One of the excuses I hear when talking to businesses about growth is, I will get the resources once I have some customers. How do you get customers without resources ? Businesses don’t grow themselves; you know that so what resources do you need for business growth? For your business to grow you understand you must invest your time and resources. In this article, we’re going to break down what is needed in an overview. Some of what we recommend may surprise you.
In this article:
- Spending in AnticipationPlus
The above sounds simplistic but that is what you should be aiming for, a simple way of operating, considering that you must ‘spend money to make money’. What you spend your budget, is not just on concrete things. It’s also about the abstract benefits and spending in anticipation. In other words, being prepared as we will discover later in this article.
A business plan with all that entails is theoretical in part. First-year sales projections anyone? It does have concrete facts like Cost of Goods (COGs) and research into the market etc. Let’s assume this is ticked off. What are you going to need next?
That’s right a marketing plan. This is the key to making things work for your business. The plan must be treated with respect BUT it also has to be flexible as the markets change like Google’s algorithm, daily. It is the structure of the marketing plan that is going to see you to success.
This model of the marketing plan (or framework, in the jargon) was created by PR Smith in the 1990s. It is the rudder that will steer your business.
Situation (where you are now)
Objectives (where you want to go)
Strategy (the way you are going to go about it)
Tactics (the details of the strategy)
Action (the actions needed to make the tactics happen)
Control (see below)
We’re going to cover the key part of this model/framework which is Control. This has more than one part. In effect it is how you track your progress; are you getting there? Within the control, you can measure the KPIs. Key Performance Indicators is a horrible phrase. Think of it more as what you should keep an eye on for success and how you can be prepared for business growth.
Also, in the Control section, you place, budget, time, and people. We can also put here systems (you may have this in your business plan, but it also can sit in a marketing plan).
You will have created a budget, and that budget is going to have a contingency, an amount you can use in preparation for your business growth.
Where do you use that budget effectively? It’s not always obvious. A significant amount will have to be invested in the marketing, in “making the phone ring”. That is the website, the advertising, building your email list etc.
You want the right people to join you. Those that fit in with what you are doing and those that are keen to learn. A marketing manager is a must, even an outsourced one is better than trying to do this job yourself. Avoid false economies and invest in the best people and systems you can afford.
A customer relationship management system (CRM) is vital. A system that can record the multiple touches your customers or clients will have when dealing with your business. It should have an easy-to-use interface and be secure and backed up. It should also be capable of automation (autoresponders, emails that act as reminders).
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Spending in Anticipation
One thing you can’t buy is reputation. In business, this is a combination of exceptional customer service (a wow factor), quality of products/services, good pricing, and great marketing materials (content marketing should be informative and fun).
With this approach comes customer loyalty and something even more valuable, something that should underpin your whole marketing approach ‘word-of-mouth.’
If you are confident in your approach and you invest in the right people and systems, you are going to grow your business.
That confidence should inform your budget spent. What is the point of creating a volume of leads, sales or subscriptions unless you have people to answer your phones?
If you don’t invest and spend in anticipation it may be too late for your business and you will certainly not have the rate of growth, you would expect.
It is a ‘false economy’ not to invest in scalable systems, like CRM licensing, specialised consultants or scalable systems like a professional and experienced telephone answering service.
Proof of success is several companies who have our service and some now have been with us for over 15 years started with us from the day they launched and now employ hundreds of staff, but we still answer their calls. The main reason they are where they are is because they invested in the right tools for the business. One started with us and within a couple of months they landed a 500k deal which skyrocketed their business. Had they just left the call to go to voicemail then the business would have most likely gone to another company who answered the call.