Does Your Business Plan Include A Plan For Growth?
If your business plan doesn’t include plans for growth, your business will eventually fail. No matter how good you are you can’t do it all alone. See why below.
Every business has multiple parts that must be managed.
In the beginning, you may believe that you can handle all of these different parts but you’re just kidding yourself.
Every business needs some, if not all, of the following to succeed:
- a sales force
- a fulfillment person or team
- a bookkeeper
- an accountant
- a tax preparer
- customer support
- a customer relations manager or team
- an IT department to manage your computers and website
- a marketing department (This department will handle the development and implementation of both your online and off-line marketing methods that will generate the leads used by your sales force.)
There is no way you and your family can be experts in all of the areas just mentioned.
You might even try to fool yourself into believing that you can go the do-it-yourself route to save money. Unfortunately, in most cases, this approach will cost you money and lost business and you won’t even be aware of the fact that you lost it.
A DIY website seldom looks professional enough to capture and keep your target markets attention, if it even gets it in the first place.
This is even more important in the local marketplace where you’re often competing against franchises that have great-looking websites or a competitor that hired a professional web developer.
Many of these competitors design their websites for beauty instead of as the marketing tools that they should be.
Hire a web developer that takes the time to understand your online marketing strategy, or help you create one if you don’t have one, so that you get what you need instead of what you think you want.
This approach will cost you more money up front but when it’s set up properly and then kept up to date it will make you more money in the long term.
Your website is often your first and only chance to make a good impression with your prospects and this impression is often formed in the first 3 to 5 seconds upon landing on a webpage on your site.
Just a few short years ago, you could attract visitors to your website using nothing more than search engine optimization.
Marketing online has matured, however, so you need a combination of methods to attract qualified visitors to your website.
Some of these methods may include:
- traditional search engine optimization
- local search (this is a combination of traditional SEO and local directories)
- pay per click through the search engines
- pay per click through social media
- social media engagement
- video marketing
- image sharing sites
- using off-line advertising to bring visitors online
- mobile marketing
- mobile apps
- reputation marketing
Depending upon the niche that you’re working in, you may not need to utilize all of these marketing methods.
As things change, however, you will need to increase your exposure in many of these venues and each one is constantly changing and the expertise needed to make them profitable is almost always going to be outside of the ability of the average business owner to effectively bring it in-house to manage.
I can almost hear some of you saying I don’t need any of that because I rely on word-of-mouth advertising to grow my business.
Unfortunately, for you, many of your customers will go online to look up your reputation as soon as they get that referral from a friend, family member or coworker.
The percentage of people that will research your reputation online before deciding to do business with you is in the neighborhood of 85%.
I’ve seen very few DIY business owners that have had a quality website, an optimized local search presence and a referral marketing system in place that will help them grow their business in a way that will have the biggest positive impact on their profitability.
Are you a local marketer that’s doing it the right way so that you can market your reputation or are you unknowingly leaving money on the table?
Leave your comments below, share this with a fellow business owner and contact me to see if we can help you grow your business.
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