As the recession deepens, many are considering starting their own business.
The two most important aspects of business are producing a product and getting it front of customer that want to buy it. Most entrepreneurs are engineers or producers (including myself) by nature and are more likely to be able to produce a product then to be able to marketing it.
This new book by Shirley is full of ideas to help get you thinking and lead you to create a complete marketing plan.
Shirley starts off the first chapter addressing the need for a marketing plan, she writes;
“Most home-based and small business owners want to leapfrog this process and simply start the business. Neglecting to put your marketing plan on paper, however, is a misstep that has caused chaos and catastrophes for business owners. Some survive, and other promptly go out of business”
The rest of the chapter has some great marketing plan examples to get you thinking about how to create you own marketing plan.
In the next chapter, Shirley talks about the importance of networking.
“Networking is about making connections, finding common ground, and sharing information that propels the success of both parties.”
This is where you need you business card to give to people that you connect with. There are all kinds of places to network with people interested in your product. Start with trade shows, luncheons, conventions, suppliers even having breakfast with a customer is a great way to talk about your product with people that have a genuine interest.
The rest of the book is full of great ideas about how to use different medium, like the Internet, Newspapers, Magazines, Radio, Billboards, etc. Determining which one to use highly depends on the industry, product or service that you have to sell. They all have their usefulness.
The challenge is to first figure out which medium will be the most effective for your business and second to create the message that most effectively communicates what you are selling.
When starting a new business, marketing can look like something that just too hard to do, yet it is vital that you take the time and figure it out. Marketing is really not that hard, it just takes some time to figure out what works best for you.
Shirley’s book is great to get you started thinking about how to market your business.
My Ideas about Marketing
In my experience as a producer minded person with little desire to spend a lot of time on marketing, I have found these three things to be most important.
- Focus the majority of your marketing budget on the medium that you feel will return the most investment – and forget the rest. You may be temped to throw money at a marketing agency to sprinkle your ads around many different mediums. But, I have found that it is much better to spend all your money on the medium that is most likely to increase your sales and forget the rest. Once you figure this out, you will also realize that you can do it yourself.
- Always make a rational decision. Don’t just throw money around and hope some of it will bring in customers. Always calculate your potential return on investment with this simple formula; Result = increase in sales = (estimated revenue per customer X estimated new customers) - cost of marketing.
- Personal sales will always be very important with small business. The cheapest and perhaps the most efficient way to make a sale is to personally tell as many people as you can about your product. It’s always easier to spend money on marketing ads, but usually never as effective.
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