Why Your Business Needs To Ignore Nearly Everything You Have Been Told About Lead Generation – Marketing And Sales In 2018… And Consider Carefully What To Do Next.
Let me tell you some home truths about business in 2018, and just for you I’m also going to cover this. Why Most Forms Of Advertising Are The LEAST Cost Effective Ways Of Getting New Business And Five Very Modern Facts Which If Ignored Will Limit Your Business and Lead Generation.
It’s 2017, lead generation is becoming harder and harder and few small busineses know why.
- It could be that your small businesses are just not up to date.
- It could be that your local business marketing is not working as it once did.
- It could be that creating your local brand is no longer good enough.
- Of course if could be all of those reasons and a lot more.
Running a small business means you need to know what is working and more importantly why, in order for you to fix them when they stop; because stop they will. Maybe not this week or next week, but eventually.
Are You Being Lied To By The Media – Small Business Advertising.
You may have heard that local newspaper ads, Google pay per click or Social media marketing are the solution in order to make your phone ring, or even convinced that a new website, mobile enabled or some other new thing will solve the problem.
Real World Of Lead Generation
None of the above are working as they once were and then again all of them are working to some degree. How about that for some confusion.
The reason I say that; cos it’s true.
People, our customers are stressed out, overly busy, under pressure and with more marketing options now available the key is which multiple approach you should use to market your business because one will no longer be getting the results you want.
Here are few truths about how small businesses are being lied to by the media reps; how the current plans for growing a business using conventional marketing (the stuff that used to work) will no longer work for you – and how, by getting scientific, you can get results you can prove, then tweak to totally overwhelm your competition.
Twenty years ago, getting new customers and growing a business was an easy, straightforward process.
Those days are gone.
The days when you’d call your rep at the local newspaper, and arrange for a 1⁄4-page ad to run every Friday, or you’d get a 30- second spot aired on local radio during rush hour and your phone would start ringing.
Maybe you’d buy a mailing list to reach everyone within two miles of your business, and hit ‘em all with a targeted postcard or mail campaign? Do this and new customers would beat a path to your door in droves!
What Nikki Hobbs said about me ….I have no hesitation in recommending him to anyone looking to increase the success of their business.
These actions are no longer working like they once did – if they are working at all.
The above facts led me to prepare this comprehensive view of the current uncertainties and dangers that threaten to sink businesses like yours, and I have found a whole series of VERY disturbing trends that have been maturing nicely over the last 15 years— these are trends that are gobbling up marketing budgets and providing no return on investment! Just serving to keep you poor.
A few years ago all you needed was a website, then some pay per click, a little bit of social thrown into the mix, all supported by a few emails.
A bit later, you may have added on some search engine optimisation perhaps even tried video or even gone back to networking meetings and presentations.
There’s been an explosion in traditional media and its effectiveness. The explosion has been so big traditional media is now in shreds, no longer fit for purpose.
Furthermore, many scientific studies prove that the Internet and other new technologies have actually rewired people’s brains so they no longer think and behave the way they used to.
The evidence for this is all around – go read The Shallows by Nicholas Carr. According to him (and supported by much science) we have a generation that can find the answer to everything and know nothing about anything.
This means that marketing campaigns that worked for you twenty years ago now fail to bring in a single new customer.
The cost to advertise to new customers has risen steadily, despite the fact that circulation, exposure, and response rates dwindle every year.
You won’t believe how difficult it’s become to engage customers’ attention and keep it.
We have a generation of thirty somethings that can’t sit down to eat without being glued to their phone, waiting for another ‘status update’.
Many small businesses are giving away daily deals supported by a number of coupon firms that just don’t provide enough income to cover the cost of the product or service. Madness.
The shifts that have occurred since 2010 years have changed everything. Nowadays your customers know the price of everything, can compare at the touch of a button and always think you should be doing more, for less, and doing it now.
Want to sell on price – take on Tesco! Indeed Tesco have found themselves beaten at their own game by Asda and Lidl to name a couple of competitors.
Price is not the answer.
Our world is full of choices – unlimited choices and fierce competition. The economy’s still running on petrol vapour, but hey, house prices are up and while the rich are getting richer, traditional businesses are collapsing.
Whatever your local builder can do, we now have an Eastern European Builder who will do it just as well for half the price, and turn up on time. Whatever you want to make – you can now get it made in China for less than 1/3rd it is in Europe. Everything from Dog Kennels to Duck Houses.
One of my clients wanted new Kennels (this was for a residential dog kennels) and was flown to China from Gatwick, shown around the factory, had the drawings done and a quote prepared.
He left a deposit and they appeared 8 weeks later in a container ready to be bolted together. I can tell you this – they are impressive Kennels.
Businesses are struggling, profits are down, the Pound is down household income ’s down, trust levels are down—even the distance people are willing to drive to buy a product or service has decreased.
But you, like a Roman Centurion facing the Celts, you’re still brave enough to lead your business forward in the midst of this perfect storm. Congratulations, it takes a warrior mentality to even think about starting a business in 2015 let alone continue to run one.
Having said that – what are the options? Look for a nice secure job perhaps – get one in local government, most of them are not happy.
Is that what you want? Look at some of the people leaving the local council offices – once their pensions get cut (that’s coming, trust me) where can they go? Most business owners I know would rather die a Wolf rather than be kept as a Poodle.
I would recommend Richard to businesses of all shapes and sizes, but particularly to smaller concerns where the owner / practitioner may be very good at their special subject but lacks the general business / marketing skills and does not have the time and / or inclination to learn. My advice would be – don’t waste your time trying to learn – Richard can fill those gaps with all the skills and experience you will need to grow your business. Judy Sharp – Effective Hypnotherapy
You also need to be smart enough to know that you need help to navigate the battles that lie ahead, those Celts are a mean bunch. Everyone needs help to steer a business so it gains more customers and higher profits than it ever has before.
Even if you don’t want help, you are not going to survive without it. When you fall over in the street and someone rushes over to help, what do you say? “It’s ok, I’m fine.“
That’s the immediate reaction – most of us don’t want to accept help – even if would be really useful.
When a customer walks into your business premises you say… “can I help you?” and they say “no thanks” – because they are the same as you.
No-one wants to accept help, but you really do need it. Growing a business in this new environment is just so complicated it’s not possible for business owners like us to understand it all.
When focusing on your business you need these simple two things.
More customers, despite the competition.
Higher profits, despite the uncertainty.
Let me tell you how the roadmap for growing a business has changed. what has fundamentally shifted in the last twenty years—part of the reason why hundreds of start-ups have vanished in the last ten years.
Don’t allow your business to do the same……
Customers thinking about buying from your business are swimming in a sea of information, and odds are, they’re so easily distracted they’ll never notice you.
And if they don’t notice you, how can you expect them to become customers?
That’s one reason why conventional lead generation isn’t working.
The Lead Generation Problem Is Not Only The Internet.
Before you let some modern-day salesperson tell you they can get your business ranked Number 1 on Google, or you just need to get your name out there. Stop and think for a minute – even if you are ranked top – is that where the buyers are?
STOP! No one gives a damn about where you are in Google anymore! I speak to expert web people every day and they tell me that some Google users automatically go to page 7 when searching because they know the top positions are spoofed.
Importantly Google changes the algorithm every few days (or so it seems) in order to remind you that it’s their business, not yours.
If you are spending hard earned on search engine optimisation – you may start to feel like the average junkie; having to spend more on stuff just to get the same effect. Addiction means you need to change something.
INFORMATION OVERLOAD – Which Way To Turn in 2017?
Do you want to know the BIGGEST reason that dooms to failure nearly every ad campaign? The reason your advertising and marketing efforts are destined to fail? Why the stuff that has traditionally work will no longer work for you. Here it is….
A PERFECT STORM
Information Overload has churned up a perfect storm that’s overturning marketing campaigns as we speak.
Here is some alarming data I’ve found that provides the evidence showing just how ADHD affected our customers are. Some of this stuff is from overseas but don’t for one minute think that it does not apply to you, it does.
According to a Nokia study, users check their smart phones an average of 150 times a day during waking hours. That also includes your staff, think about that.
While sitting at a computer, people change between windows on screen almost 37 times an hour.
Some office workers check their email account(s) between 30 and 40 times each hour.
What about surfing online?
Think about your own browsing style online. Do you go at a leisurely pace?
Nearly 20% of Internet page views last fewer than four seconds, according to researchers from the University of Hamburg, and most people average less than a minute of staying power.
It’s madness – meanwhile, ad revenue at Google increases year on year.
Numerous scientific studies have found that being “always on” and always stimulated has actually rewired people’s brains, and has had an astonishing impact on our ability to focus on what’s in front of us.
A century ago, the attention span of an average person was 20 minutes.
By the year 2000, researchers discovered it had plummeted to just 12 seconds.
Fish are close to having a longer attention span than a human being!
It’s true…a study reported by Associated Press showed that Guppies have an attention span that lasts 9 seconds. Then again, Guppies don’t face the barrage of commercial messaging and media overload that we have.
Have a look at the Facebook interface: it was clean for years, and now it’s full of ads. Google are constantly tweaking the layout of their search results. Once it was the top two positions with ads and now it’s three and four (they are testing five I’m sure).
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How Many Ads?
Just how many ads do we see on average? Back in the 1970s, most warm-blooded, TV-watching people saw about 500 marketing messages in a day, according to one advertising expert.
Today we’re bombarded by advertisements to the tune of 3,000 to 5,000 commercials, banners, pop-ups and jingles every 24 hours!
And out of those thousands and thousands of messages, according to recent studies, we WATCH around 54, and we actually PAY ATTENTION to…drum roll …
…only FOUR of them!
That means of the 5,000 marketing messages people are exposed to in a single day, they pay attention to 8/100th of one percent of them. What are the odds that your business will be among that 8/100th of one percent that is noticed?
For any of you who don’t watch TOWIE (The Only Way Is Essex) on ITV 2 Sunday and Wednesday, the ads now run for whole 5 minutes, and then there are some pop-up ads and then a trailer for another ‘sponsored by’. It’s madness!
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THE STATE OF THE MEDIA
If the short attention spans of people today aren’t enough to make you wonder whether your campaigns will ever catch anyone’s attention, then the statistics confirming the decline of traditional media may leave you scratching your head even more!
But you don’t have to go it alone.
Every year, the Pew Research Center (yup, I know it’s American) puts out its “State of the News Media” report and in 2013, the report was astonishing…, especially if you’re a traditional media business (Newspaper) or someone who advertises in them!
I have quoted this from 2013 not because I couldn’t be bothered to find the update stats (they are here if you want them http://www.journalism.org/2016/06/15/newspapers-fact-sheet/).
Over the past 20 years, the number of people who get newspapers delivered has fallen on average by 30%, and more than 200 major papers have gone out of business. In fact, the Futurist Exploration Network predicts that newspapers, as we now know them, will be EXTINCT in the U.S. in less than 11 years.
Free local newspapers are already virtually extinct in the UK. Mine have lined the Duck House, and stopped my wellies getting the carpet dirty for as long as I can remember, but I have not read one in years, and I am not alone.
Radio and magazines are no better as a means to reach your target audience. Instead of listening to traditional radio that mixes local ads with music or talk, large numbers of listeners now choose online services like Spotify or Pandora…and that number is predicted to double again from 2013 – 2017.
With the BBC Radio app it’s even more likely that large numbers of clients will not listen to your message in between songs.
It is also one the reasons advertising is expensive on the alternative TV channels. You can’t get the BBC to show your ad during Top Gear, but you can on Dave.
Magazines have seen circulation remain flat, and ad sales have yet to make any significant recovery from their cliff-edge fall of 30% drop experienced in 2009.
Further the number of magazines catering for every need – from Boat Building to Fetish Art – means that your choice of publication for that ¼ page is more important than ever.
Perhaps you think digital advertising’s the way to go. My research did find a 70% increase in online advertising from 2010 to 2016. Along with a 450% increase in the cost per click.
The key phrase “Home Insurance on Google Ads” – £21 per click. Mortgage Adviser -£15 per click.
There are a number of reasons for this that I will cover with you in a bit; with the right model and if you know your numbers, then £21 per click can be good value. For the vast majority, however, if you take that route, you’re heading for the poorhouse. Sponsored ads are the things for nightmares for many small businesses and lead generation.
Is online advertising worth the price? Seems not.
A study by Adobe found that people are seven times more likely to pay attention to their dentist than online advertising! Yet online advertising has seen the spend increase exponentially in recent years.
Ad revenue at Google (it’s only reliable source of income) is going up, yet consumers are pretending to ignore it. The fact remains – if you are looking to employ a plumber, solicitor or to book a wedding venue. A Google search is the starting point.
One thing I cover in my formal Business Restart is the numbers thing: know your numbers and everything falls into place. Most businesses don’t.
In the last five years, advertising rates have doubled, tripled and, in some cases, even more than quadrupled, according to TIME magazine. For that much money, you might assume that advertisers are seeing spectacular results…but that’s not the case.
Soaring costs are tied to response rates that have plummeted to one-tenth of what they were five years ago. The cost of acquiring and retaining customers has increased massively over the last 20 years, and is now six to seven times more expensive than it was then.
The clear fact is 90% of your marketing exposure is seen by people who are not even in the market to buy! If you are using some of these mediums.
If the big players are struggling to get and retain consumers’ attention, what strategies will help a business like yours reach the 10% of consumers who want its products or services and are ready to buy now?
The Business Pyramid: Years of research compiled across thousands of industries shows that when consumers are exposed to advertising they are in one of the four mindsets illustrated above.
As a business owner (a Roman soldier fighting the Celts), you should be aware of these warning signs every day, though it’s doubtful that they are very visible.
You need to be changing course and making adjustments based on what is really going on. Those Celts hide a lot and need hunting down. You can’t predict what lies beyond the next corner, as they steam into your compound, knives drawn. Which is why you need to be reviewing constantly.
The fact is, many small businesses are in the ‘Same Thing Different Name Curve.’ This is the second-greatest threat to small businesses I’ve found, and you’d better hold tight if you hope to find your way around it.
Commoditisation (that’s a word you need to understand) happens when supply outpaces demand. Successful products or services are copied and sent to market, and very quickly, shelves are filled with TVs, cameras, paper towels and widgets that all look the same.
Same Thing Different Name
Local directories still list page after page of landscapers, gardeners, pizza delivery firms, plumbers and other artisans…all offering services that sound like they’ll provide a beautiful lawn, a great pizza, dripping tap or leaky roof fixed.
No matter if you’re a one-man band or a team of thousands providing products or services, this curve is evolving into a major test to overcome.
Many times, the only difference between your (small) business and one of those firms with thousands of employees is that they have unlimited resources—resources that number in the millions or billions— that they can put to use and stand out from their competition.
We’ve all seen these big budgets battle it out publicly, trying to differentiate their products from those of their competitors. We’ve watched Microsoft wrestle with other search engines in its TV and print ads that virtually beg viewers to give Bing a go instead of Google. The company made news in 2009 when Ad Age reported that Microsoft planned an $80 million to $100 million campaign to make a grab at some of Google’s search engine business.
Whoops, good job Bill Gates has deep pockets. Did it work? Of course not.
That crusade started ages ago, at least in Internet years. How much do you think Microsoft has since spent in its battle against Google, and how many new users do you think those ads have brought to Bing? Microsoft’s not saying, and nor would it. Suffice it to say that some 80% of global searches are done on Google.
Creating a unique face in a commoditised market is indeed a costly business – and apparently it takes a large helping of mayhem to get consumers to recognise you!
Some of the best ad campaigns in recent years have been singing dogs, dancing horses, cute babies. Of course none of these were accountancy firms but they should have been.
MeerKat’s and Brian the robot are just the latest attempts appearing off and online and on our screens. This is all great branding, and if you have deep pockets you’ll be able to do similar. Meanwhile the only way you can compete is to build a direct marketing approach and put in place systems to cope.
Fact is big guys are struggling to send a message telling us why we should choose their business over that of a competitor, then it’s clear: nearly every business in almost every industry runs the risk of death by commoditisation.
YOUR BUSINESS IS NO EXCEPTION
If what you’re offering is really unique and you feel that it’s safe for the time being…then just go ahead and rest on your laurels. It won’t be long until someone who’s just as ambitious as you used to be catches wind of the opportunity you’re sitting on.
Remember Blockbuster? Now, say hello to Netflix. How long did that take – a couple of years?
If you don’t think commoditisation is a problem for your business, let’s allow Google to settle it. After all, isn’t that how every important decision is settled these days?
Google “car tyres West Sussex ”—or Bing it, if you’re one of the few people Microsoft has convinced to do so—and you’ll get more than 246,000 results about car tyres!
Now clear your search terms, and type in “plumbers West Sussex”…you’ll find over 381,000 results to choose from.
But you’re probably not blown away…at least not yet. We’ve been saving the best search for last. To get a real picture of what your business is up against in terms of commoditisation, type in a few keywords that describe the product or service you provide.
Don’t type in who you are, type in what you do that’s what your customer would look for.
I’ll bet your search results show a whole lot of content & companies—hundreds, thousands, perhaps even millions of firms—trying to snare the very same customers your business deserves. Yeah, there really are that many.
Small Business Lead Generation Used To Be About The Yellow Pages.
Better than that, open up your copy of the Yellow Pages or Thompson Local directory (if you haven’t thrown it straight in the bin). There are still many people advertising in there, and guess what – all of their ads are the same.
They have also moved the same ads online, thanks to the creative geniuses we know as media experts. The ads that were shown in the Yellow Pages and the Thompson Local are now being shown online. Yellow Pages has reinvented itself as a major small business internet market firm.
Good luck if you are thinking of using them.
Go search online for a Plumber or an Accountant.
Their online marketing tells you they are…
Reliable, Professional, Competitive.
Well that’s the minimum requirement sorted.
We are open 9 – 5. Yeah that’s the same hours I work!
Professional and qualified – yeah that’s another minimum standard confirmed.
If you weren’t any of these things you would not be trading.
Watch out, draw your weapons – the Celts are clamoring at the compound walls!
One answer would be something like this:
So how should you differentiate yourself? Here’s an idea.
Accountant in Sussex, www.WeHateTherevenue.com, We Hate The Revenue More Than You Do. Call Today For A Pay Less Session.
I know which one I would phone.
Joking or not, it stands out more than professional.
This is where COMMODITY turns into DEAD BUSINESS. Because it’s no longer good enough to stand out from just one or two of these companies…
You need to have a reason for customers to choose your business instead of ANY of these others. If you don’t, you could be inviting a fatality, or a Zombie business, just hanging in there week after week.
And just because you say your products and services are better than those of your competition—even if they ARE better—that doesn’t mean your potential customers will believe you.
Sadly, they’ve heard it all before and many who said it to them didn’t deliver on the promises – so why should you. Cynical, ADHD-addled consumers.
You’ve got to get beyond merely being “better.” Every company thinks they’re better at something. Better customer service, more durable products…honestly, have you ever heard any company say,
“Don’t buy from us, we are really not that good. Seriously our widgets are not that great?
Can I share with you how many businesses like yours are now swimming with the fishes because they got stuck in a commodity war? Actually I can’t count that high but it’s a lot.
THINK YOU CAN COUNT ON LOYALTY?
I developed a small business loyalty scheme to help small firms hold onto customers, and this kind-of helps solve one part of the problem. At one point loyal customers would help your small business stay afloat during lean years or seasons.
Can’t Help But Blow My Own Trumpet – toot toot. People who work with me get results, look.
Pragmatic, realistic, down to earth, no nonsense common sense.I couldn’t believe my luck! Here I was talking to someone who knew what he was talking about, could cut through the ‘white noise’ and also spoke my language and he understood exactly what I wanted.
Colin Palmer – Independent Financial Adviser
But 37% of customers are “at risk” of switching their business to another provider at any given time. They are all Butterflies and not Bees. (Bees go back to flowers on a regular basis, Butterflies are more fickle).
Think about it for a second: What if you lost more than a third of your current customers?
Would your business grow? How could any business grow?
Trust goes hand-in-hand with loyalty, and commoditisation has surely pulled a trick on consumer trust. In the 1960s, 70% of viewers trusted what they heard during commercials. But a recent Nielson survey revealed that that number has dropped to a mere 14%.
Don’t forget you can get on my email list for further blindingy easy ways to grow your business.
These days, customers won’t even drive to the next post code, as they once did, to make purchases!
Whether it’s higher petrol prices, or the fact there is a chemist, a take away or a supermarket on every other corner…who knows?
Loyalty has given way to convenience and price, at least in part, and it takes a savvy business owner to figure out what methods to use to educate buyers that his or her products or services are worth more of an effort or worth paying higher prices for.
The fact remains, it is five times more effective to sell to and nurture existing customers than to attract new ones.
The New Normal
The new “normal” that businesses face, is that consumers no longer rely on a few trusted sources. With the Internet at their fingertips, they have countless choices. They are not always shopping for the lowest price, even though household incomes have been falling.
Your potential customers have more information than ever before. They read online reviews and follow comments on social media before making decisions. If there’s ever been a problem with one of your products, or if you employ an idiotic or rude delivery driver, it’ll take a long time for you to recover from negative reviews.
Transparency like this is just one more tool in the hands of consumers, guiding them to make purchasing decisions in a “me-too” marketing world that’s increasingly commoditised.
Many business owners forget that the consumers now have access to all of the comparison information they need, when they need it. Salespeople can no longer sit back and wait for orders – it takes a lot of work.
BUT THERE’S GOOD NEWS…
There’s no shortage of customers looking for products and services like yours. But they have micro-attention spans, and frankly they’re having a hard time working out why they should choose to do business with you instead of one of your competitors. This is where your trump card comes into play. You do have one don’t you?
A great book on the subject is by Jack Trout – Amazon, it’s called Differentiate or Die. It’s a brilliant read but not for the faint-hearted. Your customers aren’t as loyal as they once were, but this presents a whopping opportunity for your business.
After all, if 37% of your customers are at risk of switching providers, then the same is true of your competitors’ customers.
That means that almost 40% of all your competitors’ so-called loyal customers might be looking to switch to another provider like your business instead! But, will you take action? It’s D O G eat D O G out there. 3
If you can take their customers it means you can command premium prices, increase your market share, and see profits higher than ever before. Doesn’t it?
In my research, I’ve discovered that there’s only one thing that stands between you and that level of business success.
And that ONE THING, and ONE THING ONLY …. is YOU ! Actually, it’s the fact that there’s only one of you (oh and no matter how many people work in your business, your clients only ever deal with one – you).
When you first dreamed of being an entrepreneur, of running a business on your own, you probably thought about a great product or service, and how you’d change the world by selling it.
You probably didn’t imagine just how much grunt work there’d be. Just how bloody hard it actually is. You were stuck with doing things like finding an office or workshop to rent and fitting it out. Taking care of insurances, employees, and payroll. Paying taxes.
If you have not started yet, I know that you’ll be stuck doing the stuff that’s not glamorous, because I’ve been there too. Managing daily ops isn’t fun, and for entrepreneurs, it can be the kiss of death.
Who wants to handle the paperwork that keeps your business open, and compliance with local or national regulations? Unfortunately, in a small business, that person is probably you.
If you’re lucky, you’ll have enough money to hire some professionals to take care of these things, so you can focus on what you do best: selling your ideas.
But if you’re like most small-business owners, you’ll find yourself planted behind a desk most of the day, interrupted continuously by phone calls and emails.
So here’s one important question to consider: During the day-to-day drudgery of keeping your business alive and thriving, do you have the ideas and resources to ensure that your business stays on course, and the marketing strategies in place to ensure that it grows?
You have products and services that stand head & shoulders above others in your industry. Your competitor’s customers are ready to jump ship and switch to you.
In a study of 500 small businesses by TD Bank, it found that 25% of small businesses weren’t confident of their financial health. No wonder the banks are not lending. If the business owner is not confident…
And, if you think the banks are actually lending you’ll start to sound like a Conservative Front Bencher “ we are lending more money now that was ever lent under the last Labour government.” It’s rubbish.
Have you ever watched Dragons Den to find that business owners have no clue about what end of the accounts make sense? Balance sheet, cash flow, profit. Too often they are clueless.
They don’t know their numbers. Should you be surprised, then, that the banks are not lending?
Anyway here’s a clue – cash flow is what you pay your bills with, it comes from selling stuff at more than it cost you to make.
Cash Flow comes from selling more stuff, you can only sell more stuff if you have new leads coming in and systems for engaging with your existing customers.
One of the first things I do with new customers as part of a Restart Plan is find out what the numbers are.
You Could Do This All Yourself.
And that’s one answer. Reality is this. Richard Branson can’t fly a plane but he does run a really successful airline. The reason it’s a success is because he doesn’t fly the plane, or book the tickets or deal with a vast swage of the day to day operations.
But he does a brilliant job or negotiating joint ventures and comes up with ideas for new products and services – in short he works on the business and not in it.
You can’t do it all yourself, you’d be stupid to think you can.
But if you want…
There’s certainly no shortage of content for you to read, the sheer volume of marketing advice that’s available is staggering. Right now on Amazon, there are tens of thousands of books for sale on the topic of Sales and Marketing (UK). That’s a lot of advice, waiting just a few clicks away.
If you didn’t have a business to run, and found the time to read just one of those books a week, you’d be there for a thousand years or more.
There are 11,000 new books a year published on business (worldwide). There is loads to go on – some 2,000,000 currently on Amazon.com. You could probably call yourself an expert in marketing a few hundred years before finishing them all.
The strategies available to you are virtually endless, but are you certain you have the resources to implement them? Do you have the time to do everything yourself, or enough employees to support your efforts?
Really? Make sure you aren’t overestimating your abilities. Now ask yourself again, and consider carefully:
Do you have the time. not just to pull together a plan, but also to implement your ideas? And if you don’t have the time, do you have enough “boots on the ground” to put your plans in action?
If you needed a website, you could teach yourself to code, and probably build one yourself eventually. Probably not the best use of your time, though.
If you needed legal advice, would you put yourself through a law degree? Of course not!
When you need expert advice, you turn to experts.
Experts like careful accountants. Experts like experienced doctors. Trusted experts like honest mechanics.
If every product and service you sell has been commoditised…
If you haven’t yet found a way to clone yourself…
HOW DO YOU PLAN TO GROW YOUR BUSINESS OVER THE NEXT 5 YEARS?
One key to survival in an environment with unstable economic conditions, increasing costs of services, decreasing profit margins, and a weakening value of money, is to add customers.
I’ve already warned you about the changes that often disrupt the effectiveness of traditional advertising. With that in mind what other methods might you use to grow your business?
Referrals? A lot of small business owners think they can rely on referrals to deliver new customers. Well, guess what? As much as your customers may love you, and promise to tell everyone they know to come to your shop or call you when they need something…you can’t put their good intentions in the bank!
In the same way as a strong balance sheet can’t pay the business rates.
The Harvard Business Review looked at just how effective referrals are as a business development strategy, specifically within the telecommunications and finance sectors. Their findings were nothing short of stunning:
68% of customers said they would make referrals.
Only 14% actually did.
So if your business has 100 customers today and, based on what they tell you, you’re thinking you’ll have 168 customers sometime in the future…I recommend you significantly scale back your expectations.
You might win more customers if you offer the lowest price, but will you be able to turn and sustain a profit? Price wars are dangerous, and as a long-term business strategy, lowering prices is too-often a losing game.
You can buy a cup of coffee for £1…so how do you explain that more than 8 million cups a day are sold at Starbucks at a price that’s 300%-600% higher.
I have just done a quick search, and found a company online that sells tablet computers for £50. Yet Apple has sold more than 80 million iPads since its introduction and at six times the cost.
A perfectly functional leather handbag can be found in the £50-£100 range, but Louis Vuitton has built a multi-billion-dollar business selling bags that go for four and five figures.
In an era of hyper-commoditisation, if you find a way to make your product or service stand out from a crowd—in other words, if you offer something more than just another cup of coffee—you can not only avoid the threat of commoditisation, you can charge a premium, as the examples above show.
I can get a hair cut in Horsham for £10 – or I can go to the Kings Road in Chelsea and pay up to £5k. I’m sure I will get more than a pair of clippers and a number 2 all over in the Kings Road – but is it £4,990 better?
The threats of Information Overload, Commodity Curve and Implementation I have described in this report are very real, but you can overcome them—without spending thousands or millions of pounds.
With some of the modern tools available you can be your own media buyer, you can follow your customers around the internet, run your own daily deals – put yourself in charge.
Whether you’re not growing fast enough and you don’t have enough customers, or you can’t find enough of the right customers, ask yourself this very simple question:
How can you RESTART your business and overcome the threats you’re facing?
It’s tough. You are now forced to have great products and services, but you’re ham- strung by a limited marketing budget.
You might not have known how strangled by information overload the average consumer is…but you know now.
And commoditisation? If you suspected it was a challenge, but didn’t know how to overcome it, now’s the time to take on your competitors.
You don’t have to go it alone. The threats of Information Overload, Commodity Curve and Implementation described in this report are very real, but they can be overcome.
If you’d like information on how to protect your business – contact me today.
My analysis will focus on identifying untapped revenue sources, underperforming marketing assets, and overlooked marketing & selling possibilities that could be costing your business £1,000,000 or more in lost revenue.
You’ll receive a plan of implementation to recover the lost revenue without spending more on conventional advertising while using the resources you already have, the same effort and the same staff.
I get excited about testing and proving things can actually work better if we think differently about them. Most of the things you want to try don’t work anymore, but there are some things that really do work well if you combine them.
So do this first.
Phone your local newspaper and ask them how much it will cost you run a ¼ page ad, and then get a price from your local Radio station for ten x 30 second ads, and then call your local Adwords Consultant for the price of a short campaign.
Once you have been given a price, ask them what guarantees they offer.
You know the rule: you give them money, what do you get back? If they are not offering any form of guarantee you had better get in touch with me now. My Thirty Day Restart goes deep into your business and your marketing and not wide, and will uncover things you never knew were there.
So instead of fire-fighting the Celts who are clamoring at the walls of your compound, you – the Roman soldier – can not only shore up the walls, but put those pesky Celts to flight and have time for a flagon of mead as well!
If you would prefer a better analogy – rather than digging new wells to find water I will help you bring up more water from the existing one.
Richard Smith – www.therichardsmith.com
Direct Line 0774 007 6226
You can contact me using this link – Small Business Lead Generation Help
Whatever you do, get in touch or get on the list. All you need is more business coming in and everything changes.
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