I honestly hope you had a wonderful and safe holiday season, and the start to 2013 has you inspired and motivated to acheive your business goals in 2013.
Have you set your business goals for 2013?
Do you know why you have these business goals?
Often we set goals based on an ideal situation, what we'd love to achieve. With little thought to the logistics of how we're going to achieve them. Or even why those goals are important to us. Not achieving goals can be damaging to our self confidence and future business success. That is why it's important to set goals that are achievable. By understanding why the goals are important we gain leverage to stay focused and take action.
Let's start with some questions to help you set achievable goals in 2013.
- What is the realistic revenue goal you'd like to achieve in 2013?
- Is it realistic?
- Why is this important?
- What emotions will you experience if you achieve this goal? Peace of mind knowing financial obligations are met? The security of buying a family home or pleasure of an annual holiday? Confidence in your retirement plan?
- What is the monthly breakdown of your revenue goal?
- How will you manage the logistics? Do you need to train up staff, employ new staff or purchase machinery? What will that cost be, and how will that affect your bottom line?
- What is your budget, both time and money, to fund the marketing and lead generation?
- Where will growth come from? New customers, existing customers spending more or getting old customers to come back or increasing prices?
Here are some tips to help you plan out effective marketing tactics to achieve your goals.
- Stay top of mind. Never assume people will remember you. Find valuable ways to have regular touch points with your customers and leads.
- Market to your existing and past customers. This is often an overlooked strategy, it's much easier to get a customer to either refer or return, than to get a new customer. Continue to market to them by offering timely tips and advice. For example: if you provide a service like air conditioning installation offer tips on saving money, keeping your house cool (or warm). Timely reminders to change filters. Or offer regular check ups as part of the after sale service just to give you a reason to meet them face to face and stay top of mind. A quick 5 minute call may mean a referral and new client which would ultimately cost you less than other forms of marketing that have little value or credibility.
- Provide the best service. I hear, and experience poor quality service all the time. Whether you're in retail, contracting, professional services, B2B or B2C - it's integral to building a referral based business and it will set you apart from the competition, and give you a valuable reason to charge more - people will pay for good quality service.
- Product and company training. Stay up to date with the latest and best for your industry. Spend time every week with your employees, make sure they understand the company, products and processes.
- Understand your employees. A valued employee will be a happier and provide value back to the company. They'll assume more ownership and responsiblity and grow with the company. Your employees are an extremely valuable part of the marketing mix - they tell your leads and customers about your company in their attitude, knowledge and willingness to help. A happy and valued employee is less likely to leave, meaning less down time with training new staff. This might sound obvious but again another, often overlooked part of business.
- Remember you're a problem solver. You are there to help provide a solution to a problem, be helpful. Customers aren't buying your product or service, they're buying a solution to their need.
- Understand what is important to your buyers (not what's important to you). Why do they need your product or service? Saving time or money? Meet legal/government obligations? Confusion or frustration? Enjoyment or relaxation? Health or fitness?
- Make sure that your marketing, in all forms is valuable to your buyers. Nowadays we're all overwhelmed with poorly targeted marketing messages, there's advertisements everywhere, daily emails of people trying to sell you something, and to my surprise marketers are still cold calling. Poorly targeted calls to people at the wrong time, who haven't requested or asked you to call. Your marketing does more than just get the phone ringing, it's your brand and reputation - poorly targeted messages are a short term (and expensive) solution.
It would be easy for me to keep writing on this subject - in fact I probably will from time to time throughout the year. But for now I think that's more than enough to help you get started on the right path to achieving your goals in 2013.
Do you have questions? If you have any questions about how to get your marketing right in 2013 please post them in the comments section below, or email me directly at: stacie[at]theinboundmarketingcompany.com.au.
If you'd like to learn how we can help you create a Strategic Marketing Action Plan for your business contact us here.