What Would it Take To Rebuild your Small Business Marketing?
By: Charlie Cook
A week ago, Allen arrived at our home, here in Connecticut, with all his
worldly possessions; his laptop, a few law books, and a couple of changes
of clothes. He'd just completed his first week at Tulane Law School before
being forced to leave his home in New Orleans in advance of Hurricane Katrina.
With the university closed, he's trying to turn the disruption in his life
into an opportunity to get more job experience. He was lucky, I know; so
many have suffered and lost so much more. But helping him make a fresh
start made me think about rebuilding careers and businesses.
If a storm or a fire ruined your business, what would it take to start
attracting clients and generating a positive c.ash flow? You would want the
following three essential elements of your marketing to get your business
up and running and making money quickly.
You'd want a clear idea of which of your products or services you wanted to
focus on. To get your business up and running as quickly as possible, you
would focus your efforts on your most profitable ventures first. You'd want
to set goals for the first three months and the next twelve months.
One of the biggest mistakes that business owners make is in not setting
sales goals, even when they're not faced with a disaster. Without a clear
idea of the target you're aiming at I can promise you you won't reach it.
If you set specific goals for your business and write them down you'll be
twenty times more likely to hit your revenue targets.
One of my clients doubled her sales simply by writing down her goals. Why
does this make so much of a difference?
Because each time you write down a goal, whether it's for lead generation,
web site traffic, response rates to mailings or monthly s.ales, you have
set yourself a target or a destination. Knowing where you want to go gets
you halfway there.
2. Your Business Network
After a disaster you'd be short of cash and would need to ramp up sales
quickly. You wouldn't have time to spend months building your brand name.
You'd want to tap your database of existing clients and prospects. Assuming
you'd managed to bring your computer or at least your backup hard drive
with you, you could be back in contact with your client base and prospects
One management consulting firm I worked with had dozens of satisfied
clients and couldn't understand why they were having such a hard time
growing their business. They'd done work for hundreds of clients and been
in touch with thousands of prospects over the years, but they lacked a
centralized database and a way to stay in touch with these people on a
regular basis. And in most cases, they'd lost touch with past clients and
Once I showed them how to organize their marketing communication, they
started bringing in as much new business as they could handle. People buy
from providers they know and trust. If you have a large database of people
who know how you can help them, it's easy to tap it to generate profits.
Set up a lead generation system that builds a database of people who want
to hear from you. When you want to jumpstart your sales, you'll have
qualified prospects that want to buy from you.
3. A Reason For Your Prospects to Buy
Whether you're restarting after a hurricane or you just want to get people
lining up at your door for your products and services, they won't buy from
you unless they have a reason.
Sounds obvious. But many small business owners forget this basic marketing
fact. Everyday I talk to entrepreneurs and even marketing professionals who
are making the same mistake; despite having a great product or service,
they are marketing their company name or a generic name for their services
instead of the unique solution they provide.
You see this everywhere, from yellow page ads to web sites. Companies lead
with information about themselves instead of zeroing in on the reason
prospects should pay attention and buy from them. Which company would you
choose, the one that is focused on their name and long-winded descriptions
of their credentials, or the one that is focused on how they can help you
get what you want?
Your prospects make decisions the same way. To attract lots of customers
quickly, give your prospects a reason to buy.
If these three are the things you'd focus on after a disaster, aren't they
Like Allen you could be using this opportunity to rethink your business and
refocus your marketing to achieve success. When you put the above three
marketing elements together you'll not only be prepared for recovering from
a disaster, you'll get all the clients you can handle.
2005 © In Mind Communications, LLC. All rights reserved.
The author, Charlie Cook, helps service professionals and small business owners attract more clients and be more successful. Sign up for the FrŽe Marketing Plan eBook, '7 Steps to get more clients and grow your business' at http://www.marketingforsuccess.com