Our recent research project tells us that small business owners typically spend 12 hours a week promoting their company.
That’s all you’ve got to cover face to face sales and networking, conventional marketing and whatever you choose to do online – whether using Google ad-words, making use of social media or dipping your toe into the ocean that is twitter.
How should you spend your time? Our current research tells us that lead generation is the number one concern of the small business owner. In this strange 21st century we don’t have time to prospect the way we did in the ’80s. Back then we did a lot of exhibitions, paper newsletters and cold calling on the phone. We know that people don’t do that now – for example, only 14% of our sample uses telemarketing in any systematic way.
We found that most companies rely on networking for referrals and introductions. They also use workshops, PR and online advertising too but the focus is on face to face networking and social media..
We compared companies with local businesses (80% of their orders come within a 50 mile radius) and global/national ones – and checked whether the business is scalable or not. A mail-order plants business is scalable since we can source more product if if we have more demand while a local organic vegetable business whose produce depends on its certification is not scalable.. The limiting factor is production because once the produce is sold – it sold. These businesses need different marketing strategies..
It turns out that the difference is local vs national business. For a local business networking locally will provide the leads you need. For a national business you need the extra reach and randomness that online working gives you. Twice as many national businesses used linked in and twitter as did local businesses. (42% vs 18% for linked-in).
And the same rules for building trust apply online and offline.
• Be clear about what you do
• Do what you say you will
• Be easy to work with
• Get back to people quickly
If you need help developing a strategic plan, are wondering about how to tell your story better and how to construct an effective marketing mix we have some new products to help you as well as plain old consultancy.
“12 hours a Week” workshop
Based on our research findings this 3 hour workshop helps you work out the right balance between face to face and online networking and conventional marketing for your business. Includes new 80 page workbook and BrainMap tool. Arora Hotel Gatwick 17th July £85+VAT . You can book here.
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