3 neglected principles business often makes up for with advertising.
Oh the crazy world of trying to make end's meet. Trying to grow your business and trying to be a success story. The influences and logic that overwhelm the brain of any budding entrepreneur can in fact be misled recommendations. Especially when it comes to how to grow your business. For real.
Over the past few years I have had the pleasure of partaking in outside observance of several different categories of self employed chaos. Law firms, experts, new ventures outside the realm expertise, acquisitions in a new market and yes start ups and believe it or not there are several behavioral similarities. Some are extreme, some are mild yet more often than not. They all exist.
Advertising is one of them.
There seems to be a commonly held belief that all businesses need to advertise. That this is default obligation for any venture and if you don't do it your business will fail. This is simply not true. Like it or not advertising is not designed to build a brand. It is designed to defend it. Not to secure new customers, but to keep your product categorically first as opposed to a competitor winning that coveted space in the mind of your existing client base.
So what is being negated?
Here are the top three things that businesses should do prior to even thinking about conventional advertising.
Principle #1 | Truly understand and listen to your clients
Don't fall into the trap of believing your expertise is the end all solution. That if you're not busy it's because not enough people appreciate your offering. You need to be receptive of how your passion fits your core clients needs. Adjust and focus on that. Filling the peoples desire to participate in your offering by providing them with the best solution you possibly can.
Engage some humility. Yes your passion and expert status are why you are in business. No question. By being humble enough to learn from the people that feed you will lead to results you have yet to realize.
Principle #2 | Provide the best offering you can.
This one makes me scratch my head. If you're going to give anyone anything in exchange for monetary compensation. Do it in the best possible fashion that you can. Don't fall into the trap of quantity beats quality. It becomes a common trap due to sales being low for people who own businesses to compromise on quality to increase profits by reducing imperative expenses that comprise the make of a quality product.
The logic here is simple. When you provide a product or service that is a premium label, if done well, if thought out and marketed appropriately will lead to others sharing their joy in participating. Now if you want to for cheap, provide a value for the price. Still think value.
People, the right people, the Pareto principle in play, the 20 percent of your most valuable clients see this value. Try to increase that percentage by making that percent become your best marketing tool ever. By giving them so much perceived and appreciated value that they can't help but tell the world.
If you are going for mass production, then exercise caution in cost reductions.
Principle #3 | Truly engage your clients
Do you have a CRM? Do you use it? Do you track you'r engagement with your clients and get to know them on a personal level? Do you send thank you cards? Do you remember names? Do you go out and shake hands and ask how you're doing as a provider? Do you follow up?
All of these questions have vital relevance and guess what! Most businesses fail to to any of them. We often seem to forget that people are intact, people. Yes humans. Human nature is not alleviated when it comes to doing business. You need to engage the core aspects of relational engagement better than your competitors and your need for acquiring new business will take care of itself.
Great examples of this can be found in businesses that blossom. Be observant of how your engaged when you go to a popular venue that you heard of from a friend. One of the best examples of this interactive law I have ever experienced was in a local restaurant just outside of Flagstaff Arizona.
When you dine at the Horseman Lodge you will find a systematic engagement based atmosphere that leads to full parking lots during meal time. When you arrive your are greeted professionally, with a smile coupled with questions designed to make your dining experience personal.
The staff is not rushed and is purposely attentive during the menu review stage. They take the time time to make sure you feel like the most important person, family there. Once you place your order, notice the attention and feedback to clarify that they have the correct details, that every aspect of your order was conveyed properly all the way down to the seasoning preferences.
Once you food arrives it is presented for approval prior to hitting the table. Key note here. The food is insanely good. The portions are large and the quality speaks for itself. Thus my justification for spending fifty bucks for a bone in ribeye.
To top it all off, more often than not a nicely dressed person who's attire matches the common thread of the participants in the venue who walks up to your table and introduces themselves as a principle. They ask you directly how your experience has been and genuinely thank you. Ask yourself, how can I do this as a standard operational process in my business? You will be extremely surprised the results that this will generate. I promise it will smash most advertising rewards.
There is nothing like third party credibility.
The best "advertising" you could ever do is really quite simple. Do the items above in a way that gets others to validate and recommend your services or offering wholeheartedly. There is no substitute or equal rival for third party endorsements. Spend your advertising budget on engagement items like thank you cards, take time to write them and invest in sincere client response based product development & refinement, then you will see a far better return than any ad could ever provide. I promise.
There are always more parts to any puzzle like this. If your brand is off it will hurt, if your location is bad it will hurt and this list goes on and on. Take the time to engage with experts in those areas and focus on what you do best. Let them be your allies.
Take your expert offering to those who need it, and engage the client in a real human manner, the end result. You will benefit tremendously.