Sunday, February 15, 2009

Are Your Ears Burning?

You have a business and things are kind of okay but employees are nervous and so are you. You wonder how you can streamline and get your "back burner" marketing plan back up to the front.
  1. You're not sure if your systems are working anymore.
  2. You finally admit to 'yourself and another person' that you may not be reading your P&L correctly.(!)
  3. You've stopped having regular Company/Employee meetings.
  4. You wonder how your physical space is working or not working for you
  5. Since when did your marketing plan end up on the back burner???
Are your ears burning? Well, they should be! Give 'em something to talk about!
This post is coming on a day when I am particularly fired up about this. (Puns everywhere folks)
For those of you who know my other blog, you know that I'm trying to mix things up in the marketing department right now.

A marketing plan is the thing that needs to being going on, no matter what. One of the biggest downfalls in the business world is when you get busy, you concentrate on doing the work at hand and stop focusing on getting new work. If you're really busy and pulling in the dough, go hire someone to bring in even more. If it's slow, step out of crisis mode and do it yourself with a little help from, ummm, you know....a mentor.

Many of you know about this blog because of Twitter. I've already spoken about that in a previous post, so I won't go there now. What I will say is that people like to buy goods and services from people they know because they want to be assured of the content and quality. Yes, perhaps if you are selling electronics you are going to be dealing with competition of the big-box stores. But, that brings us back to the original point. Personal contact.

Marketing is a lot of things:
  • Connecting with people and networking in your social life
  • Being connected through social media online
  • Having promotions for new customers/clients
  • Giving incentives to your existing clients to bring you new business
  • Offering your products or services to those in need.
  • Sponsoring Charity events
  • Going to trade shows and (sharing space if you can't afford the whole thing yourself.)
Notice I didn't list advertising? I have serious doubts about advertising right now. It used to mean putting an ad in a newspaper of magazine. It's a much broader concept right now that includes all of the above. At a time when money is tight, it's my opinion that an outlay of big bucks for print advertising should not be taken lightly. 'Nuf said.

This is not directly under the heading of "marketing", but I think it's really important to all business owners: You and your image is The Company.

You cannot afford "bad press" because of small quibbles. You cannot afford to mis-speak in any big way through social media. If you are having a "bad day" do NOT put it out there on the internet. Be real, but step back from the computer or client contact in moments when you know you're not at your best. When you're feeling down about your business and you're about to do some marketing, find a way to get excited. If you're not, no one else will.

One last comment on Networking and putting yourself out there:
The best way to get is to give.

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