When most people start a new business, it is usually centred around a skill that they have. If you are trained as an electrician, it seems to make sense that the business you should start is an electrical contracting business; trained as a hairdresser, so you should open a salon.
This seems to be the right approach, but soon you realise you simply end up with a job, without any of the benefits of having a job. You work very long hours, never take any holidays and pay everyone else first. If you are in this position, unfortunately you are not alone, although it might feel like that at times.
When you look at successful, growing and large businesses, one of the key differences you see is that the person in charge of the business, does not do any of the “Doing”.
When the supermarkets started offering home delivery from their online stores, none of the owners decided to buy a van and drive around delivering food to anyone who wanted it. Instead, they put systems and processes in place to get the food delivered.
Outside of some market research, they also did not simply go out and get loads of new customers, the moment they came up with the idea. They put a whole network of people and vans and systems in place, ready to deliver to the market what it demands.
As for their marketing and “getting the business”, they did not just drop a flyer out every now and then. Their services are everywhere!
The moment you order a delivery once, you are then constantly reminded that you can get this or that if you order again. They are working hard to make sure you come back to order again and again.
Actually, they are not working hard at all for this, not the business owners at least. Here again they have created systems and processes to take care of it all. It is all automated. The owner of any of these companies has no idea how many times I’ve ordered in the last 3 months, but their system does, and it knows this and a lot more for each of their customers.
This allows them to treat every customer differently, based on their behaviour, but with one point of focus, more frequent purchases, and larger average order value.
When you first set out in business, you probably had the same thought process every other small business owner starts with: “I need customers, now!”
This type of thinking is completely understandable. If you’ve just packed in your job and decided to go out on your own, the bills still need paying, they don’t care that you have decided to strike out on your own.
The problem with this type of thinking is that it limits your vision and affects your decision making.
Yes you need to get customers, but this needs to be a process, not just some random acts of marketing here or there. You need to make sure you are targeting the right group of people, with the right message, in the right places. (Market, Message, Media).
If done correctly, this is a beautiful thing, and your sales will increase faster than you can imagine.
Simply making some flyers, because you can afford flyers is seldom a good strategy. Much worse is advertising in your local rag, because they rang this morning and gave you a “deal”.
Your marketing needs a lot of thought and planning and, you guessed it, it needs to be systemised. This way, you can develop a system that gives you a predictable and rhythmic acquisition of new customers.