

4) You then rent and mail to targeted lists (email and/or snail mail) to promote your special report on your website.

5) Next, you craft a press release announcing the availability of your lead magnet on your website which you distribute nationally.

6) Maybe you run radio, TV and trade journal ads promoting your lead magnet on your website.

7) You print up special business cards that promote your lead magnet and how to obtain it on the back of the card.

8) You team up with complementary businesses to promote your lead magnet with the ability to pay a commission or exchange services should someone buy from you.

9) You write and distribute articles, documents, white papers and produce short online videos promoting your lead magnet that you spread across the web.

The nine steps outlined form the baseline of a marketing strategy because everything builds upon one another versus just doing a few separate tasks that merely serve to make you look busy.

The timeframe to implement such a strategy can be anywhere from a couple of days to 6 months depending upon where you are today. Ditto in terms of when you’ll likely begin to see tangible results.

Strategic Questions to Ask Yourself

Here are some questions to answer that will help you formulate a strategy versus a tactical silo effort.

What are your lead generating offers? Who are the best targets for those offers? How are you reaching them now?

How many leads are generated via the following, and how much does each cost per month (whether it’s time, money, or barter)?

  1. Internet (website, SEO, PPC, banner ads, etc.)
  2. One-on-one interactions (BNI groups, referrals, cold calls, social networking, mobile, etc.)
  3. Education (white papers, case studies, buyer’s guides, etc.)
  4. Public / Media relations (press releases, articles, features in the news)
  5. Events (trade shows, lunch-n-learns, seminars, etc.)
  6. Advertising (sponsorships, radio, TV, crusty Yellow Pages, ValPak, etc.)
  7. Sales literature (brochures, business cards, slicks, etc.)
  8. Partnerships (JVs, endorsements, affiliates, etc.)

How many leads does it take to close a deal? Is that number increasing or decreasing?

How long do you have to follow up until they buy? Is that time period increasing or decreasing?

How much of your initial follow up is automated?

What’s a typical first deal worth? What’s the upsell process? How many people take the upsell?

Need Help?

Should you need help piecing everything together, please give me (Roger) a call at (502) 394-0460.

Planning For the Future ? Your Business Strategy

The Importance of a Business Strategy.

Many business operators become so caught up in the day to day running of their business that they devote little time to considering their business strategy for the future. Yet putting a little time aside now can benefit your business significantly. While you’re pre-occupied with the daily demands or minor crises of your business, things are happening in your blind spot! Technology is advancing, your clients’ expectations are slowly increasing and new trends are emerging in your industry.

More importantly, some of your competitors are busy developing their business strategies for the future, hoping to take the lead. If you don’t make time to do a little business analysis and planning now, you may be watching helplessly as you see your competitors stride ahead of you in the future.If you want to take the lead or at least keep up, make the time to conduct a thorough business analysis. Develop a business strategy and a technology strategy that will help your business grow and develop profitably as trends, technology and client expectations change.

Analyse Your Business.

When doing a business analysis and developing your business strategy for the future, there are several things you should examine. Matters of major importance are your clients’ expectations and desires, your human and technological resources and your marketing strategies. Consider the industry you operate in and how it may be changing.  Are you meeting your clients’ expectations? Are you taking full advantage of the Internet and all it offers? Are there new trends emerging that may require you to change your product range or upgrade the services that you offer?  If there are, making those changes before your competitors do can give you a major advantage and increase your profits!

Take into consideration the way you are currently operating your business. Is the technology you are using to run your business up to date? Will it meet your needs in the future? Is there new technology available that would allow you to streamline your business processes and save on time or labour? Is your current staffing level adequate and are your employees adequately trained in the technology you already have?

Technology and the changes it brings are inescapable. It advances at an ever increasing pace and for many over-worked business operators, it’s only too easy to slip behind and lose touch with change. It pays for modern businesses to have a technology strategy in place to ensure they remain competitive.

Developing a Technology Strategy.

The content of your technology strategy will depend on the nature of your business – and whether you sell technology or simply use it in the running of your operation. If you sell it, a large part of your technology strategy will be designed to ensure you keep up-to-date on available products, emerging trends, and advances in technology that are likely to lead to new products, trends or altered buying patterns. It may include subscribing to journals, newsletters and catalogues, attending industry expos or even investing in the development of new products.

If your business is service orientated, the major role of technology in your business is likely to be in the day to day operation of your business. That is no less important however, as the technology you utilise can have a major impact on the quality of your service and the speed at which you can deliver it. As quality and speed are generally the defining factors for consumers, ensuring your processes are up to date can give you the edge in a competitive field.

Think about some of the businesses that have left you unimpressed in recent years and why that occurred – it’s quite likely that as you walked out the door you considered them to be behind the times! Developing and implementing a technology strategy as part of your overall business strategy will ensure clients don’t leave your business thinking the same thing.

George Butler is a successful businessman who believes in utilising your business strategy resources to the best of your abilities. His areas of interest are business directory australia and technology resources to help business grow. Find out more business management strategy and small business productivity tools today.

Troubleshooting your Business Strategies

Troubleshooting your Business Strategies

A business strategy is a work in progress. It is not a one shot deal. It should continually evolve to suit the current business climate. At some point in time, you may have assessed if your strategy is actually doing what it is meant to do.

You probably asked this question because chances are that someone you hired had specifically developed this for you and prepared this strategy.

This is true for many business owners because either they do not have the time to actually sit down and write the strategy, or they are terrified when they hear the word business strategy. For some it involves a lot of analyzing using tools like SWOT analysis, environmental scanning, risk analysis, financial prospects, etc. Well, they are. However, as a business owner you cannot just rely on a specialist or a consultant to do the thinking for you. True, they are trained and paid to do business strategies. However, implementing the strategy is another thing.

More often than not, these specialists and consultants are not very familiar with the ins and outs of your business. Often they come in, interview a couple of management people, look at some graphs, refer to some statistics, and Voila! They have a business strategy for you. I do not have anything against consultants or specialists but these people come in to your business with a package. They are not coming in to really look into the business in order to develop a plan; they are bringing in a template. A template that they have been prescribing to many businesses long before you hired them. A little tweaking to factor in some business peculiarities and you have for yourself a business strategy.

A template, though not necessarily bad, can go wrong. This can be particularly if it does not suit the business. Perhaps the strategy is not achieving the desired results, or worse, a misguided strategy can put the entire business at risk. Regardless of the severity of your concern, it is up to you as the business owner to make the necessary changes along the way.

Take this for example. If you realized that your marketing collaterals such as your posters are not achieving their purpose, will you immediately order a recall? Why not? You can do this but the question is will it help you or the business? Pulling them out of circulation is not only a waste of time and resources. You have to consider the amount of money you put into poster printing and the amount of time it took you to distribute it and eventually the time you will spend pulling them down.

It is also dangerous because of perceptions that something has gone wrong with your business or your products and services. What is important is for you to find ways to express your concerns in a manner that will not adversely affect the reputation of your business. By acting cautiously and thoughtfully, you can address your concerns without alarming the general clientele and your team.

Admittedly, business strategy development is a difficult and challenging task because it is time-intensive and often involves a messy process. The result is never perfect. Far from it! However, as the business owner, you have the obligation to act decisively if you see that there is something wrong in your business strategy.

Learn the developments in the posters or poster printing industry that benefit small to medium scale businesses.

Kaye Z. Marks is an avid writer and follower of the developments in online printing that help businesses in their marketing and advertising campaigns.

Business Strategies For Small Business

Business Strategies For Small Business

Business Strategies for Small Business

The following business strategies for small business will help you grow your business, get more clients, retain your current clients and make you more sales.

First of all business owners need to understand that any business strategy needs to be implemented to be of any value. Knowing what to do and how to do it means nothing if you don’t put it into action.

Here a some simple business strategies for small business that will help you if you implement them.

Database Marketing.

Database Marketing is a business strategy that most small businesses do not use to its potential.

It is a simple strategy that involves creating a Database of all your current clients and prospects. Enter their names and contact details in to a program, management system or even a Xcel Spreadsheet. Group the Database in to Categories relevant to your industry. Categorise by geographical location, age, sex, previous purchase history, product needs or whatever category suits your business.

Once you have your Database categorised, you can then begin regular communication with your clients and prospects. Your communication should always be providing value to them. Deliver quality information that is of interest to the category you are addressing. The information can be hints, tips and strategies or you can even discuss a new product giving an independant review of its benefits and setbacks. Always be sure to inform them how the product will be of value to them either personally or to their business.

Give your Database Special Offers that apply only to them. Make them feel special that they are your quality or Premium Client. Have a special link in the communication so that you can track and measure the success of your campaigns.

Time your communication to an average of one every 10 days or so. This will keep your business in their minds. You should be the first one they think of when they need your product or service.

Making use of your current list of clients and prospects will help improve your conversions from Prospect to Client. It will also help improve your client retention.

Internet Stats show that an average of 7 contacts with your Database will result in a conversion to Prospect or Lead.

Referral Marketing.

Asking your Clients and Prospects for a referral is definitely a business strategy that brings great results for small business.

This strategy is reliant on you providing the best quality service, best quality products and outstanding customer service to your clients.

Showing your clients that you are the best in what you do will have them raving about your service and products to their family and friends. Now that you have satisfied clients, you need to ask the question. “Who else do you know that will benefit from our service?” Let them know that your business succeeds because of referrals from current clients.

You can offer incentives to your clients for every referral they make that becomes a new client. Consider a small gift of value, a free treatment or discount on a treatment. Send a Thank You card, free movie tickets or what ever you feel comfortable with.

Let all new clients know that your business has a referral system and they you expect at least three referrals from them if they are happy with your products and services. Every new client bringing in 3 new referrals will grow your business if you are the best at what you do.

Business Marketing Website

This business strategy is the way of the future for small business going in to 2011.

Consumers have certainly changed their behaviours in how they look for local services and products.

Historically, consumers went to the Yellow Pages, Newspaper Ads, Radio Ads and so on. Today, 85% of consumers search on the internet for a local service and products. If you fail to market your small business online you are going to miss a huge portion of market share that could be yours.

Your Website needs to be simple and it needs to be able to get your visitors to do what you want them to do. You have around 7 seconds to keep your visitor interested and to stay on your site. The content on your site needs to be good enough to show them you have integrity, you provide value and that you are the one they should be doing business with.

Big Flash Websites don’t really do much for your business. You need to have a website that is designed from a Marketing perspective to achieve the best results.

Once you have your Business Marketing Website, you need to have that Website on the Front Page of Google under the search phrases that are relevant to your industry. It is vital to be on the Front Page because that is where your prospects are looking. Rarely do people look beyond the first page and a large majority never go past Page three.

To get your business on to the Front Page of Google takes specialized knowledge and skill. We would recommend that you use the services of a Specialist Internet Marketing Consultant. Check out SolutionsToMarketingOnline.com.

These three business strategies for small business are simple to implement and will certainly help you grow your business.

Paul Dwyer is a business consultant in Brisbane. Paul helps business owners solve problems within their business by providing proven strategies they can implement to get more clients, make more sales and put more money in the bank.

For more information and advice you can contact Paul Dwyer through his website.

Visit:

http://www.97businesssecrets.com

 

 

An Effective Business Strategy is A Must For A Company’s Progress

Sound Business strategy forms the basis of every successful business. It constitutes of a business plan that is further made up of company’s vision and mission, corporate strategy, goals and objectives. Though formulating strategies is far bigger than defining vision or making forecasts or planning, so it may not be the prime recipe for the success of a business but without their formulation businesses are likely to fail.  A sound business strategy must consist of the following:

It must serve to be the framework for securing support as well as approval.

Business strategy must also work as the basis of detailed planning.

It must also help in benchmarking as well as in monitoring the performance.

Business strategy must not be in any case mixed with the business plan. A business strategy is likely for a shorter span of time, whereas business plans are defined for the time span of three to five years.

Business strategies are the rules, regulations as well as policies that help in the accomplishment of mission, goals and objectives. The use of effective business strategies also help in the realization of company’s vision. Business strategies are thus the set of various plans that are knit together and all the strategies when formulated with regards to the business needs help in the accomplishment of their goals. The business strategies are timely reviewed and are changed in accordance to the needs. SWOT analysis must be done and the strategies must be changed or up-graded in accordance to the company needs. It will not assure overall success of the business but will surely help to combat some failures.

For more details on Business strategy

Visit: http://www.phalanxgroup.com.au/Services/Business-Development-Strategy-Planning.aspx

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