Spotting marketplace trends that will impact your business in order to develop products and services to address those trends
When the weather is bad, have you ever seen the drivers that continue to drive as though they are riding on dry pavement, thoroughly convinced that nothing will happen to them? Driving through Atlanta on morning as such I saw a car coming up behind me very quickly. In front of me, there were a number of cars spread across the lanes, leaving one lane open. I thought to myself “this guy is crazy,” as the car went flying past me. Unfortunately, the driver had to swerve around a slower moving vehicle, went into a tail spin and ended up crashing into a concrete barrier that divided the highway. Fortunately, the driver wasn’t going so fast as to actually get hurt, but she (as I later learned) ended up being extremely late for wherever she was going. Plus her vehicle was damaged.
Do you run your company like this? Do you continue to operate the same way, day in and day out, regardless of what is going on in the marketplace? Do you find that you are so busy “doing” that you sometimes miss the queues that might suggest to you that you need to make some change or changes in your business? Do you find that fewer people are paying attention to you or purchasing your products and services without any indication of why? Do you find that you are reactive to things that happen in and around your business?
Has it cost you?
Communicating with Your Audience
How many emails, newsletters, phone calls, etc. end up in your inbox that you never have any intention of reading? Not even including the newsletters that you have signed up for, emails from people in your network, etc.? How much does your company contribute to the noise? How much unproductive time and energy are you spending trying to sort through all of the mess in order to be as effective as possible in running your company?
More than likely, your situation is not unique. As business leaders, we need to be committed to measuring how successful our communications are – because that is how people become aware of us in the marketplace – and what that return on investment is. If we are making investments and not receiving a return on it, we are simply wasting resources that could be committed to something else.
How to plan for and monitor your small business growth stages
Much like a child, the growth of a business takes on a relatively predictable pattern of development. And just like a child going through their terrible twos or fearsome fours, each stage of business growth embodies its own unique challenges. Finally, just as a mother must transition from breast-feeding to bottles and from diapers to potty training, businesses must be prepared to transition from one norm to the next and tackle new challenges head-on.
Targeting the right audience for the greatest return on your marketing dollars
One of the biggest challenges many business owners have is – getting more business. While there are a number of factors that play into getting more business, one factor is targeting the right customers.
“Your target market is the group of consumers [those who would purchase your stuff] at which a company aims its products and services.” – Entrepreneur Magazine.
Why target? If you only have one dollar, do you think your marketing activities would have a greater impact if you did 10 different things for a dime each or one thing for the dollar? You could compare this to using a shotgun versus a rifle: the shotgun will most likely hit a target, but with very little impact, where a rifle, aimed properly, will hit the target with a more remarkable impact.
The question then becomes “who is my target market?” and “how do I define them?”
WHY SHOULD A PROSPECT BUY FROM YOU RATHER THAN YOUR COMPETITORS?
As you may know, most product driven web sites or email ads are passed over or deleted without entirely being read. However, there are a few sites and email ads that get read entirely and inevitably make loads of sales.
The following is one of the primary ingredients successful email ads and web sites have that 99% of the failures don’t…U.S.P!
UNIQUE SELLING PROPOSITION (USP)
Your USP is what makes your advertised product offer unique from all the rest. It is, “Why a prospect will take the time to read your ad and buy from you rather than your competitors?”
How to Draw the Crowds to Your Trade Show Booth
For practically any business, large and small alike, tradeshows can prove to be a prime opportunity to increase exposure to targeted consumers; especially for those businesses that are still in the “start-up” phase. While tradeshows can be a truly wonderful experience, they can also be just as scary, conjuring up a barrage of questions. Arguably one of the most common questions to arise from this situation though, is how to effectively draw tradeshow attendees to your booth.
Over the years, the answer to that specific question has changed and adapted to new innovations and cutting-edge technology in the tradeshow community. With each year that goes by, newer and more effective methods of marketing and promotion have emerged through the woodwork. Still though, there are a few basics that a trade show vendor can follow to improve their chances.
Capitalizing on managing your company’s business development activities
Growing any business requires an effective business development strategy. Your company will leverage this strategy to meet its financial and growth goals. While it seems that businesses should grow simply by hard work, predictable and sustainable growth requires a business development strategy to reach specific strategic goals.
If you aren’t using everything in your arsenal to help your market understand why you are uniquely able to help them accomplish their goals, you haven’t done your job. Trying to make a square peg fit into a round hole will leave you questioning why you aren’t getting the business that you feel you deserve, or working harder than you need to in order to get it.