By Jennifer Myers, MBA
How many times have you thought to yourself –
“I’d really love to start a proper marketing campaign, but I just don’t have the money right now. When things pick up a bit I’ll look at it.”
I’ve always been befuddled by this concept because the SLOW times are exactly when you SHOULD be marketing your business and getting out there! When business “picks up” and you’re in your busy season, yes – you may have more cash flow to work with, but you won’t have the time to sort out what marketing activity to undertake. You’ll inevitably end up back in the same place the next time it slows down with not enough money to do anything but plenty of time on your hands.
“So, Jen – what’s the solution?” you ask. The first step to begin to even out those peaks and valleys in your business is to recognize that you need to be in front of your prospects all year long. Peter Drucker (a classic) once said, “The purpose of a business is to generate customers. Therefore, business has only two functions – marketing and innovation.”
The key to being ‘out there’ in the marketplace all year long is to recognize that it will be an investment – something that should be budgeted into your financial picture each year. Marketing is the farthest thing from an expense – IF it is effective. It is absolutely an investment in your future viability as a going concern. Too many people think of marketing as a ‘cost’ and it can be, if it is done in a haphazard way with no forethought or systems in place to measure your results!
Starting with a sensible marketing plan of action that includes BOTH online and offline activities is key. Don’t ‘wing it’! And don’t rely solely on social media to drive your business. Facebook is NOT a marketing plan. Yes, having an online presence is absolutely vital in today’s world, but a robust marketing plan contains activities like networking, advertising, direct mail and forming alliance partnerships with complementary businesses. Find an advertising vendor you can really partner with, who has your results and best interests at heart. Someone who will prompt you to change your message every so often so it doesn’t get stale. Someone who will understand WHO you want to reach and will help you get visible to exactly those people! Engage with prospects face to face at a good quality networking event. Try doing a mail drop (put a tracking code on it!) to reach the folks in a certain targeted area. A sensible plan looks a bit different for each business, but the concept remains the same – you must be SEEN to be successful.
*Jennifer Myers is a Business Coach, Trainer and Keynote Speaker whose mission in life is to positively impact as many people as she possibly can through her work. You can learn more about her at http://www.JenniferMyers.co.nz