Marketing a Small Business: Just Stop and Think
Does the thought of a marketing plan make you feel excited and energised?
Many small business owners fight the idea of working to set plans or marketing strategies which feel contrived, and prefer to keep their marketing "natural".
But if you need more clients what do you do?
A first reaction is often to take some action but unfortunately you might end up with the wrong client, or the wrong deal. This can result in activity which could even set your business back. A better response is to stop and think which will help you gain a clarification clarity to make it easier for the right prospects to buy from you.
Even if you do not have a plan and hit a problem, there is often a temptation to just keep on doing what you were doing. In fact it can be difficult to take the foot off the brake and stop and think. Even when that wonderful golden opportunity – low hanging fruit – falls right into your hand it can be important to stop and think to make the most of it. There may be a chance to try things a new way, from your presentation or PR, to the type of target market or new partners you really want.
Regular space to step back and think about the big picture helps you to avoid getting off track. That big single client, for example, who looks like the perfect solution, might tie up too many resources. To build your business effectively it might be better to go out and target one market niche, and aim to pull in 5 smaller clients.
When you take the time to stop and think, talk in everyday language. Business jargon or code often makes it harder to see what is real in your business. There are only three things that matter: Them, You and It.
Stop and think about:
Think about your clients. Who do you like to work with, what kinds of problems do you enjoy solving for them? What do they value about you, and what do they really gain from working with you?
Whether you are the boss or an employee, your story and your approach is what your clients will "buy". Do not leave yourself out of your business. Think about how you got to be the person you are, and what is important to you about what you do.
This exchange of skill for money is the link between you. How much does your product and service range reflect what you and your customers really want?
How do relate these three elements emerge once you have the main pieces in place. Taking the time to get away from the day to day pressure is a great help for freeing up your ideas. Many people discover they have had breakthrough thoughts immediately on waking, or after a car journey or a walk in nature. It is often when you are relaxed that the ideas and insights appear. Do not rush the process.
Another great catalyst is a person who is not deeply involved in what you do. He or she can challenge your assumptions and make you stop and think. A coach, mentor or business-savvy friend could be the perfect answer. Choose the person wisely and make sure they can encourage any unformed and semi-developed ideas.
The other alternative is to respond to questions through the anonymity of a book or e-course. This can be more freeing than responding or reacting to a real human being. You are still encouraged to think deeply but you gain the absolute clarity and confidence that you are the creator of your business.
The more simple your business is to you, the more confident you walk the path to success.