Focus...a Marketing Strategy
The secret to increasing sales doesn't lie in choosing just the right marketing tactic for each of your businesses. The real problem that's experienced by many entrepreneurs--a damaging lack of focus.
Plenty of entrepreneurs make this dangerous mistake. They try to market more than one business at once, or they tackle too many targets for a single business. Suddenly, they discover that their time and budgets are fragmented beyond their ability to produce positive results. The solution is to get--and stay--focused. This single alteration can actually reduce your marketing costs and increase sales.
The trouble with trying to market several businesses at once is that you end up with many different target audiences--each requiring its own set of sales and marketing tactics. To reach them, your sales tactics may include creating an in-house prospect list, making cold calls to set up appointments and handling one-on-one meetings with prospects.
Instead of trying to gain small profits from a variety of individual ventures, for best results, the key is to pick one of your businesses (preferably the most profitable and enjoyable) and focus all your marketing energies in that direction.
I inevitably get calls from business owners who say, " I have the greatest product on earth. Anyone can use it--kids, parents, businesses." And then I'm forced to reply, "Do you have unlimited funds to launch this product? Can you start off with $10 million, or how about $20 million or more?" Because no one can market to everyone. The cost would be astronomical. Even the world's largest companies, with seemingly unlimited marketing funds, typically focus their efforts on a single type of product or service for individual niche markets. And the actual campaign messages they employ differ depending on the hot buttons for each niche.
As an entrepreneur who has limited time and money to waste chasing after unqualified prospects, it's vital to narrowly focus on your best, most profitable target audience groups. This will reduce your media costs--since you won't be advertising to reach marginal groups--and free up the time you would otherwise lose meeting with low-quality prospects.
For entrepreneurs who operate several businesses at once, choosing just one can seem like an overwhelming task. The secret lies in following both your head and your heart. Start by examining the business potential and the corresponding costs of each of your ideas. For example, consider which business has the greatest chance for success based on your ability to fund and manage the operation. Then, review the ideas that look best on paper and decide which you feel most passionate about.
When you're passionate about what you do, it shines through to customers--and can make all the difference between lackluster sales and a stunning success.
Ann Marie Rubertone owner of Check It Out, author of "The One Page Marketing Plan" and "13 Household Items You Can Use To Market Your Business" tips for marketing on a shoestring budget that can make the difference between success and failure. Check It Out is a customer-driven marketing firm providing design, writing, editing, desktop publishing services, and hands-on marketing workshops for independent professionals and small businesses. For more information, contact Check It Out (772) 335-0073, www.checkitoutinc.com firstname.lastname@example.org
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