happened to my dream?
speak to many owner-managers of small businesses who tell me that
they are not running the business that they dreamt of when they
first set up. Yes, they have customers and yes, they are making
profit but they seem to have lost control of their destiny somewhere
along the way. Keeping your dream alive in your small business can
be difficult, here are a few tips ...
your customers, don't let them choose
common complaint is that the business is attracting the 'wrong type'
of customer. Most often they are smaller organisations than
they'd like, spend less frequently and at lower levels than ideal,
yet are highly demanding of management time. The reason for this
situation is often self-evident. In the 'early days' the business
was happy to accept custom from anyone willing to pay. Prices may
have been discounted heavily to win early business and service
levels altered to appeal to smaller than planned
situation may seem irreversible, but with the right approach to
customer acquisition this need not be the case. Go back to
square one and define what the ideal customer is like, in terms of
size, industry, spend profile and so on. Then, with help if
necessary, define the correct mix of marketing tactics that will
specifically attract those customers. You should look at
pricing and service definitions as tools that can make you more
appealing to this new target group. Then kick off
a marketing programme with an adequate budget and clear
criteria for success ... and stick to it.
take time, but eventually the business will start attracting the
'right type' of customers which will dramatically affect
profitability. However, there is always a strong temptation to
continue to accept customers that don't really fit the defined
favours the brave. Saying no to these customers will free up
management time to focus on acquiring the right profile of
customer. Often the commodity that small businesses lack the
most isn't budget, it's management time. Adding more of the 'wrong
type' of customers is just a distraction that leads to lower profits
in the long run. It's hard to say no, but sometimes it's the
only way to success.
and working pragmatically like this will help you to make
your marketing work better for you in a more memorable way.
This means that your target customers will be able to differentiate
your products and services from those of your competitors and
clearly see the value in buying from you.
If you would like some advice on memorable
marketing techniques for your own business, or you know someone
at another business who might need help, then please contact us. The sooner you start, the sooner you will
Download this handy guide which explains how best
to manage the combination of marketing tactics, known as the
mix, in order to improve effectiveness in the
the Chartered Institute of Marketing as part of their ‘10 Minute’
series, this document makes easy reading for business people of all
free service to small businesses in the Buckinghamshire, Berkshire
and Oxfordshire area, the Marketing Effectiveness Assessment
delivers a professional audit of how a business is using the tools
of marketing to communicate to existing and potential customers. It
also includes a series of simple and cost-effective marketing
activities that the business can implement immediately and at low
Download the factsheet now.
Chartered Institute of Marketing
Marketing UK (information portal)