Naturally, I will be the first one to stand behind the importance of marketing your own business. The advantages are endless and obvious (to me, at least). Just as you must choose marketing tactics wisely and implement correctly, you first must be sure you and your business are ready.
Although you may not be certain which marketing tools to implement or why yet (I can help you with that), you do need to be able to provide answers to the following three questions:
Do you have a business/marketing plan?
Are you currently marketing effectively?
Do you have a marketing budget?
These three questions literally will anchor my first consultation meeting with you. Within just a few minutes, I can determine WHERE to start, HOW to start and IF you are ready to start marketing your business.
1. Do you have a business plan for your company?
YES: Fantastic! My next question would be: Do you have a Marketing Plan inside of that business plan?
NO: Don’t worry, this is honestly a fairly common response. We will create a business plan that includes a strategic marketing plan together!
WHY IS THIS IMPORTANT? It is important to define your company goals, target market, budget, etc. within your business plan. You need to know who to market to and what will work and won’t work based on your goals. You want to be able to measure your ROI. Within a killer business plan, lies a killer marketing plan. Whether you have both or neither one, we will know where to begin.
2. Are you currently marketing effectively?
YES: I will want to find out what you are doing specifically and try to determine if it is effective. If you are using social media, for example, which platforms are you using? How often are you posting? Do you have content to post? How effective is it? How much time is this taking?
NO: Some folks do not know where to start. You may not have a website or not know what Twitter is for --and that’s ok! I can create a marketing plan for you, explain what we are doing and why.
WHY IS THIS IMPORTANT? Discovering what you are currently doing (or not doing) will give me a good idea of what you should continue, discontinue or add on.
Sidebar: As a subset question to this I would also ask if you know WHO your target market is – a crucial piece of the overall puzzle. If you do not know who your target market is or understand them, you may as well not be marketing at all.
3.What is your marketing budget? This really should be in your marketing plan, which is part of your business plan. It is so important that it warrants repeating.
YES: Great, I can determine the most effective marketing tools for your budget and we can stay on track!
NO: No worries. This does not have to be overwhelming. We can start small and build as we go. I will create a list of marketing services for you based on your goals. They will be prioritized from what you should start with first and go down the line. This will ensure that you are starting with the most important step and getting the most bang for your buck as well. Then, you can add on services down the road as your budget allows.
WHY IS THIS IMPORTANT? There are a couple of different reasons a budget for marketing is important. First, marketing your company is a commitment. It takes time, effort, communication and yes, money. Secondly, having a budget shows that you are serious and understand the importance of spending money to make money. Those who are not willing to invest in their business will inevitably fall behind.
It’s important to understand that if you answered NO to any of the three questions above, it does not mean you can not start marketing. It just means that you will want to evaluate these questions and provide feedback before we begin our journey together. Because I am a business owner myself, it is my goal to help you make your business successful.
I do offer free consultations and would be happy to help guide you with determining and implementing the most effective marketing strategies for your company. Call, text or email me today to schedule a meeting,
Lisa Shackelford is the president of DASH Marketing LLC, headquartered in Lee’s Summit, MO. and the Advertising Director for MetroWIre Media LLC. You may contact her at email@example.com.