The Home For Great Common Sense Business Ideas That Help!

If you have a small business and are often frustrated with 'challenges' that take away some of the enjoyment....

If you have a business where you work hard all of the time and it just never seems to quite 'make it' and give you enough headroom...

If you sit there tired frustrated and not yet rich enough to walk away...

then this is for you!

I shall share my thoughts and my ideas with the hope that they help. please, if you feel like you could do with a lift...contact me and lets talk it through! You know what they say, a problem shared is a problem halved!

Yours with love
Ben

Tuesday, 5 April 2011

Small Business Survival...How Long Does It Take?

“I’m putting everything into this...I can only let it go for so long ...”

The words of a new business owner....struggling with the challenge of growing a franchised business after only 8months.

It begs the questions ‘How long does it take to grow a small business?’ and “just what exactly can you do to make it reach break-even?”.  After all, surely  it must reach a point at which it is either paying for itself or it must be parted with?

Well how do we help?

There are as many answers as there are differing situations...every person in every town and in every industry sector will probably see things slightly differently...but if a business is to survive it must make sales...and to make sales it must have enquiries that give it sales potential...and so it hinges upon marketing activity.
How good is your marketing?
How targeted is it?
How frequent?

To grow your business you MUST PRIORITISE the activity towards ENQUIRY GENERATION.
(If you are ever in a situation where you feel that administrative tasks are needing to be done and consuming time when actually you still don’t have enough income from current business to pay your wages then something is wrong with the administrative systems that you deploy!)
If EVER a business is struggling then there will be an imbalance between time consumption tasks...usually too heavy on ‘admin’ and too light on ‘marketing and sales’.

Here is an idea:
Take your week and count ‘the hours consumed with work’
Then look at each section or task and clarify it ...ie simply call it A – Admin, M – Marketing or S- Sales
Are you spending enough time on lead generation? It really should be approx 30-40%  (unless you outsource it all but that will add to your costs)
If 30-40% is actually already spent on ‘marketing’ then you must question:
 a) the target group aimed at
b) the message that is created and sent to them
c) the medium of delivery

It sounds obvious but is your message getting seen? Is it getting seen by the right people? Is it saying the right thing to get them interested enough to respond?

As I always say...take time to think! Too often business in today’s society is rush and pressure and deadlines and stress....and not enough time to pause and think.
Stop! Stand back...look at the situation and ask great questions!
When we did that honestly and openly with my client in this instance we discovered that a lot of time was being spent but honestly that it wasn’t really effective time. It was not creating a message to a specific group – it was more ‘get it out there’ and so it ‘missed’ the ear of the target because there hadn’t been enough time and thought given to ‘who’ the target was and ‘where’ they were.
In addition it contained a message that was very general ‘tell them all that we do’...and frankly whilst this might be the sort of message that you often see in much of the ‘advertising and promo world’ it isn’t effective for a small ‘need the response today’ business.

Craft a message about a very specific pain point and send it to a very specific group...and spend your time creating more messages and keeping them targeted  -and then you will see more enquiries.

It took us 3 or 4 ‘visits’ but we got  my clients ‘knowledge’ to match his prospects problems...and then we understood a preferred method of delivery and then we see results.
Its like magic...there is always something that the magician does that
when you  know how you can imitate.
So have a really slow day! Stop rushing and start thinking ...and the slowly and methodically chip away at the challenge. There are enquiries out there...in abundance, they just need to hear from you in a slightly different way!
Have a great day,
With love
Ben

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