We had an excellent question asked by a new client. It made sense to answer in a post so everybody could benefit.
Here’s the question:
“I run a general contracting business. We mostly do home renovations – basement, kitchen, bathroom. What are the areas I need to focus on to grow my business this year?”
As business consultants, our team has spoken with literally hundreds of business owners across dozens of industries – from construction to web design. One of the very first things you learn is that no silver bullet or magical 10-point checklist exists that will lead your business to sustained and guaranteed growth. There are, however, seven factors in which healthy companies concentrate their efforts.
Factor #1 - Clear purpose, direction and leadership
The vast majority of business owners that have achieved growth discover that it takes more than the promise of increasing financial reward to fuel their aspirations and ambitions. They find a higher calling than simply the chase of money and fatter wallet.
Factor #2 – Elite competition analysis
Basically this means a businesses ability to recognize and adapt any fundamental changes in the marketplace or with competitors. Oftentimes we see small business owners with tunnel vision, seeing only a slice of the markets in which they compete. Those who are true growth leaders recognize the bigger picture.
Factor #3 – Planning for growth
One of the most accurate predictors of whether or not a business will grow. Remember your plan for growth does not need to be overly formal or complicated. It also does need to be written, well-communicated and regularly updated.
Factor #4 – Customer mindset
It’s funny how many businesses truly believe they are customer-driven, when in reality very few really are. Take a long hard look at your business processes from the customer perspective. Are they in place to make it easier for the company, or to help deliver on the promise of faster, cheaper and better for the customer?
Factor #5 – Leverage technology
Truly successful leaders do not allow the boom and bust of technology cycles give them the reason to ignore that we live in an information age. Every company in business today, it is in the technology business. The sooner this is realized, the better.
Factor #6 – Get the best talent
Successful leaders recognize that they are only as good as their team of employees. The ability to hire, train and retain the absolute best and the brightest talent is often the difference between business success and total failure.
Factor #7 – Being the visionary
Very few businesses take the time to sit back and think about the future. No question, successful leaders are able to effectively monitor and interpret the tiny mechanisms of change affecting the world in which they conduct business.
Successful business relationships much like successful websites depend on Value, Competence, Trust, and Propriety.
How much different is that from our personal lives? Not much really.
Let me explain further…
Value: The customer’s understanding of your worth, excellence, usefulness, or importance. Value addresses the customer’s question, “What can he or she or company do for me personally?”
Value might be articulated by explicitly answering these questions throughout the sales cycle:
• How much? (what should the customer expect to gain by doing business with you – in increased sales, lower costs, etc.)
• How soon? (when the customer should be able to obtain the value)
• How sure? (proof that this customer would really attain the value stated)
Provide norms for your customer to ensure that if you don’t question of the items the customer should expect within you: “We possess a track record of providing a 15% cost savings and 90% product availability within 2 days of order.”
What are norms that your particular customers can expect you to live up to?
Remember, it is YOUR job to tell your visitors what value they could expect – customers shouldn’t have to work to determine the worthiness themselves. If you don’t explicitly quantify the value your customer can expect to obtain – as well as your competition could be carrying this out benefit your customer – who’s going to win the sale?
Competence: The customer’s perception of your skill, knowledge, and knowledge of respect for many years or their business. Competence addresses the customer’s question, “Can he or she or company do the things they say they can do?”
Competence is demonstrated with the following:
• Completing and implementing a prepared and logical sales approach
• Conveying a comprehension in the customer in addition to their business
• Demonstrating research files
• Substantiating your capabilities
• Involving down-line appropriately as well as on a timely basis
The thought of competence is gained over time. As you choose to work these pointers to your method of your clients, you will get credibility and enhance your business relationships.
Trust: The customer’s confidence inside your integrity, ability, and intent. Trust addresses the customer’s question, “Do I trust he or she?”
Trust is demonstrated by the following:
• Using third party introductions
• Providing directions of recommendation (objective references help build credibility)
• Displaying honesty, candor, empathy, and respect (demonstrate that you’ve done study, show a problem for his or her some time and issues)
• Conveying win/win intent (concern for positive outcome/success either way parties)
• First and foremost, substantiate with action:
o Establish a history of follow-through
o Set new norms (guidelines for expected behavior which can be agreed to and that could be trusted)
Propriety: The customer’s thought of the appropriateness or properness of the actions regarding them or their business. Propriety addresses the customer’s question, “Is this person behaving properly or appropriately?”
Section of exhibiting propriety influences way you look. Over 1 / 2 of others’ perceptions people is based – at least initially – on your appearance. Therefore, be aware with your appearance, mannerisms, vocabulary, and business etiquette. If the initial “appearances” occur on the telephone, pay special care about your tone, enthusiasm, and vocabulary.
A second, critical portion of demonstrating propriety involves your adaptability to other people. Operational, the Golden Rule – “Do unto others as you might have them do unto you” – is generally inappropriate. In reality, in the event you treat others as you desire being treated, you may end up ignoring their needs, wants, and expectations, which can be totally different from your own personal.
You must be astute enough to acknowledge others’ needs, wants, and expectations So you has to be flexible enough to treat people the direction they desire to be treated.
Relate to your visitors in a manner that makes them feel most comfortable. This decreases “relationship tension” and increases trust, credibility, cooperation, and the dedication to use you.
Construct your business relationships – as well as your future – by focusing on these critical aspects of Value, Competence, Trust, and Propriety.
The actual proliferation of social networking sites is easily the most pervasive phenomenon online today. Not because the dot.com explosion has the there been an online trend that is so widespread in the popularity. The comparison with all the dot.com growth is actually built to be manufactured by many industry observers, and even though there are a number of clear similarities, in addition there are some important differences.
It’s expected that by early 2010, the many various social networking sites may have over 230 million members. Time is anticipated to cultivate until 2011, which has a leveling off on the amount of newbies expected by 2012.
The combined revenue out there sites, which in 2012 reached almost $1.7 billion, is estimated to balloon to some whopping $2.4 billion by 2020.
Membership development in social networking sites varies greatly from different regions. The Asia Pacific region accounts for the lion’s share of users, with 35% of the total users expected after 2007. EMEA makes up about about 28% coming from all users, United states follows closely with 25% percent, and the Caribbean and Latin America trails behind with 12% of users.
With all the inevitable crowding from the social websites site industry, many observers believe consolidation of the companies are a sure thing. It’s boosted some predication’s the smaller individual social networking sites will likely be swallowed up by the bigger players in the field. Some experts feel however this isn’t necessarily the truth. Especially, social media sites with a give attention to special interests are required to thrive the popularity towards consolidation. What does that mean for traditional web design?
The extensive hype and excitement currently surrounding social networking sites is in all likelihood what inspires the comparison on the dot com boom, but also in the midst of all the so-called buzz, there’s a certain a higher level trepidation experienced many at the same time. Even though many investors are naturally pumped up about the chance of social media sites, the fact these kinds of websites have not been proven for the long term causes some hesitation. The promise of riding about the wave in the latest Internet phenomenon is often a tempting prospect, however it is tempered with the uncertainty of social networking sites like a long lasting sustainable industry. One of the most cautious industry observers have even gone so far as to point out that most social media sites would excel to carry off while on an IPO for now.
The founder and chief executive of Facebook, Mark Zuckerberg, has officially stated that his despite his company’s spectacular growth, Facebook continues to be decades faraway from flotation.
As there is without doubt that social media sites are a genuinely groundbreaking innovation that is certainly changing how you communicate in lots of significant ways, consider your experience sticking with the same Internet phenomena signifies that the hyper charged atmosphere of pleasure cannot last indefinitely. A is now seen as easy capital, plenty of media attention and widespread user curiosity-all of which directly boosts creativity-but all that can come to a end eventually.
I am not saying that there is no future for social media sites. To the contrary, the future is just as bright as always at this relatively initial phase from the game, it really is hard to predict exactly how huge the full industry can get. What companies and investors must do however would be to adapt their method of be equipped for the changes that may inevitably are available in the near future.
Within a report published in 2013, Ri Pierce of Grove Technology and an analyst detailed a number of suggestions that can help companies handle the modifications. A number of these suggestions center around understanding market strategies as well as other technological developments.
The most significant things that companies are able to do to roll with all the punches is formulate a couple pronged procedure for deal with the hothouse atmosphere that the market is currently experiencing and also the eventual cool down which is likely to follow. This plan will involve companies progressively more heavily associated with establishing tweaking the infrastructure that’s needed to perform these kind of web sites. They will also excel to locate effective means by which to aid social-networking services especially in the areas of scalability and availability.
Alternatives social media sites themselves, the very best method of ensuring continued popularity is through social networking optimization. There are a number of methods widely used to achieve this but five rules happen to be particularly good at attaining this goal. Formulated by Rohit Bhargava, these rules are: Enhancing the linkability of one’s social websites site, making the tagging and bookmarking process possible for your audience, rewarding inbound links, helping your site content travel, and lastly encouraging mashups, that happen to be web applications that combine data from multiple source in a single integrated tool.
I hate to share with you this, on the other hand love watching infomercials. And I’ve ordered a few times from their store! Sets from cosmetics to some cellular phone accessory.
When pressed, my girlfriends admit exactly the same. In the event you sniff around most people’s homes, you can find SOMETHING ordered from an infomercial. You may be thinking of these often annoying programs as “trash TV”, but think again. Do you understand that they will use a lot of the similar strategies that individuals should?
Now, I would not mean you should scream at the customers or flash “$19.95″ in blinking digits on the website! Those are gimmicks. But what most people don’t know is the fact that lots of the STRATEGIES that sell your kitchen doohickey gadget are exactly the same ones that will also sell your merchandise and programs.)
Here are my 7 favorite marketing lessons learned from television.
Here are 7 of my favorites:
1. They grab your attention.
Infomercials air around the complicated medium there exists around: television. You’re merely a second from the prospect clicking their remote to a higher channel. In order that they do their best to really get your attention without delay and KEEP it as long as possible.
This is exactly why infomercials give bold statements and emphasize how this doohickey will alter your daily life. You want to do this too — stop beating around the bush and earn it clear to your prospects the services changes *their* lives!
2. They offer plenty of real-life testimonials.
You’ll notice that TV infomercials have evolved greatly since years ago. It used to be 1 or 2 people speaking with a camera for the complete time. Nowadays most typical Thirty minute spots have ended 80% customer testimonials! And that is for a good reason… they are the hands-down BEST way to gain instant credibility.
An incredible example is good for among those home machines. I noticed in the past they just showed the super-ripped guy utilizing it for the infomercial. This is demonstrate that guy, PLUS lots of pre and post testimonials from real-life guys with beer bellies and real jobs who used the product or service with success. That was a great go forward their part, because c’mon, I simply can’t believe that super-ripped guy got that hot looking deploying it just Thirty minutes, 3 x every week!
3. They will use personalities.
One of the most successful infomercials now use celebrity guest hosts. They understand this does get people’s attention greater than practically anything out there. Pro Activ uses Jessica Simpson. Youthful Essence (a skincare product I love) uses Susan Lucci. Even NutriSystem is using Dan Marino in their commercials to target men.
You can do the same in your marketing. You can either engage a star, lounge chair somewhere, be the celebrity… by sharing stories, being personal, and achieving fun together with your market.
4. They provide an irresistible offer.
It’s rare these days to view an infomercial asking for you to spend on something fully. You’ll mostly see such things as “3 payments of $19.95″ or “4 payments of $39.95″. Why? Cash-crunched Americans are always more concerned about income compared to total price. They’ll even happily pay much MORE eventually as a way to acquire a lower payment!
That can be done exactly the same. Give you a repayment plan on your products, courses, workshops, and coaching. You may be AMAZED at the increased response, and it’s really easy to use marketing-savvy shopping cart application systems.
5. They offer a powerful call-to-action NOW.
These individuals understand that once you affect the channel, you’ll just forget about their product. So they really ensure it is very urgent that you choose up the phone and contact them now or visit their site and order. They generally say something like “If you call in the following Ten minutes you also get…” and they list some bonuses.
It is not just specific to TV. Everyone would prefer to defer ANY decision nowadays, we are all so busy and overwhelmed! So you need to give people at this moment to do something now, whether it’s a discount that expires, a repayment plan that expires, a small variety of products or seats, an exclusive bonus… you get the drift.
6. They offer on continuity.
What’s “continuity”? it’s once you make ONE sale that results in multiple charges repeatedly. For example, because my friends have already been raving about I.D. Bare Minerals natural makeup, I just ordered a kit using their infomercial. Now, every 8 weeks, I be given a fresh supply in the mail, and my card is charged again. I love it since i don’t have to be sure you reorder. They like it since they only had to make ONE sale, and the way they need me being a customer forever until I cancel!
Hear me now… continuity will alter your life! Consider tips on how to make use of this principle with your business. Could you convert a few of your existing offerings in a monthly membership? Or instead of doing one-shot teleseminars, create a constant monthly program? (Used to do this with my Marketing & Motivation Mastermind.)
7. They repeat themselves. And repeat themselves.
And repeat themselves again! Smart marketers understand it takes about 9 TIMES for somebody to see/hear your message BEFORE they’ll even consider purchasing! That goes to suit your needs too. So many of my clients complain that advertising does not work properly after they only ran one ad ONCE. Or published ONE newsletter and it didn’t make them results.
Remember it’s the ongoing exposure and repetition that breeds familiarity and trust with your prospects! Knowning that results in more sales than you’ve ever imagined.
Our team found a great Mississauga web design team, and it reminded us how important it is to have the right people for the job.
This is the position many people find themselves in and are on the lookout for very cheap web design services.
There are companies out there or people who are just starting out in a career building websites who to start with will often offer their services at a very reasonable rate, basically to build up a portfolio. Once they are established they then tend to increase the amount they charge.
I have even heard about one person who for a very short period of time was building websites for free! This is an extreme case though.
To find these companies and people it is worth looking in many areas including yellow pages, ebay, bargain pages and also by asking his friends, to see if they knew of anybody.
Searching on search engines like Google for the search term, affordable web design services is also a good idea. There will be many different websites listed, and after a few phone calls there is a good chance you will find a very good deal.
There are plenty of people offering quality website design services, who do not charge huge fees, just keep looking and you are sure to find them.
Once you have your professional looking website you then have to start promoting it. There is no point of having a great site if no one can see it. Most people would agree that what you need to do is to start building up the backward links to your site. This is a link on a different website which points to your site. Writing articles like the one you are reading here is one way of doing this as you are able to include a link to your site at the bottom of the article.
Once you have written the article you should then submit to a few of the article websites/directories this on its own will create a number backward links. Other people are also able to use the article on their site or in their ezine. Blogs are becoming quite big now and they are always on the look out for fresh content and may well use your article.
Internet marketing is quickly becoming one of the most popular advertising options available. The Internet reaches a worldwide audience and is available 24 hours a day.
For this reason more and more potential customers are turning to the Internet for a variety of reasons including researching products and services and making purchases. As more and more consumers turn to the Internet for these reasons, it is important for businesses to establish an online presence.
This is so important because failure to do so may result in their competitors gaining an edge over them in competing for sales. While it is important for business to begin Internet marketing campaigns it is also important for these same businesses to realize basic advertising principles still exist and they cannot neglect these principles.
Most importantly those who advertise online have to be aware of who their target audience is and how to reach this audience.
As with any marketing campaign, business owners should do some market research before they launch their Internet marketing campaign. Ideally this will involve hiring a research consultant with a great deal of experience in conducting and evaluating this type of market research.
The results of this research should determine the basic demo-graphical information for the target audience. The results should also include information on how to reach this target audience. A business that cannot afford to hire a consultant to conduct this market research should still make an effort to obtain this information on their own.
This can be done through informal polls of current clients. This information may not be as comprehensive as the information obtained in a more formal study but it can still provide a great deal of insight into the best way to reach the target audience.
Once this information is obtained, it is important to tailor the Internet marketing campaign to appeal to the target audience. There are a number of different variables which can be modified to ensure the right message is reaching the right people in a manner they can understand and in which they can relate.
Some of the ways in which your Internet marketing campaign can be tailored in this way include the aesthetics of your website or advertisements, the wording of your copy and the use of more advanced design features such as audio and visual or interactive tools.
The aesthetic appeal of a website can greatly contribute to how the website is viewed by the members of the target audience. A website which is designed to attract the attention of an older generation with more conservative tastes should include muted colors, clean design and conservative graphics.
This will help to ensure the target audience enjoys the website. Conversely if you are looking to appeal to a younger audience with more liberal viewpoints you might chose to design the website with bold colors, eye catching graphics and creative design features.
The copy you include on your website should also take your target audience into consideration. Consider the examples of a conservative and a liberal audience listed above to create a better understanding of how the copy on your website can appeal to the target audience.
When marketing to a more conservative audience, the copy should be tailored to use formal language and use facts to back up viewpoints.
However, when you are marketing to a more liberal audience or a younger audience you can consider using less formal language which is likely to appeal to the target audience. You can also focus more on emotion to express viewpoints.
Finally, when a website is created for the purposes of Internet marketing it is important for the design of the website to appeal to the target audience. You may wish to include audio and video clips on your website but the design should appeal to the target audience.
For example if your website sells skateboards you might consider incorporating audio clips from punk rock bands as opposed to country music bands. There may be some skateboarders who enjoy country music but in general punk rock music more closely represents the skating culture.
Keeping these details in mind is very important for online marketing.
In today’s highly technical world, everything is online. There is nothing you cannot buy, sell, trade, research, find pictures of, or play if you have a computer and Internet connection. These days, there is a web site out there for anything you could name.
Which means that someone probably has a web site a lot like yours? As competition for page views grows more intense, web design more technical, and the Internet more popular, good web design becomes more important than ever before. If you have a web site, then you want visitors to view that site. Good web design is the only way to make that happen.
The average Internet cruiser is more jaded these days, harder to impress. Good web design is the only way to get repeat visitors. There are several basic key elements to good web design that every web designer must know how to use.
Content. Internet search engines have grown very clever about searching content on web sites these days. Good web design is centered on your web site’s content. What keywords will people search to find your site? Once you know what your keywords are, you have to have plenty of content on your site that features those keywords. There are several free web sites that allow you to check your keyword content. Use them. Content is what search engines look at first, so it is here that you must make your impression.
Links. Search engines, and your visitors, love links. You want links that connect to other pages of your site, internal links, as well as external links that connect to pages outside your domain. The more links you have, the better, so use them liberally throughout your site. Links also improve the navigation of your site, which is incredibly important to good web design.
Graphics. Bright colors, pictures, and fun fonts will make or break your web site. Graphics are going to fly at Internet cruisers every way they look, so you want to make an impression with the graphics on your site. Good web design is about a pleasing flow of colors, pictures, graphics, and text. Don’t over clutter your pages, but make them exciting and interesting to look at.
Good web design is about learning how to balance key elements that appeal to search engines and your viewers. Your pages should flow together, your navigation should be easy, and your site filled with content. The only way to increase traffic to your site is through good web design that is updated regularly. This will ensure repeat, and new, business to your site. The more visitors you have, the better. Good web design is the only way to make that happen.
Global marketing is nothing but marketing done on national and international level and which involves understanding the similarities, dissimilarities and taking advantage of the opportunities to attain the goal. Concentrating on global marketing is as important as concentrating on domestic marketing if a company is aiming to increase sales. And believe it or not, social media marketing has made this entire process easier.
The domestic market has become saturated in most categories of products and services, in all industrialized countries and hence, they started to deal with other countries to increase their sales. Usually in such case, goods that are too expensive for the domestic customers to buy are exported to other well-off countries.
When a company does marketing within the boundaries of a specific county, it has to compete with other domestic companies as well as international companies who are a part of the market. The marketing steps taken by the professionals are based on the taste of a specific audience. The product might not suit the taste of customers at a higher level. The other domestic companies that plan to go global hinder the growth of such companies. They become invisible at the international level as they are unable to cope with the growing competition and might not be aware of potential competitors. The product development is dependant on the need of the local residents. Such kinds of businesses are ethnocentric and are only bothered about their performance in the domestic marketplace.
Companies planning to go global should start with export to a foreign client first. The returns wouldn’t be satisfying in the beginning. The export department can be introduced at the headquarters that deals with all the laws. There can be a possibility of becoming secondary exporters by bringing export management company into the picture, who will deal with the language problem, time difference, paperwork and customers. If managing the exports without any help, the export department can be started at an office located abroad. This office works in collaboration with the regional headquarters. But the respective offshore offices take the marketing decisions, as they will have best knowledge about the particular market they are operating in.
Multinational marketing involves marketing in many countries. The marketing is based on the requirements of different countries and the returns are rewarding. Each region should be studied individually based on development, production and marketing. Such kinds of markets are known as region centric. Global marketing involves the whole globe. The entire world is summarized as a single market and the products that are released in the market should fit the needs of any regional marketplace. Marketers all over the world make the marketing decisions. Such a kind of market is known as geocentric.
Automotive industry is one such market that saw a global boost in sales during the last fifty years. Earlier only the local companies like Ford and General Motors used to produce cars in America, but today other international competitors like Toyota and Honda are operating in the same market and have out done the local companies. Another key factor to the global marketing is the Internet, which introduced e-commerce. Businesses went going online and global. This encouraged the sales of the company and the figures are only increasing because of ever increasing Internet users. The geographical location of customers is no longer a hindrance. Global marketing management and business-to-business e-commerce is growing rapidly.
Product, price, placement and promotion are the elements of global marketing. The product created should be such that it can sell anywhere using the same method. It should consider the primary elements of all the markets. However, the language in which the product is named can be changed, where as the content can remain the same. The price is never constant. It should be decided after reviewing the market and the currency of the country. The variables which affect prices are location where the product is being produced, cost of ingredients, transportation charges, labor charges, etc.
Placement is how the product is distributed and how it reaches the targeted market. Like in third world countries, there is a lack of superstores, so they can be placed or sold at ordinary shops. After the product is developed and distributed, it should be promoted precisely known as advertising, promotion is one of the major steps of marketing and consumes major part of the budget. If it is possible to send out the same message worldwide in a relevant and cost-effective way, it sure must be put into practice but the challenge is really big.