BEING SMART ISN’T ENOUGH
It’s not enough just to be smart and know everything about your business. That is only the first step to growing a business. The second and most important step is telling the world about your knowledge in such a way that you get noticed first in your area of expertise. Too many business owners are waiting for someone to call or walk into their office to buy their product or service.
I can’t think of anything more important, once you have the product/service knowledge, than having a plan to get your story out to your target market. No, you don’t just say “John sells xxx”. Your story and marketing plan should differentiate you from everyone else selling the same product/service and, at the same time, start the trust building process to encourage contact.
Technology makes the marketing process easier. By combining it with a “human touch marketing”© process it is possible to position yourself as the “go to person.”
If it’s so easy, why doesn’t everyone do it? Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, etc. are basically free. Videos (correctly presented and with good contact) and a value based blog, add to the free or very inexpensive method of getting your story out. Let’s also send out an e-newsletter and the technology part of getting attention is off to a great start. All the different aspects of marketing, including a compelling personal story, are the most critical factors in growing a business. In my opinion there has to be something I call “time compression”. Marketing your business has to take at least 50% of your work time and the rest of your work has to be compressed in the other 50%.
How bad do you want your business to be a success? It’s important to have discipline to be accountable to yourself and your family. I recently met with a business owner and when we got to talking about developing a marketing plan his answer was “I will go to Barnes and Noble and buy a book on how to market.” After two years in business, he is still not making enough money to support himself.
The opportunity to grow a business is better now than ever in the history of the world. This is an exciting time to be in business for yourself. The secret is not to be in business by yourself.
Take a chance; find a trusted advisor or coach and develop a success plan for your business. Remember, the plan is really your plan; you are the only one that can make it happen.
Change is always the goal of learning. You cannot have growth without change.
Nick J. Petra CFP
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