Marketing from the Inside Out
by Ninive Badilescu
Being the owner of a small business is, for most of us, a 24/7 type of occupation. The small business owner knows the product inside out, knows the market he wants to target and more often than not is taking the bull by the horns and goes ahead and just “does business”. Nothing wrong with this, at least for a while. The business grows, there is need for more people to come on board and there is the good feeling that something good is about to happen.
Why then so many small businesses are faced with the most devastating problems when they are growing strong? Why everything seems harder to accomplish now than it seemed when there were only one or two people involved? The reason is that in the rush to start the business and keep it going there was no time put aside to formulate clearly what the core values and mission statement of the business are. Whenever they are not clearly formulated and presented to both to the employees and the market the very well being of the company is in danger.
Knowing the values and the mission statement makes it easier to market your products or services, makes it easier to find employees that share the same values and are therefore better prepared to fulfill the company mission, and makes it easier for employees to find their most productive place within the company and their individual missions will become part of fulfilling the promise that the company mission statement makes to the customers.
Once you have the mission statement clearly formulated it becomes very easy to define your personal and business goals and once again the clearer they are the easier will be to keep the focus on them, monitor your progress, measure results along the way and devise individual goals that are in alignment with the overall expectations. Implementing the action plans that will result in goals being met should be a very important component of any business endeavour regardless of how big the business is.
Throughout the process of clarifying and implementing the goals and expectations for the company and the individuals in it a strong emphasis should be put on communication. Some people feel that communication means telling others what to do or pinpointing failures, threatening those around you and always asking for more. In reality the true communication happens when you take the time to make sure that everyone within the company understands the values on which the business is built, the goals they are expected to meet, the importance of their individual input and the role each has to play.
True communication means taking the time to ensure that everyone understands where do their skills and efforts best fit within the business model. True communication is to take the time and find out more about individual aspirations and values and find the match between the business needs and personal goals. When true communication happens employees become partners in creating the action plans that will lead them to reaching the business goals, hence their involvement will have a new dimension called dedication. True communication means that throughout the company at each level people are aware of what the business values and the company mission statement are and they act accordingly.
Many business owners will ensure that there will be a Christmas party at the end of the year, or a cake when there is a birthday to celebrate. How many though have a policy in place whereby successes are celebrated and the efforts are rewarded on a regular basis. As a business owner it is your duty to make sure that you have in place the structures that can be used to celebrate the common or individual achievements. Acknowledging your staff and their efforts is the last ingredient for a great recipe for success. Acknowledging your staff shows them once more that they are an integral part of a group rather than individuals working together.
What do all these have to do with business marketing? Quite a lot! Marketing happens through a planned approach but it also happens when we are not aware of it. Sometimes this is marketing at its most dangerous. Employees who do not know what the company declared mission statement is, employees that do not take part in planning and monitoring action plans, employees that have been given goals to meet but were never asked for their input, lack of communication, lack of acknowledgement, lack of action monitoring can only lead to presenting a poor image of your business on the market.
Don’t underestimate the value of taking the time to look at these aspects of your business. Whether you have 1 or 101 employees the reward will be there. Happy, committed, knowledgeable, involved and responsible employees are one of the best marketing tools you will ever use.
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