Memorable marketing solutions exclusively for small businesses in Buckinghamshire, Berkshire and Oxfordshire    April 2007

 

 

 

What happened to my dream?

I 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 ...

Choose your customers, don't let them choose you

A 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 customers.

The 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. 

Just say no

It may 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 criteria. 

Fortune 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.

Memorable marketing

Thinking 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 benefit.

 

Marketing Mix

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 market.

Written by the Chartered Institute of Marketing as part of their ‘10 Minute’ series, this document makes easy reading for business people of all experience levels.

 

Marketing Effectiveness Assessment

A 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 cost.

Download the factsheet now.

 

Useful Links ...

Adduce Marketing

Chartered Institute of Marketing

Marketing UK (information portal)