One Business Expense You Can’t Not Afford
New businesses need customers more than they need anything else. Entrepreneurs know this intuitively but it usually takes reality to make them stand up and take notice. Depending on the business model, many new business owners spend all of their time, and MONEY, building their facility, investing in the equipment they need, saving to supplement their salary for the first few months while they get started.
We open our business and work on all of the passive and inexpensive ways to get customers. We start a facebook page and post maybe once a week. We put an ad in the yellow pages if we are a local business (which actually isn’t always that cheap). We try twitter and we tell all of our friends we are in business.
It usually isn’t until we are not getting the traction that we need that we think maybe we should have started off with stronger marketing. Now we are researching what works with our type of business. We talk to agencies, marketing coaches, and start reading voraciously about what we could do.
But it all costs money…..at least a little…..and now we are running out of capital….it’s too late.
If you are a new start-up, plan your marketing up front. Put some kind of budget, even if it is small at the beginning. Do your studying and research before you open for business. You may feel you can’t afford it, but this is one expense that you just can’t NOT afford.
Don’t Skimp on the #Marketing Bow to Your Perfect Product
I have read several things this week about the depth of our work, going deeper not broader. This is tied to stretching ourselves, creating the unordinary, and hopefully resulting in adding more value.
In a society that emphasizes that there is a point with which more time creates diminishing return, I feel like the result is the pendulum swinging in the other direction. We just go through the motions tackling one thing after another to keep up with today’s speed of business.
This definitely creates busy-ness, but not necessarily great-ness.
This especially applies to our marketing as marketing is the vehicle that communicates our work to the world. We may spend the time on our core product or service to glorify God and wow customers, but if we don’t pronounce it to the world with “like quality” we may have diminished the work itself. Or worse yet, hidden it under a cloak of mediocrity.
Our marketing is the entry way that invites our guest into our home, the first impression we make to our future spouse, and the gift wrap to the perfectly thought out present.
Our marketing media is the microphone that broadcasts our work, the projector that magnifies our products and service, the contagion that carries our message.
Is your work worthy of your marketing? Does it meet up to the expectations of the promise? Does it glorify God?
Does your marketing represent your hard, deep well thought out and executed work? Will your marketing provide the motivation for your audience to experience your work?
Your Marketing Voice
When I started blogging a marketing guy asked me “What could you write about every day and not get tired of it”? That was how I chose to write about business and faith. Two things I thought about often, and when I started writing, was amazed out how easily they intersected.
The next step the marketing guy said was to find my “voice”. I guess your voice means your style. What makes what you write uniquely yours?
I believe we have a voice in writing, but also in how we lead and run our businesses. Voice transforms into culture and then when we go out to share our voice and our culture with the world, through marketing our goods and services, our message becomes the new result of our metamorphosis.
As marketers, each business has it’s own voice, culture and message. Sometimes the marketing message clearly resonates with the brand. Usually when it does it is an extension of the business owner’s voice. Even mega brands have it. Starbucks messaging matches Howard Schulz’ vision of reaching everyone “one cup at a time”. Steve Jobs literally birthed Apple, and almost as if by osmosis, his voice and message entered the digital world.
When we hire outside marketing help it is important to hire creative talent that understands how to capture your essence, your vision, your voice, rather than chase their own Addy award fame.
If you don’t have a clear voice it cannot be transferred. Think about it. Can you talk about, write about, communicate your vision and message for your business? If you can’t, how can others?
I hope these tips spark some ideas for you and your business. We would love to hear any quick tips you may have in the comments!