Growth. What small business doesn’t want it? More customers, more cash flow, greater market share, and a better lifestyle. What could be better?
But growth is easier said than done, and many small businesses lack the business and marketing savvy to achieve it. Winning the market place involves a number of moving parts, and it gets more complicated each day. Target marketing and the rise of social media and other digital marketing tactics create a blizzard of options and technology that leaves many with the feeling of drinking from a fire hose. You get more on you than in you!
Small Business Growth Strategies – How I Help
Often, business owners will attempt to answer the small business growth strategies questions by focusing first on tactics: direct mail vs email, Facebook vs Twitter, blogging vs. a newsletter, flyers vs newspaper ads, etc. Tactics are fun, and they feel like you are making things happen, which is why so many go there first.
I help focus my clients on what needs to come before decision on tactics and media are ever made, to find successful small business growth strategies.
Answering questions like:
–Who is your ideal customer?
–Can you describe what makes a great customer?
–How many are there, and where are they?
–What do they care about, and how does your product or service help them?
–Why should they do business with you instead of someone else?
–What messages will they respond to and why?
–What media do they use, and why?
–What do they really want from you, and how can you provide it?
Answers to these and other questions help focus the marketing efforts on the right target, those the business can best serve. Not every customer is a good customer, and teaching business owners to narrow their focus is a crucial part of building a solid growth plan.
Small Business Growth Strategies – Abundance vs. Scarcity
There is an important concept here, that of abundance vs. scarcity. The scarcity approach says “there are only so many customers, and I need to get them all! I can’t afford to say no to anyone!” The abundance approach says “there are more than enough prospective customers out there. I want to attract those who will value my service, be loyal, and I am best suited to serve!”
I work with my clients to approach their small business growth plans with an eye towards abundance, helping them better control their business (rather than their business controlling them!)
Defining their ideal target requires a different way of marketing. It creates smaller campaigns with a greater return, because they are not trying to attract everyone.
Small Business Growth Strategies & Marketing
With most small businesses, local influence and word of mouth advertising is crucial. I help my clients identify where they need to be engaged, and who to create strategic alliances with. I teach them how to create a sphere of influence with complementary businesses, to maximize their chances of direct referrals and introductions. Nothing is more powerful in marketing than to have someone who knows you well recommend you to someone they care about! That comes from interaction, affiliation, and a conscious strategy of investing time in relationship building. We all buy from those we like, know and trust. I help my clients become those who are liked, known and trusted by those who are in the best position to generate business opportunities.
The result? Increased exposure, significantly greater positioning for word of mouth referrals, and greater stature in the community.