Being in a quandary prevents you from moving forward in developing and marketing your business. When we're in a quandary, we are in a state of perplexity and doubt. We don't know how to move forward to accomplish those things that are crucial to attracting clients and growing our business. One of the first things we need to recognize about being in a quandary is that we are, in fact, in one! There are a number of easy, simple things that you can start doing today to get yourself out of that place of being stuck.
1. Craft a business plan and review it quarterly. A business plan is your strategy for guiding your business towards the success you envision. It is a roadmap. It will serve to guide you from where you are today to where you want to be. It includes important items like defining your business niche and target market, your marketing plan, financial projections, staffing, investments, as well as the benefits and features of your products and services. If you don't have a plan to follow, your chances of achieving success are greatly diminished. Plans remind us of what we are doing and why. They help to keep us on track and provide a benchmark to which we can compare our actual progress.
2. Write down weekly goals and measure your performance. One of the best ways to become unstuck is to write down what we want to accomplish. Several important things happen as a result. First, writing something down makes it more real. You take your ideas that are swimming around in your head and you put pencil to paper and start making them a reality. Second, by writing down your goals, it helps you to become more clear about what you want to accomplish. Fuzzy goals result in fuzzy outcomes. Writing will help you gain more clarity. Finally, by keeping a written record of what you intend to do, you're automatically providing yourself with a handy checklist against which you can measure your performance.
3. Revisit your marketing plan monthly. Your marketing plan, one subset of your overall business plan, is fundamental to your business success. It includes your strategies for selling your product or service. It typically includes a marketing calendar, which lays out your plans week by week and month by month of what you intend to do. Your activities might include placing advertisements, public speaking engagements, publishing articles, teaching seminars or workshops, attending networking events, or publishing a weekly column in a newspaper. Each of these activities needs to be carefully defined, scheduled in your marketing calendar, executed, and measured for effectiveness. It's crucial to track what you are doing to market your business so you can make adjustments along the way - to do more of what works and less of what doesn't work. Revisit and revise your marketing plan monthly.
4. Watch the trends. When you're in business for yourself, there is a lot to be said for "keeping up with the Joneses". As a businessperson it is important to be aware of the trends, the fads, and the current "group think". This information provides valuable input to help you either develop new products or services for your clientele, or to repackage, repurpose, or reposition the ones you currently have. While we might not care for the current trends, the fact is they do influence customer sentiment and what they will buy from you. You need to make sure consumers understand your marketing and that it speaks to them and the current issues they may be facing.
5. Survey your clients. One quick way to get out of a marketing quandary is to survey your clients and find out what they're thinking, what they like, what they don't like, and what they most want. When in doubt, just ask. There are a variety of ways you can survey your clients. You can call them up for an informal chat, you can send them a survey through the mail, or better yet, you can send them an electronic survey, which you can create either for free or for a low fee through a variety of means including www.advancedsurvey.com, www.surveymonkey.com, or www.zoomerang.com. If you need ideas or feedback, there is no better way to get it than through doing a survey.
6. Analyze your clients. Sit back and consider the types of clients that you do business with. Most folks never take the time to do this, yet this simple exercise can yield an abundance of valuable information. Profile your clients. You might even want to make notes on a piece of paper. What is the mix of men to women, what are their ages, their interests, their family profile, their occupations, their hobbies, their income level? This information, alone, can tell you not only the types of clients that you attract, but also you may find some commonalities among these folks. This might help to spark new ideas for products or services to develop. It might even open the door to an opportunity to partner with a client.
7. Keep in touch. Keeping your finger on the pulse of what is happening is one way to avoid being in a marketing quandary. Maintain an awareness of the latest trends and fads, especially the ones that would influence folks in buying your products and services. Network with others so that you can develop new business relationships. Keep in touch with your current clients so that you can continue to cultivate these relationships and build the promise of future referrals. And, interface with your professional colleagues, even those with whom you compete, as you can benefit yourself and your clients by having someone to whom you can refer others. Keeping in touch with colleagues, clients, and everyone in between is the best way to ensure that you have the latest and greatest information by which to steer your business.
8. Don't do it alone. A quick way out of any place of inaction is to get into action. A great way to do that is to find someone else to partner with. A strategic alliance is not only a wonderful opportunity to combine your talents with that of someone else, it's a great way to share ideas from which both of you can benefit. You can accomplish much more and more quickly by working with someone else. You'll also have the added benefit of making new contacts, possibly increasing your own client base if you share that information, and, of course, you'll add to your own professional toolkit. If there is something new you want to learn or do and you don't have the expertise, seek out someone else who might be able to help.
9. Create an R & D team. One of the most common reasons for getting stuck is the lack of input. If you don't have any new input, it's difficult to determine the best course of action when it comes to developing your business. You'll never be at a loss for valuable feedback if you create your very own research and development team. You can easily create an informal group of clients, friends, and colleagues who can give you feedback about current products or services you offer or ones you hope to debut in the future. One of the best ways to determine if your ideas have merit is by asking others about them. By presenting these folks with your ideas, samples or even the actual product or service itself, they'll be able to give you valuable feedback before you commit a significant amount of resources. Companies in every industry make use of R & D teams before committing substantial and expensive resources towards the release of a particular product. You can do exactly the same thing.
10. Learn something new and implement it. New input is sometimes all you need to get yourself going again. Challenge yourself to learn something new - and not just for the sake of learning. Think about something new that you would like to do for your business. Craft a goal around what you would like to do, carefully spelling out the details along with a due date for completion. Writing down this goal will help to make it a reality. Then go out and seek the knowledge you need to make this happen. Consult experts. By learning something new and implementing it in your own business, you'll not only increase your knowledge and value, but you'll be opening your business up to new opportunities. We all need new input to create new output. Learn something new that will make a difference to you personally and professionally.
© Copyright 2004 by Alicia Smith
Alicia Smith, a Coach and Trainer whose specialty is helping people Make Money Now. This article is derived from just one of the 26 lessons contained in her audio program, Marketing Marathon Blunders From A - Z. To learn more about that course and her other products and services, please visit http://www.90DayMarketingMarathon.com or http://www.AliciaSmith.com.You can also email her at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Unable to open RSS Feed $XMLfilename with error HTTP ERROR: 429, exiting
Connecting With Your Clients
Many service professionals tell me that they are uncomfortable with the idea of marketing -- like marketing is a bad word! For some, "marketing" brings up images of telemarketers, aggressive sales people, and feelings of resentment at being invaded. But marketing is really about connecting with your customers.
Direct Mail Response Rate Boosters (12 tips and ideas)
1. Mail to a different listYour list is the most important part of your direct mail campaign.
Marketing - Like a Game of Chess
Have you started thinking about your Valentines Day Promotion yet?It may sound like a strange question on the day before Thanksgiving but it really isn't. When scheduling your promotions it is like a game of chess.
After The Mailing Is Done, What Happens Next?
If you're doing any sort of marketing effort, whether it's getting news coverage or sending a postcard, you must be prepared for what happens next. If you're sending postcards promoting your business, and you have people working for you, tell them that you sent the card.
Why Trying to Get the Appointment Can be a Recipe for Dis-Appoinment
Why Trying to "Get the Appointment" Can be a Recipe for Dis-AppoinmentLast week, this e-mail from Jack arrived in my inbox:To: Ari GalperFrom: JackSubj.: Help! I need to get more appointments Dear Ari,I've just coined a new disease for the medical books,and I'm hoping you can help me cure it.
10 Ways to Get Your Flyers Noticed
An inexpensive way to promote your services is to createvarious flyers and distribute them wherever you go -- pinthem to the bulletin boards at the library, bookstore,handout out at networking events, or playing tennis. Hereare 10 tips on how to get your flyer noticed and remembered.
Writing A Marketing Strategy
It is my belief that if anyone is to suceed in any type of business then the business needs to be marketed to it's target consumers in an effective manner. In order to do this effectively rather than in an ad hoc, probably expensive, manner I propose the construction of a marketing plan.
Marketing Strategies to Put Yourself Out of Business
Want to learn how to lose a billion dollars?Just follow the marketing strategies used by GM, Ford and Daimler Chrysler. Yes, some of the largest corporations in the world are missing some basic tenants of marketing and it's worth taking a look at what they're doing wrong so you don't make the same mistakes.
10 Elements Every Direct Mail Piece Should Have
Don't want your direct mail to end up in the trash with the rest of the unread mail? Studies show an effective direct mail campaign should draw a .5 to 1 percent response.
Six Essential Principles for Marketing to Women Business Owners
Marketing to women entrepreneurs is not difficult. You just have to follow six easy, but essential, principles.
When Designing Postcards, Aim for Refrigerator Door Mindshare
If you want to design effective marketing postcards, then aim for "Refrigerator Door Mindshare." By this, I mean that you should create a card that someone would be proud to display on his or her refrigerator door.
Time for A Marketing Tune-up
If you have been in business any length of time, I can assure you that habits, not conscious thought, are guiding your marketing actions. Many business people are great optimists, or they probably wouldn't have gotten into the game to begin with.
Website Marketing: 10 Uncommon Bonuses That Will Help Make Your Product Hotly In Demand
Giving away free bonuses is an important website marketing secret that can ignite your sales.1.
Marketing Flat? Is It Your Plan or Your Vision?
60+ hour workweeks, cash flows that constantly keep you up at night, stress and more stress again. Payroll due in two days (where the heck is that going to come from?) Does this sound like your business? Is your business a job with the most fickle, disloyal boss of all.
3 High-Impact Fixes For Your Marketing Woes
How many times has your competitor gotten one over on you? The feeling of being left behind just eats away, until you do something about. The problem is that we often feel that we've got to come up with some grand plan in order to get our business skyrocketing again.
Understanding Survey Software Features
If you take a look at the features that different survey softwares offer, you will quickly realize that understanding all of them is no mean task. But it is very important that you do because only then you can choose the right survey software.
How to Connect Features and Values
"Buy this magazine or we'll shoot the dog," went a memorable cover for the satire magazine National Lampoon many years ago. On the cover, along with the threat, was the picture of an attractive dog with large sad eyes - and a pistol pointed at its head!Want a powerful way to make sure your message leaves an impression on the people who receive it?Talk about the consequences that will occur as a result of following or not following your advice.
Marketing Tips: Free First
When people think about promoting their business, the first thought that comes to mind is, "What is is going to cost?" While marketing and advertising should be part of any well-considered budget, there are a number of opportunities to market your business for free that are often overlooked.Clubs & OrganizationsMost clubs and organizations have some sort of membership directory, either online or in print, sometimes both.
Powerhouse Marketing With Persuasive Postcards
The lowly postcard?it's more than just a "having fun, wish you were here" delivery system. This tiny billboard is actually a powerhouse of a marketing tool with almost unlimited uses.
Fundamental Strategic Marketing Mistakes to Avoid
This is a pretty tough global economy and it is critical for a company to leverage every bit of their marketing resources. So, if this is the case, why are so many companies shooting themselves in the proverbial foot by breaking some of the most fundamental rules of marketing? It's a very simple question with complex answers - here are some of the pitfalls to avoid:1) Believing a second rate web site communicates integrity: So many web sites are just plain funky looking (graphics, text, menus, etc.
|home | site map ||