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small business marketing

Kick start your business 2014

By | Business marketing, customer centric marketing, Customer experience, Customer Insight, Service Marketing, 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 go. Is 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 goalsWe 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.Grow purposefully
  • 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! Here are some lessons from SmartInsights.

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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

 

 

Do you have the right sales tools?

By | Sales Process, Service Marketing, Small Business Marketing | No Comments

Sales materials  and tools are designed to help you move prospects forward in the sales process. Each piece should have a specific job: to answer a natural question that the prospect has at a specific point in the process.

Literature and tools are powerful because they can:

  • Carry authority and credibility if very well done
  • Convey your message consistently
  • Convey your brand positioning and value proposition in a memorable and powerful way
  • Increase your efficiency because they are passed along to multiple people within an organization rather than delivered verbally by a salesperson on a one-to-one basis

Tools and literature help convey product information and answer your prospects’ questions. You can use tools and literature to generate new leads. For example, white papers and case studies are very popular tools to offer in email and internet marketing campaigns. Prospects can download them to gain valuable information, and you can capture names and email addresses for further follow up.

What kind of sales literature and tools do you need? Put yourself in the prospect’s shoes and think about the questions and objections you’d have at each stage of the sales process.

 

Here are some examples

 

Sales Tool/Literature Piece  Typical Use 
Company brochureA printed piece – it can be as simple as a one page tri-fold to an elaborate four-color bound piece, or a PDF for delivery via email. When you introduce yourself and your company. People don’t typically read it, but they will probably skim it and expect it. It can be a valuable tool in conveying your brand positioning through visual design and production quality.
WebsiteYour website is an incredibly important sales tool. Some consumers and most businesspeople review a prospective vendor’s website, and many of them make a decision whether to do business with that company based on the website alone.Since a website is typically the most complex sales tool, use 12 – Websites to evaluate your current site if you have one, and then develop requirements based on your needs. Prospects typically look at websites early in the sales process. You can also use your site to generate new prospects through internet marketing efforts.
Product/service data sheetsOne-page sheets with product specifications and photos. To convey detailed or technical product information in a simple format.
White papersA research report that provides news, “best practices,” scenarios, and/or data in an informative, neutral (non-salesy) tone. To educate the market about a problem and potential solution. It isn’t meant to sell the features or benefits of a product or service — it’s meant to quantify a pain and entice the prospect to continue to seek a solution.A valuable white paper is a popular offer for email and internet marketing campaigns — it can be used to generate new leads and nurture existing leads.
Case studiesShow how a client’s problem was solved by your product/service. After a product presentation, shows in detail how a customer benefited from your product/service.
Reference listsA list of current customers, often segmented by industry or division. People typically like to review references either before they start the sales process, or right before they purchase.
Hard copy newsletterProvides valuable information while keeping you top-of-mind. Typically 11×18 folded to create four usable pages. To gain more information about their product, service or industry.

 

 

Sales Tool/Literature Piece  Typical Use 
PowerPoint presentation templatePowerPoint is an electronic slideshow software by Microsoft. It’s used to provide visuals during a presentation. Viewing during a presentation and potentially a handout, but rarely as a piece of standalone literature.
Product demoPhysically showing how the product works To show how the product/service works.
Product sampleGiving the product to the prospect to review/use. For people to feel, test and use the product.
FoldersHold literature and business cards – can be printed to convey ideas, themes or messages. To hold other information, such as a brochure, data sheets and case studies.

 

 

Templates  Typical Use 
Proposal templateStructured delivery of your quote of your product/service delivery and price – provides an opportunity to make another impression when prospect is making the decision to purchase. To review your price for the products/services offered.
Sales letter templatesTemplates of different letters for your salespeople to use during the sales process. To ensure that salespeople are conveying your messaging and to speed up the letter-writing process.
Email templatesSame as sales letters – templates your sales team can use in the sales process. Same as sales letters.

 

 

Interactive Tools Typical Use
Email newsletterDelivered via email, this newsletter will provide answers to questions and links to sites that should help prospects. To gain information and ask questions.

 

Once you’ve generated a list of potential tools & literature, figure out exactly what each piece should accomplish. Then determine the:

  • Literature & tools you need
  • Singular objective of the piece (each piece of literature or each tool should be designed to meet a very specific objective)
  • Step in the sales process where it should be delivered

Here is my list of sales tools

Sales Tools

  • Brochures
  • Corporate overview
  • Press Kit
  • Testimonials
  • Case Studies
  • Style Guide and visual library
  • Business cards
  • Proposal Letter
  • Quote template
  • Packaging of proposal – Folder
  • Competitive report
  • Gartner report
  • Industry stats
  • Project sheets
  • Contract
  • Product information
  • Company Blog
  • Video presentation
  • Slide presentation
  • Ipad presentation
  • Pricing information
  • CRM – data management
  • and forecasting
  • Customer Feedback Survey
  • Partner list
  • Marketing Calendar
  • Value proposition
  • Segmentation and focus on VIPs
  • Thank you letter
  • Thank you Cards
  • Merchandise
  • Gifts
  • Target customer profilingProspecting Lists
  • Social Media
  • Personal Profile – good picture
  • Voicemail message
  • Recommendations (LinkedIn)
  • Car signage
  • Uniform
  • Business card
  • Entertainment allowance
  • Sales training
  • Scripts
  • Overcoming objections
  • Building Trust/ Relationships
  • Touchpoint calendar
  • Online portals
  • Screen sharing
  • Quota and commission structure
Do you have any more to add? Here are 100 content examples to download from the content institute.
If you need help creating great sales tools visit our sales tools page.

It’s time to develop your marketing strategy for 2012

By | Service Marketing | No Comments

We work with you to create a marketing plan that attracts the right customers to your small business on an ongoing basis. An ad-hock approach doesn’t work and wastes time and money.

If you marketing approach that will work with your business, is easy to implement and doesn’t cost the earth.

Ready to get started? Remember with out a marketing plan you are unlikely to be able to consistently bring in new leads to your small business. 

Book a consultation session today.

 

Download a small business marketing planning session as a pdf
Make an enquiry

 

 

 

Run off your feet and don’t know where to start with marketing your business?

By | Service Marketing | No Comments

Let us make it easy for you with a practical 1:1 marketing coaching session designed for small businesses. For more information fill out the form below and let’s get started on giving you control over the growth of your small business.

For a small fee of $250 we will give you a plan that will improve your marketing immediately. Fill out the form below and lets get going.
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Okay, so referrals as got you business so far, now what?

By | Service Marketing | No Comments

The Simple Marketing System

After working in marketing for the last 20 years we discoved that you really need a systematic approach. Our approach is called the The Simple Marketing System and it works. It attracts more of the ideal customers to your business so you can have that sales conversation with a prospect that needs your service and are ready to buy. We use this system to grow you busy in a reliable consistent way. This system is not designed to create immediate results, although it often does, it is designed as a process of Marketing workshops to ensure we have the right strategy in-place that will produce long term results. It will grow your business.

What is marketing and why bother?

Marketing is creating communication that moves prospective target customer towards having a selling conversation. It is all about creating qualified ideal leads that become ideal customers for your service. It is about building familiarity, liking and trust.

It’s not unusual for established service businesses to have struggled with marketing. Perhaps they do all right; and had some medium success, experimenting with various marketing activities. It’s just that most of these activities haven’t produced very consistent results. Perhaps you’ve generated some new clients here and there. But you still don’t feel you’ve mastered the process of attracting new clients. But underneath, you have thenagging feeling that they could attract more clients, if only you could find a way to market your services more successfully.

 

Overview

Marketing Strategy session – We offer something called a Marketing Strategy Session. The purpose of this session is to see if we can what the possibilities are by improving your marketing and sales process. We talk about your goals, what gets in the way in achieving your going to leave with some solid ideas to improve your business effectiveness immediately. We don’t do these sessions with every business so please fill out this quick survey to see if you qualify for this session. Work with the best marketing consultants in Melbourne.

 

 

 


Start the new financial year with a simple marketing system

By | small business marketing | No Comments

Too many small businesses put marketing in the too hard basket. Worse still they take a passive approach and believe if they just keep doing a good job the referrals will fuel their business growth! When times are good this might just work, but waiting for the phone to ring rarely works.

As a small business consultant I work with many small businesses that for so long have either had a random approach to their marketing effort, where they don’t know what actually worked, or they have gone for the silver bullet and put all their resources into Internet advertising. Neither approach works. The funny thing is a simple organised approach to marketing is the best and most effective and it doesn’t have to cost the earth or be too time consuming.

I have developed an online free system for small businesses to get a jump-start on their marketing for the next financial year. This system I am happy to give away for a limited time to help me gather feedback before I make it a paid online resource. As I see it, it is a win-win for both parties. The small business owner gets some tools, templates and resources to help create a simple marketing approach and I get feedback on how to make the system even more effective. Go to The Simple Marketing System to download your free tools today!

Here is one of the models.

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