Sunday, September 30, 2012

Avoid the One-Shot Marketing Gamble

“A good follow-through is just as important in management as it is in bowling, tennis, or golf. Follow-through is the bridge between good planning and good results.” - Anonymous
The key to effective marketing is to find something you can afford--then use it over and over again.

Sometimes this means repeating your marketing faithfully for weeks or months. Only after your ad message has had plenty of time to sink in will the public begin to notice you and buy from your business.

"Which marketing tool should I use?" people often ask. Use the one that reaches your prospects AND that you can AFFORD to use consistently month after month!

Keep in mind that before anyone will buy from you, they have to notice your marketing messages. Then they must become interested in your message. Finally they have to decide to take action.

Don't get impatient. This three-step process takes time.

One of the most important elements of business success is not contacting prospects and customers to purchase what you're selling – but re-contacting them (Follow-up!). This, however, is precisely what most business people don't do.

They send some sales information to a prospect ... then wait.

They make a single phone call to a prospect ... but never follow-up.

They send a fax to a customer... and hope something happens, but don't send a second one.

Get the picture? It's as if millions of people had decided to stake their fate on a single throw of the dice... on sending one catalog, or one brochure, or one letter, or one fax, or making one phone call.

But this isn't the way to make MONEY!

The overwhelming majority of people do not respond to a single marketing communication... or a single phone call... or a single fax... or a single anything else.

No wonder. We're all bombarded every single day with marketing communications. You can't turn on the television or radio... or open a newspaper... or get a newsletter... or leaf through a trade publication... without getting inundated with one "get this now, this is good for you" marketing message after another. We're an "in-your-face" marketing culture all right.

Yet, in all too many cases, what's missing is the Follow-up – the systematic attempt to break through the marketing "noise" that assails all of us and get your message -- all your message -- in front of just the people you want to have it... and do what's necessary for them to grasp it and take appropriate action.

I can give you a six-word formula for success: "Think things through - then follow through." - Eddie Rickenbacker

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Are you Planning For Growth?

Are you Planning For Growth?

Over the past few years have you done very much long-range planning for growth?
If you are forward looking and flexible in your thinking, more than likely you will be continually planning and executing changes - for change is a dominant aspect of modern competitive life. Although a wise businessperson respects the past, they should never be bound by it. Your long-range planning should take into consideration all of the following: selling methods and sales training, sales promotion media and devices, customer services, addition of income bringing services, building modernization (fixtures and equipment), branch development or location change, financing (especially the reinvestment of earnings).

Do day-by-day activities involve you so much that you find no opportunity for advance planning?
The small business owner must be both a planner and a doer. Day-to-day activities can be delegated so that you can do more important planning.

When you find that change is called for, do you act decisively and creatively?
Risk is always present in business. Some of it can be reduced by insurance. But there is no way to hedge on long-range planning. Once you have decided to make a change - based on all available facts - you should enter into the project wholeheartedly.

Do you find that recurring crisis force you to make most of your changes before you have been able to give them thoughtful analysis?
The failure to plan for changes that must be made if you are to hold your customers and attract new ones leads to great waste and poor management practices. Sudden changes add unnecessarily to your expenses, they disturb your established customers, and they upset your employees' morale.

When you determine that you must make a change in some policy or practice, plan ahead carefully and give all those involved a clear account of what is going to be done. By planning ahead, you lessen the possibility of crises and the need for snap judgments.

Do you have someone ready to take your place in case of emergency?
The uncertainties of life are many. You should have someone ready to keep the business running smoothly, if something should happen to you, until such time as a long-range decision can be made.

Are you grooming someone to succeed you in the not too distant future?
No matter how young the management of a business is, unforeseen disabilities can occur at any time. Someone should always be in training as a successor; otherwise, the business is no more secure than the health of its owner-manager.