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Category - Small Business

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1
Market To The Right Customer!
2
Marketing Is All About Helping Your Customers
3
Small Businesses And An Uncertain Future
4
How To Turn Around High Employee Turnover
5
What Is Marketing?

Market To The Right Customer!

Here’s a shocking fact – most small businesses don’t do any marketing!

Hoping for a word-of-mouth referral is not marketing.

Sticking an ad in the classifieds amongst all your competitor’s ads is not marketing.

A sandwich board outside your shop is not marketing.

Marketing is about focusing on what you sell, who you should sell it to, what they like to hear, where they want to hear it from, and how to consistently move them from “interested” to having a “conversation” to being a “buyer”.

Because small businesses who do try to implement some marketing are not focused on this, here’s another shocking fact:

Most are marketing to the wrong customers.

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Marketing Is All About Helping Your Customers

If you have been at the receiving end of a bad car salesman, you would have received an ear-bashing about how good the car is, all the gadgets it contains, how fast (or safely) you can go, and what range of colours you can get it in.

If, on the other hand, you have met a good car salesman, you probably walked away with the car at the end of your meeting.

Why?

Because the good car salesman would have asked about your family and friends, talked about what cars you have owned before, asked about where you live and where you work.

This might sound like friendliness, and might have initially annoyed you (“I’m here to look at a car, not to have a chat!”), but at the end when he showed you the car and suggested how it and its features might fit with your lifestyle, you got to like him or her!

That good salesman knew that he wasn’t there to sell you something but to help you receive a benefit.

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Small Businesses And An Uncertain Future

As small business operators, our world is impacted by uncertainty.

Sometimes, from day to day, we’re not sure of the long-term loyalty of our staff; overhead costs like rents can trend up or down quite quickly; new legislation that we had not expected can change your trading landscape.

Even as we write our annual or other short-term Business Plans, we sometimes feel unready to look too far ahead. While planning for next year may be reasonably reliable, really small businesses rarely write long-term Strategic Plans looking ahead 5 or 10 years because we feel that we are unable to reliably predict the stability of the future.

So what are we to do as small business owners trying to reach a vision of the future in as steady and as planned a direction as we can steer?

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How To Turn Around High Employee Turnover

Employee turnover can be one of the highest costs of any business when you take into account the cost of separation, recruitment, training, loss of knowledge and experience, transitional loss of productivity, and reduced workplace morale.

For a small business, these real and hidden costs can be seriously multiplied. In a small workforce, any small business employer can testify to the fact of how disruptive it can be if a key employee leaves, and it is not false to say that often if they are a popular co-worker, it can lead to further resignations.

In different industries the average “poor” turnover rate can be anything from 13% to 30% – that’s 13 to 30 people out of a hundred who leave your employment every year!

In a small business with a workforce of an average of 9 people, that’s 1 to 3 people leaving the business every year!

On the other hand, a settled workforce brings many benefits including the retention of corporate knowledge – and the fun of going to work!

How do you turn this around?

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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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