Every business reaches a plateau from time to time. Setbacks, staff changes or the odd cancelled order are not helped by a difficult economy. Sometimes it’s simply a matter of running out of ideas. So here are 5 things you can do to get things moving, some of them free and just requiring a little team effort.
1. Work out, if you haven’t already done so, which of your products and/or services make your business the most money. You might also want to consider the lifetime value of your best clients if relevant. This can be difficult to pin down but it’s useful knowledge. Then …
2 … take a long hard look at your marketing. Consider every aspect from paid for media (website and other digital media such as emailings, press ads, printed material, direct marketing) to social media and even the stuff you might regard as routine such as just calling clients or contacts for a chat (see point 5 below). Note down what each medium costs you in money and/or time and how much you get back in terms of leads or sales from each. Are you spending too much time or money on media that are ‘nice to have’ when only one medium is really pulling in the sales? Or, like many businesses, do you find it’s personal contacts and recommendations that bring home the bacon and most of your other spend is frustratingly unproductive?
At Two Lizards our unbeatable experience with growing businesses means we can help you with this, including strategies for maximising the value of your existing client base. Call us or email us. An initial discussion is free and our TL Marketing Analysis service can provide you with a written analysis and recommendations in days.
3. Do some homework on your competition. When you are working hard it’s easy to miss what your rivals are up to. Just looking through their websites in detail can be instructive. Are they googling higher than you? We can help you work out why, and what needs to be done. It doesn’t necessarily mean spending more. If you are a local business with a geographical catchment, for example, there’s one simple trick to work out how much effort your competitors are putting into local business listing sites, which can have a major impact on your rankings. For more see here.
4. Having done that, go back to your brand. Is it really saying what you want it to say, or is it what you set out to say about yourself five years ago, when the competition was different or non-existent? List the companies you regard as your main competitors and draw a diagram showing how you fit in relation to them. This isn’t a question of who is most successful but of deciding what the pitch is. Offering better value than your two nearest rivals is good. Coming across as pretty much the same is not. Worried you don’t have anything special to say? Fear not. Take a look here for inspiration and get inventing!
5. Finally, don’t underrate the potential you and your colleagues have for making a difference. In a world increasingly driven by impersonal digital messages a single, friendly call to clients and key contacts once a month can bring unexpected benefits by way of good will, recommendation, ideas for other to approach, sometimes even incremental sales. A regular brainstorm over coffee, simple incentives for your team to contribute sales leads or recommend colleagues when there’s a vacancy … all these things not only help your business but generate the kind of energy and drive you need to keep moving forward. And they can even be fun.