Running a business requires many skills that take time to develop. Here in this article, I am going to disclose to you few questions you should ask yourself to grow your business. Whether you are planning to start a business or you have already started.
We are often reminded that many businesses fail within the first few years. From my experience, the two main reasons are a lack of initial capital (not enough money) and a lack of marketing ability.
The people running these businesses work very hard, generally have excellent products, and often are completely dedicated to making their business a success, but they just don’t know how to find new customers or keep existing ones.
To overcome this, engage the services of a marketing consultant to help develop specialist marketing plans and to give you plenty of ideas and suggestions on ways to attract more business.
This is what thousands of marketing consultants, including myself, do around the world every day.
Marketing ideas are important for business success; however, I also believe that having the right attitude is essential. I have been fortunate enough to work with a lot of very successful business operators.
They all have similar attitudes and thoughts on doing business and I believe that is what sets them apart from those businesses that always seem to struggle.
What are these questions to ask yourself to grow your business?
This will give you a broad overview of marketing any business. It will provide the answers to many of the commonly asked questions to grow your business
How Much Time Do You Devote to Market Your Business?
The big question that you need to ask yourself is how much time can you devote to marketing and promoting your business?
You may be able to spend 30 minutes per month or you may be fired up and ready to commit to 30 minutes per day. It doesn’t matter how much time you allocate as long as you make the effort to implement new ideas.
The time that you devote to marketing your business needs to be quality time. It is no good trying to squeeze it in among the thousand and one other responsibilities that you have to deal with on a daily basis.
It is something that you have to do rather than something that you want to do.
You need to be disciplined and you need to set aside a realistic amount of time to market your business on a regular basis.
Also Read: How to add your business on google
How Much Business Do You Need To Survive?
There are two reasons to ask this question. The first is to give you a daily target to aim for. If you don’t know how much business you want you will never be satisfied. The other reason is to try to eliminate the risk of getting
too much business.
The important thing to do now is to take a few minutes and work out exactly how much business you need to cover all of your costs. Be honest and realistic and overestimate rather than underestimate.
Once you know exactly how much business you need to cover all costs you know exactly how much business you need to survive. This is what it will cost you to open the doors every day.
The next step is to decide how much profit you want to make from your business.
What Makes Your Business Different
From Your Competitors
Imagine if you had a dose of the flu and you decided that you needed to buy some medicine. Imagine you go to the shops and find ten individual pharmacies next door to each other, all in a nice neat row and basically all the same.
How do you decide which pharmacy to purchase your flu medication
from? Do you look for the cheapest, the one with the most helpful staff, the biggest, the smallest, the longest established, the one that you have visited before or simply the one closest? These are the kinds of questions that we
subconsciously ask every time we go to purchase an item.
The big question is: what makes your business different from your competitors? If your customers are trying to choose between your business and your competitors’ businesses, why should they use yours? You need to come up with the answer to this question and it needs to be convincing.
How Much Should You Spend On Marketing?
Finding the money to market and advertise a business is often not easy. When times are tough people tend to cut back in the area of advertising. this is the time that advertising and marketing should be increased but it rarely happens that way.
The size of the Marketing budget doesn’t matter but how you use it does. It is all relative. A company with a $20 per week marketing budget probably needs to generate a few thousand dollars per year.
A company with a million-dollar marketing budget needs to turn over tens
of millions per year. Determining how much money you should spend promoting your business is a difficult decision.
The accepted way to arrive at a marketing budget is a percentage of your
total turnover, anywhere from 5 percent to 20 percent.
If the figure you picked was 10 percent and you turn over a million dollars a year, you are planning on spending $100 000 per year in advertising and marketing.
It is always wise to talk to your accountant or financial advisor when it comes to setting a budget, but remember, marketing should be a fixed cost like rent or electricity.
If you don’t actively promote your business it will soon disappear.
Look realistically at what you can afford on a weekly basis, set this money aside, and assess your marketing options.
Try not to be stressed about the amount of money that you have available. spend the time and energy deciding what to do with it.
Another point that is worth mentioning is that spending any money on marketing is a waste of time if you can’t give your customers what they want and, more importantly, what they expect. doing this will help you grow your business
What Type Of Promotional Material Should You Use?
Promotional material evolves as you grow your business. Today it may be a simple, one-page, photocopied flyer that can be dropped into letterboxes if that is all that you can afford.
Perhaps tomorrow you will have a glossy magazine featuring your offices around the world. The main aim is to always make the best promotional material that you can afford at the time.
People will form an opinion of your company based on your promotional material. Successful businesses have good quality promotional material that they are proud to hand out.
Promotional material covers everything from business cards to brochures, flyers, signage, uniforms, and websites.
The most common marketing weakness I have observed is that small businesses generally have very poor promotional material. Brochures are cluttered with masses of information, poor choices of color, and a complete lack of excitement.
They are hard to read and they are boring. It doesn’t matter what your product is, more people will use it if it looks interesting and exciting and your company looks professional and secure.
Do You Want To Find New Customers or Keep Existing Customers?
It costs a lot more to find new customers than it does to keep old ones.
Honestly look at your business and ask yourself the following
- Do you offer good service and value for money?
- Stay in touch with your customers after they have made a purchase?
- Reward customers for being loyal to your business?
- Do your customers keep coming back or do you see them once and never again?
One of the smartest business strategies is to look after your existing customers. Nurture them, encourage them to spend more with your business, continually ask them for ways to improve your current level
of service and range of products.
Stay in touch with your customers, reward them for being loyal and they will stay with you for many years.
Do You Do Market Research?
Most people in business either ignore market research as something that only big companies can afford or, alternatively, they class it as one of those terms that people throw around without really understanding what it means.
Market research is one of the most powerful marketing tools for any business. Market research is basically asking either potential customers or existing customers (sometimes both) a few simple questions.
The answers to these questions are then used to formulate the future of your business.
Market research can be as simple as asking someone how they heard about your business. This tells you if the marketing dollars you are spending are working.
Hopefully, a lot of your business comes from word-of-mouth recommendations from other satisfied customers.
A common problem with companies doing market research is that if they don’t like the answers, they ignore them. If you are going to take the time, cost and effort to do market research be honest enough to listen to the results and to do something about them.
The success of your business depends on knowing and understanding the needs of your current customers and the needs of your potential customers.
Market research should be ongoing, targeting different aspects of your business on a regular basis.
How Well Do You Know Your Competitors’ Businesses?
It is critically important to know exactly what products and services your competitors offer if you want your own business to grow. How can you compete against a business if you don’t know what you are competing against?
To find out information about your competitors is really quite easy. You can call the company directly, read through their advertisements, ask your friends and family if they have used this business, and ask them how they
found the service that they received.
Once you are clear on what they offer you can promote your business around what makes you different and hopefully better, so that potential
customers will buy from you.
Many businesses view competitors as the enemy when in reality they can be friends. Smart businesses working together can form a very strong alliance.
For example, imagine two cleaning companies helping each other and
working together. Imagine for a second that these two companies decide that if either is too busy to do a job when a customer calls they will recommend the other.
If one runs short on cleaning chemicals out of hours the other will help out.
If you are lucky enough to be able to work with your competition, that is fantastic.
Make a point of knowing and understanding what the competition offers so that you can offer more. doing this will help you grow your business
A positive attitude is the best weapon that any business owner or manager can have. Sometimes it is easier said than done.
It is not necessarily how much money you have in the bank or how much experience you have that determines the success of your business. A positive attitude and enthusiasm for what you are doing are two very powerful tools in the successful business person’s armoury.
It is never a good time to have a holiday in marketing if you want to grow your business. either you are too busy or you haven’t got any money or there is no one to look after the business when you are away.