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Category Archives: customer centric marketing

KickStart Your Small Business in 2014

By | customer centric marketing, Customer experience, Marketing Strategy, Small Business Marketing | No Comments

Is your business sucking the life out of you? What are your goals for 2014 as a small business owner?

There is something about the comfort of an old t-shirt as p.js or a nice pair of warm socks that keeps you turning back for things of comfort. I guess the same can be said for setting goals for your small business. It is comforting to just go with the flow, rather than set some ambitious goals that make you get out of your comfort zone. But without the end game in mind, your small business becomes a job can have you working 80 hours a week and sucking the life out of you.

As Brian Tracey says in his goal setting sessions, “success is goals.”What do you want out of life? What do you want out of your small business? What will make you happy? Seems simple, but most us seem to do what is easy or do what we have always done even if that means our business runs us, instead of us running our business. We put our heads under the doona and hit the snooze button, rather than take the challenge of changing and do that brisk walk when the alarm button goes off in the morning.

For me, to grow my small business and even keep it afloat it is about knowing what are the important questions to ask? It is being able to make the right decisions on a day by day basis that takes me that ideal company I have in your mind. To do this I have to be able to picture that vision with real clarity. Here are some aids I have found that will help you ask those tough questions and set the stage for a great 2014 and a business you want to run. A year that you will look back at and say, “yeah, 2014 was a great year for me and I am getting closer to that vision I have for my company and my life”.

  • Have a vision for where you want to goIs your business sucking the life out of you? What is it would you like your life to look like? John Jantsch Goal Setting Video is a must resource. John has a exercise of describing your business as it is 3, 5 years from now and what does it look like? Goal Setting I find it useful to have a personal vision and a company vision.

 

  • Set some realistic but stretch revenue goals. We all need money to live. We need our small business to provide for us. What do you want your income to be now and in the next 1, 3, 5 years? I do this every revenue setting exercise  every year. I sit down and write an amount that I need and would like to make. Guess what? I come within 5% of  this figure year on year. Each year I try and stretch the figure and each year I reach it. I guess it is because once I have a target I plan my plan to support it. I do everything in a purposeful way. As a consultant,I find it useful to set, monthly, weekly and daily targets that sharpen my focus. It is a real measurement for me in terms of how I am tracking . http://freelanceswitch.com/rates/ is a great tool for this purpose. I love Freshbooks.com for time, invoice and estimate tracking. (heaps better than MYOB in my book).

 

  • What do you need to invest in yourself to reach your roles

 “Success is something that you attract, by becoming an attractive person.” As Jim Rohn says “work harder on yourself than you do on your job.” Personal development is an area all about developing skills that will serve you well in growing your business and making better business decisions. An extra skill I have developed digital marketing have served me well. Podcasting and writing has enabled me to reach you. What do you need to be able to make better decisions this year. How can you be the expert in your industry? Invest in yourself.

  • Build a great team around. Zig Ziggler says, “if you can help enough people get what they want then you can probably get what you want.” This give to get mentality is already used in content marketing to great affect. We can no longer interrupt, persuade or buy people’s attention. We need to earn, give and educate to receive it.  Building a great team around me is critical to business success. I spend a lot of time on communicating and sharing with my team so we are all on the same vision with clear goals to get there. I also focus on having fun.
  • Get a Coach or Mentor. The biggest growth I got in one single year was when I took on a lifeline.  A Lifeline concept was introduced to me by Keith Ferrazzi when I read his book, Who’s Got Your Back. This is a person that I could banter with, share ideas, and would be accountable to. As a small business it is easy to feel isolated. Networking groups help but there is nothing like having that person who as got your back.  I am lucky in that I found this person just when I was ready and he has shaped my approach to business. He shares the same value set as me and I respect his opinion. However he has a different approach to me and asks me the tough questions and always has my back. I do the same for him. I remember interviewing Linda Hailey another successful small business marketer and she did this with her competitor. They would have lunch and share information, ideas and learn. Who can you ask to mentor you? Most people will say yes.  It is a must for small businesses.
If you are ready to set some goals for your small business and get ready for a great 2014 book in a session with me!

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Other resources

Brian Tracy – Goal Setting

Vision Mission Values Template

Who’s Got Your Back by Keith Ferrazzi

Your True North Exercise

 

 

Disrupting traditional business models leaves the small business owner in fear. Swim or sink.

By | customer centric marketing | No Comments

Ray Wong latest book Disrupting Digital Business: Create an Authentic Experience in a Peer to Peer Economy is a must read for every SMB. Wong talks of companies no longer selling products or delivering services but are delivering experiences. Uber, Airbnb, now locally office works adding mailing to their service offering, companies are re-inventing the offering to suit the us and creating more offerings and competition in the process.

Over 52% of Forbes business top 500 since 2000 are now gone. Trends Wong identifies are:

  • 1. Businesses are giving away product for services revenue.i.e Airbnb
  • 2.Service based businesses are selling at various packaged price points to deliver different experiences i.e Foxtel or Netflix model
  • 3.There are more experienced based models; i.e Uber
  • 4. Businesses are selling peace of mind i.e. ESurance, Marriott Experience

Ray identifies a few keys to building a disrupting digital business:
  • Wire your organisation for transformational thinking – Make it part of your DNA and have an investment culture and mindset
  • Be relevant and create personal experiences and understand what your customer actually want when they want it.
  • Be authentic and transparent with your staff and customers and keep your promises
  • Be Intention driven and purposeful, predict what will be delightful
  • Network in new ways to co-create and use data to make insightful collaborations and better decisions

Effective Marketing: It’s simple, just be helpful!

By | customer centric marketing, Customer experience, Customer Insight | No Comments

Marketing your business can be really easy. You just need to be helpful. I always thought there was no real skill in being helpful, but maybe being able to think about what your customers want and need during their experience with you is a hard thing for business owners. Those businesses that are putting more energy into thinking like their customers are gaining a competitive advantage and creating or disrupting current markets for significant growth; e.g Uber.

Currently I am on holidays in sunny Gold Coast with my family and have come across a couple of great examples of how you can be helpful and leave a laSlide1sting impression. At the local Coles there was a new guide on the trolley which was a fantastic help for a shopper like me that isn’t familiar with the store layout (every Coles layout is different, right yes we hate that). In the Gold Coast I am sure that they have a lot of holiday shoppers and so adapting the trolley with this guide, a quick overview of how to find exactly what you need in this Coles store was incredibly helpful.

When we checked into our Hotel where we are staying the lovely Kaye gave us a couple of vouchers for cheaper meals at the local RSL and not only was that unexpected but very thoughtful. Today it is so much more about showing that you understand the customer you are serving or trying to serve and less about what you have as a product or service.

nivea-solar-chargerSkincare brand Nivea placed solar panelled chargers in Brazilian magazines. Lucky beach-goers can charge their phone while they sunbathe. There is nothing better than a free iphone recharge when your battery is down to 8%! Recharge Bar chargebarChargebar is a new company that has made a business by providing this service at airports, cafes and shopping centres based on the premise that being able to recharge can really be appreciated by the consumer.

Maybe it is time to map out your customer journey and see how you can provide some more helpful steps in their experience, it might just be the best marketing dollars you have ever spent!

 

What’s in a name?

By | customer centric marketing, Customer Insight, Customer Insight | No Comments

TolunaThis week I have been in a branding workshop with a client and we have been contemplating changing the name of their company. I would love some feedback in this survey question to help us decide. Getting feedback from small business owners that is honest, quick and to the point is so valuable. I would really appreciate your insights! The tool I used is Toluna’s Quick Surveys. It is an awesome tool for canvassing feedback quickly via crowd sourcing.

Feedback on a name

Survey Feedback on a name – urgent!

Expectation setting, do we need to just lead the way?

By | customer centric marketing, Service Marketing, Small Business Marketing | One Comment

Maybe we expect too little and our employees and customers can make the jump? Maybe it is all about setting the expectations with a clear path. In this video Bobbie McFerrin shows how having high expectations is okay as long as you show how to get there. We are all in the trust building business. How do we get that trust? Maybe we need to lead with it.Expectation Setting

I’m the customer and I don’t have to do anything.

By | branding, customer centric marketing, Customer Insight | No Comments

Now it is touted that up to 85% of the buyers journey is done without you, the seller. As the customer I don’t have to do anything.buyers journey

“In fact, the marketer who really understands how the game is played now knows that marketing, and really all business, has been flipped around — the customer is now in control of what they hear, where they hear it and whether or not they choose to engage. They are conducting their own research before making purchases, their ability to talk about your brand has an almost unlimited reach, and as a marketer it’s imperative to understand how your audience wants to engage.” Marketingdrive.com

Here is a great video from Brand Matters about how a brand can be human:

What are you doing to personalise and engage with your customers?

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