Are You Marketing to Your Potential?
by Charlie Cook
Many small business owners struggle to grow their
businesses only to find themselves stuck in a morass of
marketing, management and delivery tasks. As your business
becomes more complex and time consuming, the original
vision of the business usually changes or gets lost, and
it can become increasingly difficult to define and
implement a marketing strategy that helps you achieve
your business potential.
As a marketing coach I have many small business clients
whose marketing is going nowhere because they haven't
clearly identified where they want to take their
business/what they want their business to be/ and what
role they want to play in it.
Whether you want to take your business to the next level
or are just starting out, to be more successful at
marketing you need to regularly clarify what you want
your business to be and what your role in it is or
should be. In order to develop a marketing strategy and
plan that works for you, you need to first clarify:
- What are your business passions and strengths
- How do you want to spend your time
- What work tasks you enjoy
- What type of business you want to create
DEFINE YOUR BUSINESS PASSIONS AND STRENGTHS
The energy, determination and persistence it takes to
build a business only makes sense if you are doing
something you love - or that at least gives you great
satisfaction. What do you enjoy doing the most? What are
you happy doing day in and day out?
What are your Strengths?
Identify your business passion, and then examine your
strengths within that passion. How can you leverage your
interest and knowledge to become a sought after expert
in your field?
Say you love skiing and want to make a living in that
industry, which you know well. Are you going to run a
ski shop, be a ski instructor, or become a skiing guru,
sought after by thousands, with your simple and
innovate teaching techniques?
Which aspects of your passion suit your expertise and
experience? How can you build a business around them?
SET GOALS FOR HOW YOU WANT TO SPEND YOUR TIME
Personality and interests vary. Some small business
owners have a passion for hands on delivery, others
enjoy focusing on growing their business and
coordinating the delivery of products and services.
Some can't stand being stuck in an office all day;
others would prefer never to talk to a client or
customer. What aspects of your business are you good
at and which do you want to develop further?
Use the following questions to help you clarify how
you want to spend your week.
- Do you like being in charge of marketing, operations
or service delivery?
- Are you an educator, do you love sharing what you
know or do you like inventing new products people can
use without your involvement? Or both?
- Do you prefer managing the business and delegating
daily tasks to others?
- Do you like to travel or prefer to work from an
office or at home?
- How important is flexibility in scheduling and work
- Do you want to work less and earn the same?
- Do you want to work part time or do you love your
work so much that you could do it seven days a week?
- Do you want to structure your work so it is more
CLARIFY THE TASKS YOU ENJOY
We all like and dislike specific activities, excel at
some and are better off delegating certain tasks to
others. Clarifying what you like and dislike is
essential to then defining the strategies and
structures you need to create a more satisfying work
- Do you enjoy coming up with new products?
- Do you enjoy selling your services and products?
- Do you like to write or prefer public speaking?
- Or both?
- Is the phone your communication tool of preference?
- Do you prefer to use email for most of your
- Do you enjoy public speaking and sharing your ideas?
- Do you enjoy following up with employees to make sure
they've done agreed on tasks?
SPECIFY THE TYPE OF BUSINESS YOU WANT TO CREATE
What have the answers to the questions above told you
about your business and your role in it? Depending on
the services and products you provide, does your
business need additional staff, facilities, technology,
geographic presence, or capital?
Would you prefer to be a successful one person
business/sole proprietor? Would you like to grow your
business to include five to fifty employees? Will
profit or passion be the driving force? Or both? Are
your markets local, regional, national or international?
Answer these questions to define your business goals
and your role in your business' growth. Once you have
a clear and current idea of where you are going, you
can define a marketing strategy to get there, to
achieve your business potential.
2004 © In Mind Communications, LLC. All rights reserved.
The author, Marketing Coach, Charlie Cook, helps
independent professionals and small business owners
attract more clients and be more successful with
the 5 Principles of Highly Effective Marketing.
Sign up to receive the Free Marketing Guide and the
'More Business' newsletter, full of practical tips
you can use at http://www.charliecook.net
Information to Accompany Articles Used In Print
2004 © In Mind Communications, LLC. All rights reserved.
Charlie Cook, is Chief Executive of Ideas and
Inspiration at In Mind Communications in Old Greenwich,
CT and can be contacted via www.charliecook.net, or by
calling 203-637-1118. To get the Free Marketing Guide
and the 'More Business' newsletter, full of practical
marketing tips go to www.charliecook.net
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