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Evolving market strategy necessary

December 09, 2013

If you haven’t noticed, our world is changing fast and not just technologically.

 

SAN ANGELO, Texas — If you haven’t noticed, our world is changing fast and not just technologically.

Consumers are not spending as they have in years’ past. Manufacturing and shipping costs are fluctuating wildly. The Internet has changed the way people shop and purchase goods and how entrepreneurs and small business owners market their businesses.

If you don’t change your business, and marketing, to keep up with the changing times you can easily be just another statistic.

Five years ago Myspace was all the rage. Since then its use has dropped dramatically. You never see a small-business owner giving Myspace any time or thought now.

To help overcome dire economic news and make your small business more successful we are going to look at some things that should help in the future.

Make a list of what has worked in the past. You’ve heard the saying: “those who do not study history are doomed to repeat it.”

Take a step back and look at where you’ve been. For those things that didn’t work, ask yourself why. Was it the right timing, the right offer, the right target market? Could you have done more marketing?

Create a marketing plan

You know you need one, but who has the time or know how to put one together? How about this? Write a two-page marketing plan. On the first page list where you are now, (gross and net income, numbers of new and repeat customers, amount you currently work and earn). Then set goals for where you would like to be in a year for each of those. On page two choose three marketing strategies you are going to use to achieve these goals (email marketing, direct mail, business Facebook page). Include a to-do list of steps you need to take to implement each one, as well as due dates for each step.

Look to external partners

Successful businesses aren’t built by sitting back and waiting for customers to come to their store. Seek strategic partnerships and joint ventures. Develop a support network of at least one other entrepreneur who is in the same situation as you and go to him/her for advice.

Focus on helping, not selling

If your business is only about making money, you are likely to run into problems trying to grow. Think about your customer’s wants and needs and how you can help them.

Update your website

This is one of the least expensive and most effective ways to market your business. With all the competition out there, you can’t just throw up a basic website and expect it to do much for you. Your site needs planning and built to be an effective salesperson that connects with your ideal customer.

Stop doing everything yourself

As a small-business owner, if you want something done you probably shouldn’t be doing it yourself. Focus your time and energy on the things you are best at what grows your business and makes money. Leave the rest to your team of skilled employees.

Have a life

It is great that you are passionate about your business, but all work and no play makes anyone unhappy and burned out. Do something you love outside of work, get some exercise every day, and make time for family and friends.

“Business Tips” was written by Paul Howard, Business Development Specialist and Certified Business Adviser IV of Angelo State University’s Small Business Development Center. Contact him at Paul.Howard@angelo.edu.

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    Paul Howard, Business Development Specialist and CBA IV

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