Most times, in startups and small businesses, we’re so busy that we get ahead of ourselves and put tactics before a strategic plan. While this may sound obvious, many may forego it due to the negative connotation that ‘strategic planning’ brings – time. But, there are ways to create simple tweaks to current strategies to enable better goal alignment with efforts already underway.
Who is your true target audience? This means your ideal fit, not anyone who may still be in the consideration phase. These people want to purchase, can purchase and are finalizing who they’ll contact to inquire about a purchase. Consider this when creating your targeted marketing efforts and the behavior that these people tend to take and through which channels. Reach them THERE, with THAT information. Do less of what does not serve this audience, if at all.
Is your price point serving you or making you work harder? Really consider if your price is making you do more to gain less. Could you have fewer customers at a higher price and still be making a profit? Do you even have a profit goal? Many times we think more is better but if you are a small shop you could be running the risk of letting things slip through the cracks or running yourself ragged for a price point that makes it not worth the huge effort. Set goals and test price points to adjust your current client base. Don’t be lured into promotional prices – the clients will only last as long as the price cut does! Better to build a strong client base that has the means and desire for your service than to try to lure those who do not to stay on.
Do you use a web intake form? How much time do you spend on sales intake? If you’re a sole proprietor, this can be a huge time suck. Think of how you can get the information you need to move forward as quickly as possible without returning mounds of emails and loads of voice mails. Can you create an intake form to redirect people to that lets you assess and prioritize? Are there certain criteria you can institutionalize for which clients/customers get priority? This is not meant to replace personal contacts as that is huge for your business – we’re not talking unpersonalized automation here. Rather, we’re looking for ways to allow you to optimize your time with the clients you do see by meeting their needs immediately or sending them on to another solution.
These three simple and easy to implement ideas should free you up to do more of what you love doing, making your clients satisfied evangelists for your product. It’s a win-win for you, them and your word of mouth marketing – your number one referral maker.