So, you want to grow your business?

You know you have the potential to achieve more than you are currently doing?

You dream of making a bigger difference, of serving more people, and of course of enjoying increased sales too?

You already know the only way to grow your business is to find and keep more customers.  Consistently marketing your business to the RIGHT people, who actually WANT what you are selling, is the proven road to sales success.

But unfortunately KNOWING something is not enough, it’s what we DO with our knowledge that counts.

As Napoleon Hill shares with us in his classic personal development book ‘Think and Grow Rich’:

‘KNOWLEDGE will not attract money, unless it is organized, and intelligently directed, through practical PLANS OF ACTION, to the DEFINITE END of accumulation of money.’

In other words, you need a plan!

To be successful with anything in life, we need to set goals, hold ourselves accountable, and follow through with our commitments.

Here are some tips to help you with your small business marketing plan to squeeze more success from your business…

1. Start with your vision

Think BIG!  What do you want your business to achieve?  In the next 12 months?  In the next 5 years?  Don’t hold back!

Quantify it. How much money do you want your business to be earning for you? How many hours do you want to be working? How many customers do you need to have? If you can dream it, you can have it!

Once you have defined your goals, write them down and keep them where you can see them every day to act as a powerful reminder to keep you on course.  Don’t let a day go past where you don’t do something that takes you closer towards your goal.

2. Know your customers

To be successful in business, you’ve got to have a clear picture in your head of who you are targetting.  Who do you help? How do you help them?

You need to get to know these people really well, step into their shoes, read their minds, know their innermost thoughts and fears. What keeps them up at night? What’s the first thing they think about in the morning?

Once you are really clear in your mind on who your customer is, it will be so much easier to communicate with them.  All your marketing messages need to be written with them in mind, so they will then recognise themselves and feel that your service has been designed especially for them.

3. Understand what your customers want, and give it to them

Most businesses do it the other way around.  They think about the service they provide, and then try to persuade customers that they need to buy it!

The secret to successful Marketing is to think about what your customers already want, and then tailor your service to provide it.The best way to find out what your ideal customers want is to ask them!  Talk to them to find out what they are looking for. What do they wake up thinking they need?

For example, people don’t wake up thinking they need acupuncture. They wake up thinking they have back ache, or hay fever, or whatever their issue is, and they want something that will solve it quickly.  if you were an acupuncturist, your job is to provide customers with what they want (a service to resolve their back ache) rather than what you want to sell (acupuncture).  Although it amounts to the same thing, the key to attracting clients easily is how you position it.  Your marketing messages should focus on the fact that you resolve back ache (and other common complaints).  The fact that you are an acupuncturist should be secondary.

4. Promote your business

Don’t let your business be the best kept secret- get it out there!  There are so many cheap/free ways for small businesses to promote themselves these days, and it really is a crucial step on your journey to success.  If customers don’t know about you, how can they buy from you?

Use social media, email, SEO, direct mail, PR, advertising, flyers… so many Marketing channels are available to access customers.  However don’t forget to measure the results you get from using each type, by asking prospects and clients how they heard of you.  Then you’ll know what works well and what doesn’t, and where to invest your precious time and money next time.

Sales growth is only possible when you master the art of attracting new clients (and retaining existing clients).  I can’t stress enough how important it is to promoting your business if you want it to be a success.

5. Take responsibility

The only person that can make your business a success is YOU.  There are no excuses.  It doesn’t matter if there is a recession, unfavourable weather conditions, or an aggressive competitor… You need to be accountable for how you deal with set backs, how you spend your time, and where you focus your efforts.

If something is important, and will take you closer to achieving your vision, make sure it gets done.  If you are too busy, then delegate.

Equally, if you make a mistake, learn from it, and use the learnings to your advantage for the future.  Your business will grow and you will also grow as a person as a result of it.

However the most important way to be accountable is to be sure you take action.  Napoleon Hill sums it up rather nicely:

‘Create a definite plan for carrying out your desire and begin at once, whether you ready or not, to put this plan into action.’

If you’re a small business owner looking for help to achieve your goals and grow your sales through effective marketing, please get in touch.

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