A New Year, A New Journey

Steven BishopEvery year we set “New Year’s Resolutions” and start down a new path. I know that many of us have seen different levels of success with our resolutions. My resolution this year was to stop talking about helping small businesses and to do something about it. I have started my new endeavor and this magazine is part of it!

I have launched my new company “Market Growth Advisors” to help small and micro businesses grow. There are many of us who have a dream or an idea, but we need a little help. Market Growth Advisor can give direction to new startups and experienced business owners that are looking for a new direction, or just need a spark to get their business growing again.

This publication, SmallBusinessep.com, is the publishing arm of Market growth advisors. It will provide valuable articles on Marketing, Management, Bookkeeping, and other issues important to small businesses. I hope that you enjoy and profit from the information we provide.

Here is to a prosperous new year,

Steven Bishop
Market Growth Advisors

 

Prospects to Customers

Prospects to CustomersIf you’re a marketer your number one concern is customers.  You’ve probably read and heard a million and one ideas about how to build relationships, retain customers, create a list of potential customers, and inspire consmer loyalty.  But the tough question is, “How do I convert prospects into customers?”

There are a lot of people out there who see your ads, think about them, and maybe even say, “I ought to…”  They’re just waiting to be convinced to to do something about it.  There is something you can do to get them moving!

1.  Improve Your Offer

Big SaleNo on can pass up the deal that’s “too good to resist.”  Think about it… how often do your customers want your product, but just want something else a little more?  That leaves you with a long list of “almost sales” that have the potential to be converted into real sales and profit.  Sweeten the deal.  Make the offer so good they can’t resist it.

Now, I’m in no way suggesting that you drop your prices to sweeten the deal.  You can just as easily load it up with bonuses to increase the perceived value without cutting away at your profit.  Bonuses motivate sales, maybe even more than cut prices.

Don’t let them lollygag.  Yeah, get them into the store pronto with a deadline.  They may have to put a competitors purchase on hold to get your deal, but hey… what’s wrong with that?

2.  Follow Up

followupHow would you like to increase your sales by more than 50 percent?  Yeah, it sounds good!  There’s really a very simple tactic that you can implement… follow ups.

Chances are, prospective customers aren’t going to buy your product the first time they see or hear about it.  Maybe it’ll be the third or fourth, but they have to hear from you that third or fourth time before they actually become a customer.  Do you have a follow up system in place?

Simply contact the “almost customer” every month with a new offer, or give them more information about the product they are showing interest in.  It doesn’t have to be an intricate process.  Keeping the contact there goes a long way toward building trust… the key to finding life-long customers.

Internet Marketers experience a high number of customers who browse their site, then click away.  You can’t follow up without some form of contact information.  A great way to gather the info you need is to offer a free ebook or informative report that consumers will find of interest.  Once they’ve given you the information to email them the product, you have what you need to keep in contact, and work on converting them into loyal customers.

Personalize as much as possible.  If you can get the firstname of your customer… great!  Personalized messages have greater appeal than “addressed to occupant” messages.

 

Do you know your customer?

If you do not know you customer, everything is harder. You spend more time and money on marketing. Your products and services are not as effective. Your business will not grow quickly. Many small businesses have struggled with growth, new product launches, and even gone out of business because the did not know their customer.

Can you answer the following questions about your customers?

How old are they?  What is their income level?  What gender ratio(male to female) are they?  Do they own or rent?  Do the have a car?  Do they use the Internet?

If you can not answer these simple questions about your customer, your ability to grow your business will be greatly diminished.

Marketing can be very expensive. A lot of small businesses feel the they can not afford to market their business, or that their marketing is not effective. Not knowing your customer makes those statements true. Without the customer demographic information you can not target your typical customer. This means that your advertising is more general and directed towards a larger group. All of these factors cause the cost of marketing to rise.

You can not offer effective products and services if you do not know the needs of your customers. If you decide to offer a new car care product and most of your customers use public transportation, you will not see many sales. On the other hand, if you offer free public transportation information, like maps, your customers will appreciate your concern and feel more loyal to your business.