Simple Marketing Part 3: Think about it

26 04 2008

What do you need to think about when you are running your own business? I’ve spoken with people who run their own enterprises across Wales during the last 6 years and consistently when you ask them about there business they will always have a long long list of things they are thinking about.

This is understandable because in many cases they will be in charge of everything including, production, staffing, premises, distribution, accounts and yes even marketing. All of which is very time consuming.

But here in part 3 of Simple Marketing, I am suggesting that anyone running their own business should take a little time out to have a think about their business – particularly before embarking on any new marketing activities.

As an owner of your own business, this type of thinking should allow you to look back to when you first started the business and then look at the business you have today. At which point you can ask yourself some key questions that will shape the future development of your business, and which in turn will determine they types of marketing activity you need to undertake.

Some of the types of question worth asking yourself would be:

Has my business developed as I expected it to? – If not it is it better than you expected or is the business running your life?

Am I happy with my business? – If not you can start to think about ways to redress this situation.

What is your long term plan for the business? – Are you looking to sell-up and retire at some point? Do you want other family members to keep running the business? Do they want to keep running the business?

How far away are you from your original business plan? – Has the shift helped or hindered your business?

What do you really want from your life and is your business helping you to achieve that?

Overall by thinking about the BIG PICTURE for YOU and YOUR BUSINESS you will have undergone a healthy sense check and also this should help to identify what you want or need your business to achieve.

During this thinking process it is important to talk with your family as no doubt any changes will affect them too and they no doubt already feel that they are an important part of your business.

All these thoughts should help you to develop a vision for your business, that suits your requirements. These could range from:

I want to expand my business but not to have to move to bigger premises.

I am looking to retire in the next 5 years and will want to sell my business as a going concern.

I can’t physically grow my business but would like to maximise my profitability.

I want to create a thriving family business my children can take over.

I would like to grow my business at a manageable pace.

Ultimately, the final vision you decide on has to be of your own thinking and the one that truly reflects what you want from your business.

But when you have settled on your vision you are then best placed to then look at your business to see how well it is currently fitting the vision and whether it will deliver what you want it to. This will have an impact on the way you market your products which will be covered in future parts of the Simple Marketing series.

Yet for now its time to start thinking.

PS: Have you noticed that so far in the Simple Marketing series there has been no talk of spending money on marketing! This is partly because I am a firm advocate that by getting the foundations for your marketing strategy right is the most crucial way to successfully marketing your business, and that doesn’t need to cost a penny – you just need to set aside the time to thoroughly get your marketing foundations in place.

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