Global Marketing Plus

Tips and Tricks for Small Business Success

Archive for January, 2012

Will the next 12 months be better than the last 12 months

January 27, 2012 By: Ron Coleman Category: General Business, Marketing

If you are like a lot of people I have talked with, last year was still a very slow year for business.  Ask yourself this question: “What am I doing to ensure that the next 12 months will be better than the last 12 months?”

If business hasn’t been good over the past year, you need to change your direction. 

It’s way too easy to mistake movement for progress and end up working hard, doing the wrong things.  If hard work alone were the secret to success, our grandparents would have been millionaires.

If you are not getting enough leads, find out why and fix it!

If the leads you do have are not converting to sales, fix it!

How to define your niche

January 26, 2012 By: Ron Coleman Category: General Business, Getting business to come to you, Marketing

To define your niche means clearly identifying a group of people who need a product or service that you are able to provide. The best niches are those that no one else can fill or don’t fill adequately. If you have a product or service that is in high demand and you may not need a niche. But the more competitive the field you are in, the more important it is for you to find what you are uniquely qualified to do.

Your niche needs to be small enough that you don’t have a lot of competition and can reach most of your potential clients within the limits of your time and budget. And the niche needs to be large enough to provide sufficient customers to support your business.

Gold Leaf Printing, for example was in the printing industry, which is highly competitive. In fact, it was so competitive that to earn bids and clients, some competitors were willing to bid below cost just to attract new customers. One competitor told people to find the lowest price and they would beat it by 10%! Now how do you compete with that???

However, when I created a new company called Medi-Forms which specialized in medical printing, there was no competition! Sure, all the other printers in the area could print the same things we printed, but none could say that they specialized in medical printing and didn’t print anything else. (Yes, we printed other types of printing on the printing presses that we had, but all the other printing was printed by Gold Leaf Printing, not Medi-Forms!)

I formed a new company, registering it with the state and had loose leafs printed with Medi-Forms logo on the front and the most popular medial forms and printing inside. Our business cards were for Medi-Forms and stated that all we did was print forms for the medical industry! Since I and one other person performed the sales function, we both learned all we could about the medical industry and the forms they needed. When we visited a doctor’s office or hospital, we could talk in their language about their needs.

The other printers thought it was too much trouble to create a new company to specialize, so they didn’t fill the niche that Medi-Forms filled. Printing orders came flying in. And, to make it even better, we could charge a price that made a fair profit and when our competition gave pricing that was lower, our new customers still ordered from us because we “specialized”!


What is your niche?

January 25, 2012 By: Ron Coleman Category: Uncategorized

The most successful businesses are highly specialized. They have a product or service that serves a particular market segment or niche that no one else is serving very well or is not provided at all.

The have also done their market research and know that the niche market is large enough to provide them with enough sales.

Years ago I learned this in the printing industry. I had a compnay called Gold Leaf Printing. My competition was every other printer in the valley, an some outside the valley! So I found a niche. In fact, I found several niches!

I began a new company as a DBA called “Medi-Forms”. This company specialized in printing for the medical industry. I learned all I could about printing that the medical industry needed and requirements for them. Then I taught that to my sales team. I printed business cards and price catalogs for Medi-Forms. When my sales staff called on a prospect, we could tell them that Medi-Forms specialized in medical printing and all we printed was medical forms!

Now the printing we sold for Medi-Forms was printed with the same equipment that all out other printing was printed (Gold Leaf Printing), but we were serving a niche that no body else in the valley could say they served exclusively!

Did it work? You bet it did. Large hospitals that wouldn’t even talk to us before now invited us in! Sales sky rocketed! Marketing was so much more to the point for Medi-Forms. Since we knew our target market so well, we geared all our marketing for them and them only. We really stood out!

I went on to create other new companies, including “Restaurant Forms” (serving the food industry), “Property Forms” (serving the real estate industry), “Legal Forms” (serving lawyers, etc) and a few others. Each new company specialized and only printed those products in their industry.  I only created the new companies one at a time and only after the current company was successful. I also hired a separate sales team for each company and made sure each salesman was an expert in that industry.

Whatever stage your business is in, focusing it as tightly as possible on one or two areas will make it easier for you to attract clients or customers.

The natural fear of narrowing your market is that you will have fewer people to sell to and thereby fewer people will buy your product or service. In reality, the opposite is true. As long as the special area you have chosen has enough potential customers, the more specialized your business, the more people will be able to recognize the benefit of what you offer them.

You aren’t truly in business until you have business!

January 20, 2012 By: Ron Coleman Category: General Business, Getting business to come to you, Marketing

A couple of years ago, a friend of mine started a new business in February. And his new business was started with a bang!

He invested all of his personal savings and retirement in a luxurious office that was furnished. He bought the most advanced office equipment and computers. He also invested in equipment he felt he needed to run his business, including a laptop, etc. He joined the Chamber of Commerce and had a ribbon cutting and a huge lavish party.

Although it seemed he had everything a business could need, he was closed by Easter. The one thing he didn’t have was clients!

I also have a friend that started a business with nothing more that business cards. Because she knew what to do to find clients, her business flourished!

This means one important rule: You aren’t truly in business until you have business!

Since I first went on my own with a business in 1974, I have learned that having plenty of business is not a matter of luck! The magic is marketing! Marketing refers to all the activities involved in making sure you have enough business flowing through your door and that it keeps flowing in.

Since my first business, I have read almost every book on marketing. I still read 3 or 4 marketing books every month to stay on top of new trends! I have learned that much of what has been written or taught about marketing and how to get business simply does not apply to me. I did not have a big business or retail location with funds for market research, a sales force, and advertising budget!

Over the years I have found that many self-employed individuals feel as I did. They have a small business, maybe out of their home, but still need to bring in customers on a shoestring, without a staff of professionals or the help of an advertising agency!

And even though much of the information available about marketing is excellent, applying it to what we need to do to make sure we have work to do on Monday mornings is like trying to make a good impression in a hand-me-down suit that is too big: it is not a comfortable fit!

But there is marketing techniques that work fantastically well for the self-employed!

In this blog, I  share what actually works to bring in more customers.  The marketing tools and ideas were developed over years of trial and error and blood, sweat, and tears!

I hope you come back often to learn these techniques that bring customers and learn to avoid those things that do not work!

Is your marketing lacking?

January 18, 2012 By: Ron Coleman Category: Marketing

For your business to succeed, you need prospective clients to know that you are able to service their needs.  The challenge here is that many prospective clients have no idea if you are able to accomplish that!

Yes, you have testimonials on your website, but so do all your competitors!

These testimonials provide your prospective clients with little real insight as to your ability, because we all know they are usually written by the best clients.  You would never quote your upset clients, would you!

Yes, you have put logos from your industry organizations on your website or brochure, but they mean nothing to your prospective clients.  Since your prospective clients are not experts in your industry and have no idea if they have any credibility.  Even if they are credible, your prospective clients are likely to see them on your competitors sites and marketing materials too.  In other words, your prospective clients still know nothing about your knowledge or skills.

Show Them!

So, if you want your prospective clients to find out how awesome you are, show them!

Start writing blog posts or newsletter articles, which demonstrate your knowledge.  Show what you know and how valuable your information is.  Use your marketing messages to deliver information to your prospective client that has value; something they can use rather than just a sales pitch.  Educate them.  Cause them to position you in their mind as an expert in your field and the logical person to call, when they need help from someone in your industry.

Show your prospective clients that you are able to service their needs.

The good news? Very, very few of your competitors are doing this right now!

Is your life or business what you want?

January 13, 2012 By: Ron Coleman Category: General Business

Are you where you want to be in your life or your business?

Every year, many of us make New Year’s  Resolutions.  Have they helped you so far?  I know lots of people that make the resolutions and before the end of January have forgotten the resolutions or given up!

We tend to stay in our comfort zones.  We read the same kind of books, gravitate to people who dress like we do and listen to those with similar political or religious views to our own.

It’s comfortable, but seldom leads to real growth.  It’s easy to stay in those comfort zones, but far less inspiring than we deserve.

So, what would happen if you made one or more simple changes?

  • What if you decided not to watch any TV, for the next 7 days?
  • What if you decided to give 100% to every piece of work you do and every interaction you have, for the next 7 days?
  • What if you decided to start your day with exercise, for the next 7 days?
  • What if you decided to write a blog post every day, for the next 7 days?
  • What if you decided to do an act of great kindness for a different person, every day, for the next 7 days?
  • What if you decided to listen to a radio station that plays different music than your usual taste or has different political opinions, every day, for the next 7 days?
  • What if you decided to write a thank you note each day to a different person who has helped or inspired you, for the next 7 days?
  • What if you contacted just 1 more potential customer every work day for the next 7 days (that would be 5 more business contacts just this week or 250 more potential customers in 2012 if you kept it up all year)
  • What if you read 1 hour every day for the next 7 days? (that would be over 250 hours of learning in 2012 if you kept it up all year)

What would one or more of these changes make in your business?  Would it make a difference in your income in 2012?


How to build a more profitable business!

January 12, 2012 By: Ron Coleman Category: General Business, Marketing

What does your client list look like?  Do you have a great client list or a so-so one?  To build a great client list, you need leads from your ideal profile of client.

If you want to see how well your marketing is doing as far as reaching your ideal target market, look at the leads you are getting from your marketing.  First, what kind of volume of leads does your marketing generate?  Do you get too few leads? Then look at the quality of the leads you are getting.  Does your marketing tend to attract, for example, leads from people who are fee sensitive?  Or maybe from people, who you know will be a nightmare to work with?

If so, then your marketing is clearly not effectively targeting the right people with the correct message.  If you plan on being successful, you need to fix that now!

You probably already know that the quality of your client base will have a direct impact on the quality of your business and also your quality of life.  Since I have been target marketing, I already know you are a small business owner and that you often work long hours too.  Working long hours on projects for low quality clients is stressful, unrewarding and frustrating.  You deserve better than that!

If you redesign your client list and your business, and then design your marketing to be directly relevant to these extremely valuable people, it will have a positive impact on your business and the quality of your life!  You business can be rewarding, fun and very profitable.

So get specific! Understand that for your marketing to work, it needs to be directly relevant ONLY to your ideal profile of client. This is what makes it powerful enough to inspire people to take action and contact you. Your marketing can only be that compelling, when you speak directly to the right people, with the correct message.

If you would like me to help you, let me know.  I would be glad to help.

Are you making the progress you want with your business?

January 11, 2012 By: Ron Coleman Category: General Business, Marketing

Let me ask you a question.  If your car dies on the highway, and it won’t start, do you push your car everyplace you want to go, day in and day out?  No!  that is not the solution.  You need to fix your car’s engine and then drive where you want to go!

Well, the same is true with your business.  If your business is not generating the leads and inquiries you need, the solution is not to keep “pushing” ineffective marketing on people.  You need to fix your marketing engine!

Many business owners I meet seem to feel that all they need to do is more of the same marketing and that that will increase leads and customers.  For example, they fail to get the leads and customers they want from networking, blogging, email marketing, direct mail, etc, so they do more of it.  Many times they try new marketing techniques by copying others who are in just as big a mess as they are.  Then they wonder why they don’t have enough customers and sales!

You need to break free from those destructive actions?  You need to know what the right marketing for you and your business and then you need to know how to use it correctly!

You can get the help you need and stop wasting your time and money whenever you wish. 

The choice is yours!