Successful Ways to Market Your Small Business

One of the most vital steps for a small business is to put together an integrated marketing plan. It is often times referred to as Integrated Marketing Communications, or IMC. IMC is an integration of advertising, PR, social media and other communications into a cohesive whole all sharing the same unified message.

Instead of dividing marketing communications into separate groups that don’t communicate, businesses succeed by integrating marketing disciplines under one umbrella, and integrating them so as to communicate the one message and have them share the same strategy. One of the most famous examples of IMC is the Nike footwear company. Their integrated approach includes traditional advertising (billboard, magazine, and television); sponsoring sporting events and players such as the Superbowl and Tiger Woods; and engaging in online marketing initiatives by allowing consumers to customize their Nike shoes.

The key to creating a successful IMC campaign is to communicate effectively with your businesses’ prospective customer. In order to communicate effectively you need to understand who your customer is and hit on every possible touch point in this prospective customer using a variety of marketing disciplines. No one advertisement or press release will do this. You need an integrated strategy.

But what are your customers ‘touch points’? Take some time out to think about your market. Only a certain percentage of the population is ever likely to purchase your product or service. If you gear your marketing strategy toward this niche you will be more productive and save both time and money. As you are no doubt aware there are substantial differences between small and large businesses. One of these differences is that for most small businesses their marketing budget is limited. But does this mean a small business can’t compete with the larger organisations? Absolutely not. All this means is that small businesses have to be more creative.

One way to make the most out of your marketing as a small business is by tracking your marketing campaigns so as to gauge its relative effectiveness. You can do this by coding ads, using multiple tollfree numbers and asking prospective clients where they heard about you. If your strategy is not working this allows you to swiftly replace it or adopt a better or more suitable method.

A good way of keeping your strategy on track is to hold yourself accountable for contacting and tracking a certain number of customers per day. This figure is entirely up to you. The more ambitious you are, the more you will see your company grow.

Another important area to look at is all of the inactive client files you have in your database. Remember it is easier to sell to a person who has dealt with your company previously. They know and trust that your company will provide the service they are looking for. When marketing it is also important to bear in mind the 80/20 rule: 80% of your business will stem from only 20% of your customers. That is why it is important to focus on that 20%… what is that 20% looking for and how can you cater to their needs?

Never assume that if you provide a service once for a customer they will return of their own accord. Look at the old files in your database and ask yourself “Why have I never heard back from them?”

Analyse the potential reasons. Was the pricing too high? Did they have an unresolved complaint? Did they feel your business didn’t care? This can assist you in your marketing strategy and also help you grow and improve your customer relations. If you take on board any of the points mentioned in this newsletter you can guarantee an increase in your profit in no time at all. In an area with only a small pool of clients you need to be aggressive in following through on a solid IMC and keeping your existing clients satisfied. All it takes is a little bit of effort and your profit will double overnight. It’s that simple!

Never Forget the Why

Often times, through our working lives, we get busy – too busy to stop sometimes and wonder why is it that we do what we do?

This approach when trying to make the shift to working from home simply doesn’t work.

Yes, have a sense of urgency. Work hard. Do good work and enjoy what your doing. But don’t ever, ever become a slave to it. You are now a master of your own time.

When you realise that for many years you were so focused on achieving outcomes for others and meeting budgets, goals and weekly or monthly targets, it’s not unlikely that through that process you became used to living this way and moreover feeling like you were expected to live that way.

Time is the only thing that ultimately does not change. We all have the same amount of it. We can’t make it go any faster or slower – sure it can feel that way, but in a measurable sense, there is nothing quite so defining as time.
So now working at home, you have no one to report to other than yourself – that’s going to feel kind of weird for a time… So, what you do with your time is entirely up to you.

Myself, I learnt the lesson the hard way by beavering away learning, trying, failing, trying again, learn something else etc etc for way over a year before I realised – hang on – I’m the boss, why am I working more hours now than when I was on a salary?

Now my approach is a lot different – having been an intergral part of MS Outlook (and whatever it’s predessor was!) for well over ten years, my days were highly structured. 8.30-9.00 – 12.30-13.30 – etc etc blocks of time allocated to specific tasks. Bugger that.

Now I have streams.

I do “streams” of activity when I’m in the mood and have the right energy that works best for that activity.
Moreover, I divide my life into three simple “sections” if you like.

  • Things I must do.
  • Things I should do.
  • Things I could do.

On my “Must Do” list for instance (and I like to keep each list in itself simple with only usually no more than six things) I have items such as “Exercise every day”, “Eat Well” and only 4 other things that I know are key to my success.

I’m big on health and self preservation balanced with good time, fun and risk!
Your list should contain the things that you know at your very core – you need to be doing to be your best, whatever those things are to you.

Things on the Should Do list include the projects that I am currently working on – of which I have 5 currently, 4 of which are projects to help others build significant online businesses and creating financial freedom for others. Stuff that really does need to get done and hence has the majority of my working time, when I am working.

Things I Could Do – is where I list my ideas, future projects, things I do need to research, understand, read more about and basically do due diligence on. This way I can do them, and do so guilt free, but dedicate a smaller amount of time to them- I usually due this stuff in the evenings (instead of TV – and maybe whilst enjoying a really nice glass of red 🙂 )

By maintaining a very simple approach I’m able to enjoy daylight hours in balancing a good amount of focused outcome orientated time and activity but then give myself time throughout the day also. Time to exercise, time to cook for the family, time to enjoy the garden.

Time is a wonderful when used well.

I trust parts of this article may be of use to someone out there, I’ve been running my own businesses for nearly twenty years now so I’m really very happy to share what I’ve learnt across my journey and if it helps just one person to not make some of the mistakes I made, I’ll be really happy.

Keen to hear from people also if they’d like more advice about changing your mindset and physical approach to operating a successful home or online business – feel free to get my email from my profile, I’d love to hear from you!

How MYOB and CRM Integration Can Maximize Your Business Revenue

In business, you need to be able to determine your customers needs. For well over 20 years, MYOB has been the premier accounting software in Australia. While this is a great program on its own, it doesn’t offer too many features that allow businesses to target their customers needs.

This is where CRM MYOB integration can make all the difference when it comes to your business. CRM software stands for Customer Relationship Management software. While MYOB allows you to see how much you’ve made, where money is being spent, and more. The downfall is that it really doesn’t offer you the ability to effectively manage potential and current customers. By integrating MYOB and CRM software, you have a secret weapon at your disposal.

When it comes to your potential customers, CRM software will pinpoint where they are in the sales process. This will allow you to see exactly where they’re at and the steps you need to take to turn them into a customer. CRM MYOB allows you to see your current customers purchase history as well as the ability to determine what potential products and services you could offer to your customers. This allows you to maintain a long term relationship with your customers. That’s the impact CRM software makes.

MYOB and CRM are great systems to have at your company. Together, you have found a gold mine to maximizing your business revenue. Customers are the life source of any business. Without customers, you have no business. So knowing exactly how to get your sales team to target and process new leads and well as convert those leads into customers will be a high priority. However, you can’t stop there.

You “must” be able to maintain that customer base and build on that with repeat business. You have the products and services to fill your customer’s needs. This is how you elevate your level of success in business. After all, you got into business to generate revenue. Customers are he life blood of any business. With CRM software you can enhance your response to your customers. Excellent customer relationships will take your business to the next level. Yes, it’s that powerful.

Take your company to the next level by taking your MYOB system and combining it with CRM integration. Why be just ordinary when you can become extraordinary?