so, if you prefer flounder over flourish, your quest to succeed, may go overboard.
Many of the small businesses formed ten or twenty years ago, are not as profitable today as they were in the early stage of their business. Unfortunately, many small businesses did not survive.
I always update our marketing planning. I analyze our marketing data from a variety of providers and stay in touch reading blogs, webinars, LinkedIn and a variety of associations. Please share my ideas with your associates or anyone else who’s looking for new marketing ideas.
Today, small business owners and their management team, should review their marketing plan yearly or whatever schedules works for the company to reach their objectives and goals. Since many companies experience a business slow down at certain times of the year, that is a good time for a review and then renewal.
Here are some examples from our history that worked well and helped us flourish.
Look at corporate strength to get you thinking.
- Do you maintain a good personal relationship with your clients?
- Is the overall service high quality and a low incident of errors set your company ahead of its competition?
- If an error does occur, do you bring it to the client’s attention and assume responsibility?
- Thus, has it garnered considerable new business from satisfied clients who leave one employer for another, and take your firm with them?
- How high on the list of corporate strengths is integrity, service, and an eye on your clients’ success?
What are the strengths in your company? Which one(s) need attention.
Corporate Instances of Weaknesses.
- Sales is usually the highest on the list of corporate weaknesses, and one of the most critical issues facing many small businesses every day.
- Although your sales were covered extremely well in previous years, there were a few blips in the past year. A few good people or the top sales person may have left for greener pastures. There’s really no employee on board that can fill their shoes. Some have tried to make a go without replacing them, but that is rarely successful. Best bet: save every resume you get.
- The challenge of locating and hiring a suitable replacement is a conundrum for a lot of firms.
- How likely is it to face another year or two of disappointment with a sales person that “just didn’t perform?”
- One approach would be to locate another similar company –– but probably smaller –– that could be purchased for its equipment and personnel. If you’re lucky, an experienced salesperson comes with the deal, which would be an ideal bonus. Sales in most smaller companies is always a challenge, and acquiring a sales person in this fashion would be a stroke of luck rather than something that could be planned.
- Another corporate weakness is the lack of follow up with clients and prospects. Although your clients get the information they need quickly and professionally, there are no dedicated Customer Service Representatives (CSRs). Staff people can answer questions but CSRs –– good CSRs –– can listen — report, and satisfy. CSR’s can keep a pulse on their clients – when they feel good, and when they are not up to snuff.
- Most small businesses don’t have a well-defined unique selling proposition for how their firm is different from, or better than, its competitors. This is something that can be accomplished easily and in the short term.
- Similarly, the small firm has not created a “brand” for itself.
- Finally, the small business does not have a firm grasp on the local competition in terms of pricing, market share, competitive strategies, and so on. This can be accomplished with a little prying from sales people, CSR’s, and Google.
- Direct competition includes products or services similar in use provided by another company. Many direct competitors have market niches –– either in size of production runs or technology –– that another competitor is simply not able to handle or offer.
- There are some projects that small businesses do not bid or seek actively because of their large size and scope. If this is your company, it is good that you understand your limitations as well as your strengths.
- Small companies wisely hold to what they can do best and, as noted earlier, waits patiently and often secures new clients when competitors miss deadlines and disappoint clients.
- Growth is high on the list of goals. If this is the wish of management what tools have they provided?
- Naturally, one growth strategy would be to acquire one or more other smaller companies. Given the nature of most smaller companies, this could be as much of a blessing to the organization you acquire as it could be to you.
- Finally, there’s nothing like all-out massive action on all fronts to accomplish a bold goal. If that is the goal of the management team from your company, everyone in the company must be extremely competent, energetic, and enthusiastic. The positives surely outweigh the negatives.
I learned early on in my work experience that goals were made to be broken. But without goals, you’ll never know what you miss. Goals are made to drive a person to reach their dreams.
If you not sure of which way to go for the goals, look for a mentor or an association from your industry or the industry you want to be part of. You have nothing to lose but gain a whole lot of good things, such as, a raise or a new job description!
NEXT WEEK: How To Reach A Qualified Target Audience… and motivate them to seek you out!
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