Are You Preventing Growth in Your Own Business?

JayneThis blog has been written by a guest blogger Jayne Reid, MD of Encompass Marketing. Jayne  is an experienced and inspiring marketing specialist, working at Board level across a wide variety of business sectors, in both short term and interim capacities. She’s passionate about working with businesses to help them develop their marketing and sales strategies – discovering what their clients really want and how to then market to them – profitably!

 

You want growth, right? You may even want outrageous, jaw-dropping growth.When I ask business owners what is stopping them from growing, I often receive similar responses.

The most common reasons business owners offer are:

  • I don’t have the right people around me to help me grow
  • I have tried lots of things before and it’s never worked
  • I don’t know where to start
  • I have loads of ideas but don’t know which will work
  • My competitors are too aggressive in my marketplace
  • I don’t know anything about online tools or social media
  • I only want leads that will turn into profitable business
  • I will spend lots of money as long as the return is guaranteed
  • I have no money to spend on marketing
  • Sales people are a nightmare to manage

The last point may well be true in lots of instances – and that’s a vast blog topic in its own right! The others, however, are just you capping off your own growth. They can, and should, all be tackled with a dynamic Sales & Marketing Plan. A well-thought-out, innovative, structured plan will help you identify your best targets, understand their buying drivers and learn what communication messages they will respond to.

You can then sit back and wait for the response, having implemented a programme of testing and measuring that allows you to determine the most relevant key messages which prompt your targets to enquire or take action. Contrary to popular belief, all marketing can be measured. Little by little, you can build a portfolio of guaranteed lead generators and orders; but it takes time and effort.

The question remains: how do you know how to communicate with them? My teacher in franchise sales school told us boldly on day one: “There are 101 ways to promote your business. Pick five, and do them really well.” Startling but brilliant advice, as I realised that there is no right or wrong way to get your message across – it all starts with just getting it across!

Plant growing from a bunch of dollar cent coins

One of my personal favourite routes to market is LinkedIn – I do all my business development on this platform as I can target individuals and join relevant groups where my targets are active. It’s also free, as most businesses do not need to use the premium option.

Other options may include:

  • Pay-Per-Click campaigns (PPC), which allows you to tap into prospects searching for your products or services and eliminate your competition;
  • Direct mail, which is very much back in vogue and boasting high response rates
  • Email marketing, an image-driven option very appealing to visual learners;
  • Text marketing, which is currently offering the highest response rates in consumer marketing of all at the moment;
  • Networking, involving organisations such as www.iod.com, which are still hugely effective in forging new relationships;
  • Telesales, something which can be very effective when you have the proposition just right;
  • A loyalty or referral scheme, which turns your current clients into your new salesforce and marketing ambassadors.

The market research phase of developing your strategy will show you where your targets are active, and show you which would be the best techniques to try first. Unlock your growth potential means getting your head around the test and measure concept – the more you do, the faster you will discover what works for your business. Your plan should not be a weighty volume. It should be a maximum of four pages of insight, analysis, research results, ideas from your team, agreed priorities, KPIs and measurement criteria.

It should look and feel like an action plan. It’s your way out of preventing growth in your own business.

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