When assessing your business plan, the
most important question to ask yourself, it may seem silly but describe what
you want from your business or what would you say would make you successful?
people go into business to make loads of money, some want more control of their
work/life balance, and some want control of what they do or shape their future.
really need an idea of what you want out of your business to ensure you get
yourself a good marketing plan, after all you need goals to write your
marketing plan towards.
not a great idea to look at spending tens of thousands of pounds on really big
marketing campaign if you only want to work 10 hours a week, likewise you would
be unlikely to get a business turning over £100,000 plus per year if you spend
little time and £500 per year on your marketing budget.
may sound as though I’m stating the obvious but it really does happen in
business so please before you go through my marketing section think what you
want to achieve.
expect you will treat the marketing pages like a pick and mix section, look at
it all and then choose what will suit your goals but also your character. I am
covering techniques either I have used or that I know people who have used them
to great effect.
not going to go through ideas of marketing gurus who may not have worked in
this industry, there are plenty of books and internet resources on such things
but I’m trying through this course to give you the benefit of my experience of
what growing a business is like in the real world rather than the classroom.
please bear in mind so marketing strategies are better or worse depending on
your business profile, geographic location and your objectives.
instance a full page glossy advert may scare away a little one man band builder
client if that’s the type of client you want to attract as they may think
you’re a very large practice with high fees, however if you want clients with a
million pound plus turnover then a two line ad in a free paper will not attract
their attention. Also some geographic areas may not offer the marketing ideas
you want to try.
let’s try our marketing planning and consider some of the questions below
(please note there is no right or wrong answers it’s your answers for what you
are your objectives/goals
types of clients do you want to achieve
services are you going to offer (just bookkeeping or are you studying
you opening an office or working from home
hours of the day do you want to use for marketing (it’s no good joining a
breakfast meeting organisation that starts at 6.30 or 7 till 9 if you want to
do a school run every day at 8)
are your skills and dislikes (again networking is for people who are outgoing
if your shy then you may not like standing up and talking about your business)
is your amount of available money to initially market your business (£100 won’t
get you a full page spread in a national newspaper).
now you will have some idea of what you want so you can target your marketing
much better, when you start your business you will have many salespeople
contacting you to advertise and trust me they will all sound appealing the way
they will sell it to you, I’ve wasted thousands on such things. I now don’t
listen to any of them I look at what works, my objectives and formulate my own
plan and contact those I want to I don’t buy from cold calling and I would
recommend you do the same. This takes a bit of time but trust me just throwing
money at advertising doesn’t help it’s just a waste most of the time. It also
wastes your time just meeting with them rather than saying no, don’t just
arrange an appointment to save saying no (some people do) you still have to say
no at some point I find it easier on the phone than face to face.