Archives for November 2010

What is the biggest problem you have in your business?

Marketing Consultant

Steve Mills – Marketing Consultant

The answer of this question varies, but in my experience which goes back nearly 30 years, there are only a few major problems and they are:

  1. Lack of time
  2. Lack of leads
  3. Poor cash-flow
  4. Being too busy
  5. Lack of money
  6. Low profits
  7. The competition

There may be some truth in these reasons, but I think it all boils down to two real reasons:

  1. Lack of strategic planning
  2. Not taking the required to achieve the goals of the business

One of the biggest problems I come into contact with is ‘A LACK OF THE REQUIRED ACTION’.  So what is the answer?

  1. Spend time writing a Strategic Plan for your business (here is a good place to start)
  2. Spend more time working towards your business goals

F.O.C.U.S

Follow

One

Course

Until

Satisfied

Special Offer – Grow your Business with Referral

One of the best way of growing a business is by Referral and yet very few businesses have any form of system for doing so.

This being the case, I would like to make you a very, very special offer.  I would like to make send you a copy of my ‘Grow your Business by Referral Programme’ for only £99.00 instead of the usual £297.00.

This is a limited offer and will only be for the first 100 who ask for a copy.  Details of the programme can be found by going to Referral Marketing System.

Steve speaking at the Canadian Chamber of Commerce

Steve followed in the footsteps of people like Bill Clinton, Tony Blair and Tassa Jowell last week by speaking at the Canadian Consulate in London, on behalf of the Chanadian Chamber of Commerce.

Steve spoke about getting more people to your website and then turning those visitors into leads.  He also spoke about how businesses can use Social Media to grow their businesses.

Business Advice UK

Steve Mills Marketing Training UK

Just a short note to ensure all my blog followers are aware of my new Business Accelerator Programme a programme.  The programme is for SME’s who thought that they could not afford their own marketing advisor.

For details click the link below.

Marketing Training UK

How to present yourself on the Radio

Effective Radio Presentations

The following are tips for how to best present yourself, when speaking on the radio.

  1. Be prepared
  2. Find out what question you are going to be asked.
  3. Consider your introduction and tell the present what you would like them to say.
  4. Offer something free on your website.
  5. Define your outcome.
  6. Consider the tone, volume and speed of your speech.
  7. Tell listeners what you are going to tell them, then tell them, then tell them what you have told them (Say it, say it and say it again)
  8. Practice.
  9. Listen to other interviews.
  10. Record yourself and listen to it.
  11. Use humour, but carefully.
  12. Compliment the interviewers’ questions. This also gives you more time to answer.
  13. Find out if the interview is live!
  14. Have a drink before you start (water, NOT alcohol!).
  15. Get in the right state of mind (get confident).
  16. Use your body as you would normally.
  17. Stand up if possible.
  18. Smile.  This will make your speech sound more positive.
  19. Ask to speak again.
  20. Speak with passion and enthusiasm.  Again, this will engage listeners, whatever you’re saying.

Systems

Steve Mills – Marketing Consultant

One of the key’s to running a successful business is having highly effective sales, marketing and customer service systems.  So my question for business owners reading this blog post is – Do you have written sales, marketing and customer service systems for your business?

If the answer is no, then you are like 95% of all the businesses I have met in over 30 years working with small businesses.  If the answer is yes, then well done and good to hear!

Either way, writing, or improving your current systems is essential for any and every business owner.  The reasons for this are as follows:

1. Increased profit

2. The ability to deliver your service to the same high standard consistently within your business

3. Increased value of your business

4. Better retention of clients

So the question is how do you systemise your business?

1. Define the systems that you need

2. Find which ones you already have written down (there must be some)

3. Priorities your list

4. Start working on writing down the systems which are going to have the biggest impact on your business

Be outstanding by standing out

Let’s face it, times are getting tougher and they may get worse.  As far as small businesses are concerned this is obviously not good news and many are already starting to suffer.  Businesses within the housing market, auto industry, retail and training along with many others are reporting a downturn in the market.

This essentially means that ‘the pie’ is getting smaller.  So the question is how can small businesses hold on to their market share and even improve in order to maintain their current turnover and profitability?

Often the ‘knee jerk’ answer for many business owners is to ‘cut back’ and so they cut back and cut back until there is nothing left.  Cutting back for many spells disaster!  Don’t get me wrong, I am not suggesting that a business should continue to waste money, far from it.  Conducting a cost analysis exercise on a monthly basis is a very useful exercise.

At Steve Mills Marketing we have a different approach and we are helping our clients do the same!  We call it becoming ‘Outstanding’.  We don’t mean that we have the best, most expensive brochure, advertising or offices.

We turn the word ‘outstanding’ round and work out how we can ‘stand out’.  We have been asking ourselves a very simple question.

What can we do in ________________ that no one else does?  In other words, what can we do in – our customer service, the way we recruit people, the way we train our team, the way we market our business, the sales training we provide, the way our offices look, the way we network, the financial information we have available, the way we plan our business and the service we provide to our client.

As the Managing Director of Steve Mills Marketing Steve believes that businesses should take a look at themselves and work out what they can do to become different, better, faster, more caring, better at selling and marketing and more than anything else ‘better at keeping and looking after their own customer base.

For one way to stand out go to Business Growth Advice.

Rain Rain go away

RAIN, RAIN GO AWAY, we’re leaking enough already

The rain is receding but we are warned that there is more wet weather on the way. It seems the skies have sprung a major leak.  And we find many businesses have sprung a leak or two as well; leaks that are every bit as inconvenient as the rain.

The leaks I am talking about are the ones that allow prospective customers to dribble away; leaks in advertising, direct mail, meeting conversions and not keeping current clients up to date with all your services and products. Let’s take an AdWords campaign as an example.

AdWords are a great concept; you choose keywords relevant to your products or services and when someone keys them in to a Google search, your details pop up. If the enquirer then clicks through to your site, you pay an agreed amount for ‘capturing’ the prospect.

Leakage point number one. Make sure your keywords are compatible with your web site! I heard of one company that included ‘Bluetooth’ as a keyword. Lots of people key in Bluetooth; they are looking for specific electronic items. Unfortunately this company sold books and not even electronics books. So they had lots of ‘hits’ from people who immediately disappeared once they saw what the site was all about. Several thousand pounds later the firm realised its mistake and deleted the irrelevant keyword.

Leakage point number two. Deliver the right message to your visitor. In other words, analyse your top customers and try to figure out what they were looking for when they first contacted you – whether or not that first contact was via your web site. Once you know what they were looking for, you can work out what kind of words they might key in to a search engine. Then you can check to see how many people are actually using those specific words and, if the number seems high enough, add them to your AdWords account. You will probably need a number of keywords to cover all the possible approaches. Lastly, make sure the message the visitor sees in relevant to the keyword they used; surprisingly often this is not the case!

Leakage point number three. Keep monitoring your visitors. Some keywords will prove more effective than others. In order to enjoy maximum benefit from your AdWords campaign you will want to see which prospects respond to which keywords and how profitable they are as customers. Then you may want to drop the less successful keywords and try some new ones. But doing it once will not be enough; constant monitoring is the way to leak-free success!

We can’t cover all the other leakage areas in one short article. However, my Marketing Programmes are specifically designed to find the leaks in your marketing, plug those leaks and build you a fully watertight marketing system.  Check out my Marketing Support Programmes by clicking Marketing Consultant.

Watch for leaks and profits will flow!

Using social media to grow your business

I have just returned for speaking at Jonathan Jay’s client Conference at Latimar Place.  I was supposed to be delivering my talk ‘Marketing without Money’.  The talk is all abou what SME’s can do to market their business without money, and without extra money.

I covered referral, JV’s, SEO, Seminars, Networking, Testimonials, PR etc, but the audience of nearly 80 businesses just wanted to know about Social Media.  It appears to me that businesses are just starting to catch on to the idea of using Social Media to grow their business.

I wonder where we will be in five years time?

Linking your blog to Facebook

There are so many things that you can do on Facebook to marketing your business. It is starting to emerge as the leading site for business and I think that it could overtake LinkedIn as the preferred source of ‘Business Social Media’.

With 500,000,000 members it certainly has the market potential! The trouble is that most businesses have no idea what to do, or time to do it, or both.

For a possible solution go to Marketing Consultant.

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