Archive - March 2021

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Turn Marketing Cost To Marketing Investment
What Is Marketing?
Small Business Time Management
Three Ways To Increase Your Sales
Small Business Leadership

Turn Marketing Cost To Marketing Investment

Often, when I talk to small business owners about the need for them to market their businesses properly, the conversation usually turns to how costly it can be.

People talk about the cost of marketing material, the cost of advertising, the cost of other marketing activities, and if they think to prepare them, the cost of preparing marketing plans.

I prefer to think of expenditure on marketing as an investment rather than a cost, and especially if what you spend leverages into multiple sale volumes.

But this is often difficult to see for a number of reasons:

  • Not many small businesses have focused marketing plans so their marketing activity ends up as a shot in the dark without any significant returns
  • As a result, their marketing is a scatter gun approach so the cost of running marketing activities is not met by significant increases in sales
  • When they do decide to prepare a marketing plan, they hire a consultant, at a significant cost, and the resulting plan is hard to follow because they are not actively engaged in the “advice” given
  • Consultant-prepared marketing plans don’t allow for the business owner to adapt and amend as they roll it out.

What these small business owners (you?) need is a cost-effective way to turn the cost of a marketing plan and its implementation into an investment in finding more sales.

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What Is Marketing?

If I asked you “What is marketing?” you might give me a technical definition or you might describe to me what it is.

But I’m pretty sure that what one person tells me is going to be different from what another small business owner tells me because there is a lot of misunderstanding out there about marketing.

When I ask “How do you market?” the definitions and stories get even worse!

I get answers like:

  • You have to have a great call to action
  • Tell them how awesome you are
  • It’s about closing the sale
  • You just have to be determined (others say it differently “You have to be pushy”
  • Keep asking until they run out of excuses

So, what is it?

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Small Business Time Management

One thing all owners of small businesses say is “I don’t have enough time.”

Interesting, because we can have different balances in our bank account, we can afford to hire different numbers of people, we have different tax bills, we can have different equipment in the business.

But I’m pretty certain one of the things we all have equally is time.

Look at the clock.

Mine has the numbers 1 to 12 and I’m pretty certain yours does too.

So why do some of us struggle to get things done and others seem to fit everything in easily?

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Three Ways To Increase Your Sales

Have you ever set yourself a bold and challenging sales target for next year, and then in the cold light of day looked at the required increase and got the sweats?

If you have, like me in the past, you would have “reconsidered” and scaled it back a bit to a more “realistic” level.

Well, if you have, then I’m here to tell you that you can break that challenging sales target into three components that, when looked at individually, may not look that hard at all!

What are these three ways to increase your sales without scaring the pants off you?

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Small Business Leadership

As I was tidying some old files and briefcases in my home office, I came across an old notebook that I used to carry around with me all the time (see the cover image of this post).

What was interesting is that I found some notes about leadership that I was penning in 1993 – quite a few years ago!

I remember that at the time, I had just started my business 2 years before, after working in large international accounting firms for the previous 9 years, so I was keen to develop the culture of my own firm in a way that would differentiate it from other small accounting firms.

I had attended Business Schools in the US as part of my employment with the large accounting firm I was with and some of these notes came from a book called The Leadership Challenge by Kouzes and Posner.

I thought it would be interesting to provide my notes about Leadership from 1993 and see how much I had changed in my thinking.

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