Businesses die, if they fail to market, that’s a given. Surveys, worldwide reveal that small businesses overlook their marketing, leading to business failure. Less than 20% of the small businesses efforts, are directed towards marketing.
Degrees in marketing are offered by all business schools at colleges worldwide. A small business owner however, lacks the time or resources to enroll for a marketing degree. Small businesses also cannot afford the salaries that marketing experts demand. Market research companies also do not come cheap. Courses and seminars from time to time help, but marketing is a neglected area for small businesses.
Fortunately many marketing opportunities are becoming accessible, and cheaply available for small business. The Internet especially has opened many doors to small business. Particularly in website promotion, and e-zine publishing.
Business owners should be aware, that website traffic, enquiries, e-mails are not enough if it cannot be converted in to sales. Also closing 5 to 10 deals a day, and creating a wide customer base is useless if these customers do not pay.
The quality is what counts, not the quantity. In desperation for business, products are sold cheaply, to attract customers. I concede, at the beginning prices should be reasonable, but don’t keep prices low forever, gradually increase prices as customers increase.
I recently consulted with a client, who was stressed and tired due to a project that required him to produce 300 items at $150.00 each. Total sales generated would be $45000.00. The client needed the cash, so I did not blame him. He completed the project and I advised him to refrain from a project of this nature in future. He was flummoxed, but I offered another strategy. Using the same target, of $ 45 000, I recommended that he rather take on fewer projects of about 30, but charge a price of $ 1500.00. The product would be related, but totally different. The client opted for niche products, with higher prices. He now generates $ 60 000.00, $15 000, more than the $ 45 000, for less work!
Any business in crises, considers more sales as the solution. Sometimes it is. But how many businesses, mine their e-mail lists, or maintain an active file of existing clients. You can market more effectively to existing clients than new ones. Newsletters to existing clients are lacking in most small businesses. No driving, no telephone calls, just a newsletter as an attachment with that e-mail, or on delivery of that product.
Why should the same errant, late paying customer be serviced? Customers, who cannot pay, do not belong on your books. Compile a list of your most loyal, paying customers, and rather offer him/her more products. No one wants to lose customers, but it is just not worth the effort to retain a non- paying customer.
Having many customers that keeps you busy is good, but it is better to have fewer, quality customers, that ensures that the bills are paid.
Author: Sean Goss firstname.lastname@example.org