Let's say you own a small business, and you want to find new ways to increase sales. Do a Google search on ANY topic you care about, and you'll come up with dozens of X-best lists. You can spend hours (days?) looking for information that MAY address your questions. Too much information, not enough help. Starting and growing a business is a huge challenge. From our own experience here's how you can get started:
Set aside an hour or two, out a piece of (virtual) paper, and do this:
1. List your business goals. Get specific. What's your revenue goal for this year? Next year? Realistically break it down by product, service, customer type, markets (new, current).
2. Describe your ideal customer. In detail. Why would they care about your product? Are they local, regional, global? Where do they go to find products and services like yours? On-line, friends, business associates, on a bulletin board in your local coffee house?
3. Create a conversation about your products and services. Imagine you have just one minute to explain it to a prospective customer. Describe it in their "language", why they should care, what makes it the best, how it benefits your customer. You want to re-enforce your brand - what makes your business and products unique. Create a "value proposition" that is casual, compelling and exciting.
4. Develop a marketing plan based on what you have outlined above. Make a list: What kind of marketing "content" do you need and where should it be placed? You might print and post flyers, update your web-site, start or re-ignite your blog, use Facebook and other social media for low-cost targeted advertising. Leverage your expertise by writing informative articles for relevant publications. Find ways and places to create offers and incentives for customers to buy. Develop a targeted and consistent reach in on-line communities and physical locations where your target customers congregate.
5. Work your plan. Make sure you have a 3-6 month budget. Prioritize, create, and communicate. Get outside help and coaching where you need it. Measure results, make adjustments, and keep working it!
But of course!
I am so excited! I received this email from Taproot Foundation yesterday. "Thank you so much for applying to donate your professional skills and MAKE IT MATTER. You’re a great fit for one or more of our volunteer roles and your next step is to attend one of our upcoming orientations." They have told me that I'm likely to be in a leadership position working with a bay area non-profit as part of their strategy practice.
It is a common challenge for small and emerging businesses to shape their big picture view into a focused marketing plan. Leveraging 3rd party expertise enables the team to clarify marketing priorities and implementation.
Meteor Ovens is a promising start-up with a compelling new commercial cooking solution, which is receiving high praise from early customer trials. Their product and technology offer powerful customer benefits.
The Meteor Ovens team is very clear on their target customers, how the product improves productivity, and increases restaurant profitability. They quickly needed to have a professional market presence and compelling content. Like many start-ups, Meteor Ovens is a dynamic, fast paced organization. Business Development drives their marketing needs.
Working with the Meteor Ovens team, we developed the company website and much needed marketing content. As part of our Small Business Service, Tiger Team Marketing will continue to build company awareness and credibility through PR and social media. With this partnership we see the forest and not just the trees.
Looking into Taproot Foundation to do some pro bono for non-profits. Seems like a win-win. Donate consulting - expand the Tiger Team network.
In March Gloria Steinem turned 80, prompting "80 is the new 60" observations. She continues to be a dynamic activist, author, speaker. March was also "Silicon Valley Ageism" month. Or so it seems. The "brutal ageism of tech" meme has gone viral. http://tech.fortune.cnn.com/2014/03/27/defying-silicon-valleys-ageism/
Ageism has always factored into silicon valley culture. For those of with with "over 25 years of experience in......", it's more about embracing change. Well, not just embracing it - but driving it.
Georganne Benesch is the principal of Tiger Team Marketing, CMO of Centerline Farm and a over zealous Yoga practitioner. With 25+ years in high-tech product marketing, she consults for start-ups, small businesses and technology companies.