The Business “Pain”:
Now you’re into a New Year, why not step back and take a critical look at your business strategy?
Fundamentally, make sure you have the “right” offer for the “right” customers and that you’re making enough profit. It’s easy to drift and be outmanoeuvred by the competition. It can be a slow process of attrition that can suddenly catch up dramatically on profitability. Don’t forget your existing customers.
There’s a key distinction in Marketing between the ‘strategic’, and the ‘tactical’. You may be impatient to take action right now by spending money on marketing promotion to find new customers. That’s tactical activity.
However it’s likely to be ineffective and a waste of money if you don’t first have a clear idea of profitable target prospects, and an attractive offer with which to tempt them.
It’s logical for strategy to precede tactics.
Do your homework. Check out what’s really going on in your market and with your competitors. Analyse your management data carefully to establish any significant patterns.
Crucially, gather as much direct feedback as you can from customers and prospects.
The key questions: Who?, What?, When?, Where?, Why?, How? (Many/Much) are fairly self-evident (to focus the mind, consider what questions a friend would insist that they had answers to before making a 5-figure investment in your business?).
It’s particularly important to know why prospects didn’t buy from you, and why previous customers stopped buying.
Make this a regular activity cycle, as part of a continual learning process.
If you need to make changes have a plan. To implement a customer proposition and promise with at least one valuable customer benefit that competitors don’t offer. This then drives promotional activities.
Set clear, realistic expectations with customers and prospects, checking that you can service the demand you create.
If you need help, find someone, a trusted friend or a business coach, who can act as an impartial sounding board and “Devil’s Advocate”.