So you started this business, and things were going great – you were making sales like crazy and assumed that would always be the case. “I must be a marketing genius,” you thought to yourself.
Then your fixed costs started to go up and you had to hustle to make the sales to keep the business going. “Every business goes through this kind of thing,” you told yourself. “Everything will go back to normal soon.”
But everything hasn’t gone back to normal because struggling for sales without a professional marketing team on your side actually is normal; without an experienced consultant to help you along the way, you could find yourself (and your business) drowning in debt with no obvious way out except to close your doors.
This is when most people decide to hire a marketing consultant.
And this is the absolute worst time in the life of your business to do it.
Waiting to hire a marketing team until you need one means your budget is slim – you want to keep your business alive but not by going further into debt, right? The problem with that, is marketing isn’t cheap.
I’m sorry, let me revise that: effective marketing isn’t cheap.
Sure, you can hire some kid who understands how to use Photoshop and have him make you a logo, but what is your logo saying to the average consumer? Is it the right color? The right message? The right typeface? Is it going to speak to people and encourage them to buy your product or service?
A good marketing professional will look behind the scenes and research your target audience, your competition and your local market before offering any advice whatsoever. He or she will see what works and what doesn’t, analyze the data available to those who know where to look, and most importantly – your marketing professional finds all of this information utterly fascinating. Information that you, as the average business owner, would probably fall asleep reading and never comprehend properly to begin with.
And who can blame you? It’s boring, and you’ve got a business to run.
Your consultant, however, loves this kind of thing. He or she will then turn to their creative developer or graphic designer – report in hand – and brainstorm with them to come up with the perfect look and messaging for your business. The thing that makes flashing lights go off and bells ring inside the head of a consumer. The thing that – above all else – makes a person realize how desperately they need your product or service.
So how do you make the most out of hiring a marketing professional?
• Don’t wait! Hire a consultant to help you from the very beginning of building your business, rather than when things begin to go downhill. When all that extra money starts rolling in, pick up the phone and find someone to help you keep that money coming in.
• Do make sure to give your marketing team all the information they need. There’s nothing worse than finding out your client forgot a very big, very relevant piece of information when you were being briefed.
• Don’t try to pick apart the material you’re given. If a marketing team hands you something they think will benefit your business, trust them – this is what they do for a living and it’s probably a good idea to take that into consideration before you try to swing the look of your material toward your own tastes.
• Do exercise patience. Your team will do their utmost to make sure you are positioned properly in the market. This can take time. The longer your consultant spends working on your project, the better the results will be.
• Don’t expect miracles. Marketing will help your business but it isn’t a magic wand and it can take some time before you start seeing results.
• Do talk to your team. Communicate your ideas, dreams and goals. Explain your long term plans for your business and where you’d like to end up in a year or two or five. Ask what will be expected of you and try to fulfill those expectations.
• Don’t procrastinate when sending information to your team. The longer you wait to give up your files and/or content, the longer it takes to get it back.
• Do make sure that you are able to accurately measure the results and effectiveness of each of your marketing efforts. Without knowing what’s effective, you can wind up spending far more than you need to on marketing and never know what’s actually helping.
• Don’t think that marketing will automatically make sales for you. Marketing is designed to generate awareness and relay the benefits of what you do to your market, which makes the sales process easier. Marketing and sales have very close relationship but one does not replace the other. To maximize your business’s revenue, you must be committed to improving both areas by implementing effective systems so they can work together in unison.
• Do try to enjoy the process. Rebranding, repositioning and promoting your business can be a learning process but it can also be a lot of fun and should give you marketing tools and collateral that you will be proud to show off.
If you’re in need of a marketing team that will help you build your business, increase your sales and help you better position yourself in the market, call KAIZEN!