of Marketing Happen Over the Long Term
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Businesses spend thousand dollars on
marketing, but much of it is wasted because advertisers are looking
for a one-time quick boost, or their program is too scattered.
By most accounts the most successful marketing comes from a marketing
plan that is focused and consistent. That means chose your target
and your message, and apply it consistently throughout.
Consistency -- Your brochure, business cards, ads, matchbooks
and letterhead all have the same design features, so that when
see the design they think of you.
Consistency -- Once you have learned who your target
market is then focus your efforts only in media that will
reach that market.
Consistency -- Your message is the same in all your
advertising. Come up with efforts only in media that will
reach that market.
4. Timing Consistency
-- Direct mail pieces, ads, events need to happen
on a regular basis over a long period of time, so
that you can keep
name first in your customers' minds.
Insurance Plan Prepare
a list of what insurance coverage your business should have.
needs includes fire, theft, liability, but also consider special
insurance covering business interruption in case you must close
down for a period and other needs specific to your type of
Contact a qualified broker or agent to explain options and
recommend the proper
coverage. Get comparable policy bids from
at least two sources.
2. Control Your Insurance
Costs It's expensive to cover all possible
perils. Cover the most risky and largest potential losses first
as liability insurance. Calculate how much loss you might
incur as a result of each type of coverage. Don't try to save
by underinsuring or not covering some perils that could cause
significant loss just because you believe he chance of their occurrence
is negligible But also, don't get needless coverage. Use as high
a deducible as you can comfortably handle financially. Check out
small business "package policies" that
may be available from your agent.
your Insurance Program
Keep complete records of your policies, premiums paid, claims
made and paid. Have your property and significant equipment appraised
periodically by qualified appraisers. Proper records will help
you get better rates in the future and assist substantiating claims
you may need to make.
Pricing Your Products
Pricing your product or service is an art.
Many owners think price is the only reason customers buy from
them. However, most customers are willing to pay a higher price
for personal service, Product knowledge and convenience. Here
are threes areas to consider in pricing your products or service.
1. Costs: First,
make sure that you sell your product or service for enough
to cover our costs and make a profit. Do
a break even analyses (fixed costs + gross margin) at different
price points to determine how much you have to sell to make
2. Competition: Find what your
competition is charging. You should be in the range of your competitors' prices,
but stay in the high end by adding
value, such as service or convenience to what you offer.
3. Perceived Value: This
is your customer's perception of the value of your product.
If you price yourself below the market, customers will assume that
what you are offering is of poor quality. Doing good market
research will tell you whether price is important to your customers.
Trying to be the lowest cost provider is a risky
strategy. If you start with low prices it's hard to raise them
later. Instead charge a higher price and focus on being the best
company doesn't have a web site yet? Sure, it can require a lengthy
learning curve" along with some expense. But, many businesses
are discovering that a company's web site is a great small business
tool that can accomplished several objectives:
Image: Your web site give you a competitive
advantage to enhance your company image, especially if some
of your competitors don't have one yet. If most of them do,
you need to get started!
OK, this is just stating the obvious, but you do need to determine
if and how a web site could increase your sales,
3. Customer Service:
Sure, this is probably a subcategory of Marketing, but too important
not to highlight. A web site can provide your customers with
many useful functions such as: New Products or Services Updates,
Quick Contact Source, Online Order Capability and many others.
One way of discovering whether a web site would be advantageous
for your business is to access the Internet Learning
Tutor provided by Verizon in partnership with Entrepreneur
Magazine The Internet Learning Tutor is designed
to help you use the Internet more effectively, and it is organized
in three levels. Level 103 is designed for small business owners
to learn how to market their businesses online. Click this link
to access the program: Verizon
Internet Learning Tutor