By Elaine Love
The facts are set in concrete; at this point it is wet concrete or perhaps quicksand because it can change. As it stands now income taxes, payroll taxes, capital gains and dividend taxes and employee health care benefit expenses are all increasing. With these indisputable facts in mind, what is the small business owner to do?
If you are like me, you concentrate on increasing your market share and your sales volume within your current market share.
Analysis, not Paralysis Wins
Think like your customer. If you were in your customer’s business, what would you like to have? Ask yourself honestly if you are delivering that ideal product or service. If the answer is regretfully ‘no,’ then what do you need to change to make it a ‘yes?’
GM suffered a devastating bankruptcy in 2009. Just two years later, they reported a record profit. With the announcement recently of a totally redesigned and improved Corvette, they are demonstrating their commitment to improved quality going forward. Even though the Corvette represents a miniscule portion of GM sales in comparison to its truck line, it demonstrates the resurgence of quality. The Corvette is the first vehicle to be launched since the bankruptcy. The customer demanded better quality and GM is responding.
What does your customer want? What are you delivering? If there is one place to cut corners, it has been proven throughout history that it is NOT in product quality, customer service or effective marketing.
Market Growth Sectors
When you started your business, you researched what was currently available in the marketplace, what you could improve on the existing offerings and what unfilled niche remained. Go back to basics and do exactly the same research all over again.
Market research studies, interviews of your customers and intelligent observations pinpoint areas in which you can improve your current product or service and add additional products or services to fill niches. Sometimes you need to create the niche by informing them of a benefit they had not fully realized they needed.
Remember Apple’s introduction of the first iPhone? Steve Jobs presented the advantages of the iPhone before the marketplace even knew they needed those features combined.
Once the areas to improve and expand are identified, take action. Make the improvements and launch to fill the niche. Keeping capital liquid allows small business owners the ability to capitalize on marketing opportunities.
Small businesses can react very quickly to sales opportunities. An unexpected but delightful powder dump (several inches of light fluffy snowfall for the non-ski informed) is an excellent opportunity to push the word out to get to Steamboat Ski Resort quickly. Take advantage of a last second deal with the airlines to offer an incredibly low rate for Valentines, ‘take your sweetheart for a spring ski trip’Â deal on airfare and lodging. Search for new marketing opportunities and capitalize immediately.
Don’t Get Ready – Stay Ready
If you have your postcard campaign ready to launch, call your printer and issue instructions to print and mail the campaign. Blast the offer out to the social media network; ‘the postcard is coming. Present the postcard for an extra deep discount or special bonus.’Â
Create a new brochure for the newly discovered market niche using brochure design templates. Create a sales campaign to highlight the benefit your product or service offers to fill the market niche, why you are the best one to offer that benefit and a compelling reason to contact you immediately for more information. When you create an impressive marketing piece and produce it through the services of a top quality printing company (for example, check out PrintPlace.com), you are proud to present your marketing materials to your sales force and the marketplace.
Consistent Brand Recognition
Expand upon the highlights of your new brochure and create booklets as additional distribution pieces. Duplicate the elements of your brochure and booklet into your website. Providing a consistent high quality image creates brand recognition. Customers need to see a consistent company image multiple times. They see your company online, see you in social media and hold your brochure in their hand; this repeated consistent image solidifies your brand in their mind and paves the way for a buying decision.
Combining high quality printed marketing materials with your online presence captures the marketplace.
Keep your money liquid and be ready to pounce on marketing opportunities. The best way to mitigate increased expenses is to increase revenue. Increase revenue through delivering superior products and services which fill market niches and high quality marketing to distribute your message to the marketplace. Increasing revenue is the small business owner’s lifesaver.
What is your strategy for growing revenue this year?