It’s been a while since you have received an email from me and during the time-out I have collected a whole new suite of material to share with you. This new information is not your standard “do this, that and the next thing” content, but tips, tricks and techniques we use here to cut through the challenges in the small to medium business space across regional Australia.
You will also see a Q&A at the end (and if you have a specific challenge in your business, send it through and we’ll choose a few to answer)
Let’s start with one of the most common questions I get asked: “Why isn’t my marketing working?”
OK, so you don’t have a formal marketing plan. Frankly, many business owners tell me they would rather clean their toilets than write their plan… apparently we have some pretty clean toilets in the small business world!
Don’t beat yourself up, you’re in good company. Most businesses don’t have a marketing plan. You like to think your marketing is working but it is difficult to measure and you sometimes feel like it simply burns your cash.
But we keep doing the same thing expecting a different outcome right?
Here is the simple 3 STEP process we use to get a great marketing plan which helps to get the work in the door and keep your cash on the way through.
There are 6 key questions to answer:
- WHO are your A-type customers? The answer will give you the clue as to who to market to.
- WHERE are these A-tyes in the highest concentration?
- HOW do they want the information delivered?
- WHAT is the problem your customer is looking to solve?
- WHY would they buy from you? What is your offer?
- WHEN is the best time to speak with your customer and how often?
What does your plan look like? A grid works best… List out 12 months across the top row and a list of key activities down the side column. Then allocate costs per each month/activity. Start with 3-5% of the total sales revenue as your marketing benchmark.
Marketing is Math. When we spend a dollar, we must measure the return it gives us in leads – the right leads. If you cannot measure it, don’t do it. If we don’t get the results from an initiative that we once did, we drop it. “Sorry Yellow Pages, it’s been great but it’s time to move on…”
Most of your competitors don’t have a plan and are playing ‘marketing lotto’. They are wasting their money. On the other hand, your plan will get you the impact you are looking for. It works.
Thanks for reading,
Stuart “more customers” Goodfellow
Your Questions Answered
Here are the answers to a few questions I have received. If you have a question, email me at [email protected]
and get your question answered here.
My Marketing has the Man-Flu
I am a consultant in the allied health care industry. I have a podcast, I am active on fb and I write blogs albeit inconsistently. My marketing doesn’t seem to be getting the traction I need. I am all set up to work globally using tech. I have some traction locally, but it seems not that many people here know me either. I feel like it’s the day of the big race, the gun has gone off, everyone else has bolted down the track and my marketing can’t get out of bed.
Seems like you have the channels to deliver the content. When was the last time you measured what works and what doesn’t? If it is just you, you may be spinning your heels and doing lots or it could be haphazard. Think about a broader strategy, try it for 3 months, then tweak it and add another strategy.
One other idea is that if you want your marketing to hit the ground running, then align yourself with other like -minded non-competing health care professionals. Start in your own postcode, then move to the next one. Help them improve their business and the law of reciprocity will kick in. Have a conversation with them about their business, the problems they face and the people and condition they treat. You will find common ground and you will help each other
Lastly; Conversion. Have you considered that you may be getting enough leads already but its converting the lead into a client that may need addressing? Think about the last 5 A-class customer s you brought on. Unpack the steps it took to help them buy from you. Repack it into a process and follow that.
You’ve got this, Stuart
Having your cake and eating it too
I have a great business but struggle with working out when to bite the bullet and take on another employee. I am in an industry which is reliant on the local foot traffic and tourists from time to time. We have great service standards and just enough staff for our loyal locals, but when the holiday makers come to town we can’t keep up. I hate turning people away but cannot justify having another team member. What do we do?
Welcome to the nuances of regional business ownership. The bottom line here is that you have 2 businesses. The first is your core business with your core local clients. This first business gives you your profit and your wages, and then enough money to pay your team and the other bills. Your second business is for those one-time-customers with holiday spending money.
To keep the doors open make sure your Core Business model (the predictable things you do each day, week and month without fail) works and that you have a plan to save 3 months of expenses and bank them away just-in-case. Look at your current capacity and start to measure efficiency. Is your team generating enough money to cover your profit and expenses? How much is enough? 70% is the goal. Once you hit more than 70% efficiency x 3 months in a row, that is your signal to employ another staff member.
Employ them with enough time to train them up before the tourist come to town and you’ll keep the locals happy as well as cater for the tourists as well.
Here’s to becoming more efficient, Stuart