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The BIG Question
Let me ask you a point-blank question. When was the last time you took a cold hard look at your marketing to find out whether or not it’s working?
This is an important question as marketing is not a set it and forget it function. Instead, it requires regular monitoring and tweaking to ensure its effectiveness. Not doing so is what I call ‘marketing insanity’ – throwing marketing resources into the abyss with hopes of positive results. Unfortunately, this typically spells disaster for a small business – realistically, it can be looked at as a form of gambling. Now I don’t know about you, but I’m not willing to risk my livelihood on a gamble as a small business owner myself.
Time To Pull Back The Curtains
So if you haven’t done so in the last three months, now is as good a time as any to pull back the curtains and take an honest close look at your marketing performance. I call this process ‘reflection.’ It’s an excellent tool for business improvement and growth.
Before we get started here, though, I’d like for you to put on your ‘thick skin and honesty cap’ because this process will not yield the best results for you if you’re not willing to reveal the absolute truth regarding your business’s state of affairs – it simply can’t. Of course, you have to be willing to ask and honestly answer some tough questions. But hey, if you can’t be honest with yourself, then who can you be honest with?
So... Are You Ready To Begin?
Great… well, the process of reflection for our purposes here is twofold. First, take a clear snapshot of your small business’s current state of affairs, and then second, examine that snapshot in terms of what’s working and what’s not working.
Sounds easy enough, right?
Well, hold on a minute. While the process of reflection is simple, it can pack a punch in terms of the reality it reveals.
Some questions to start this process are:
- Have you met or exceeded your revenue goals over the past month? Past quarter? Or, how about the past year?
- Which product or service lines are your top breadwinners and why? Which are not meeting expectations and why?
- Have you built a significant and steady pipeline of prospects interested in what your business offers? If so, how did you do it?
- How many new clients have you picked up over the past month? Past quarter? Or, how about the past year?
- Which of your clients has been the best and most lucrative to work with? How can you attract more like them?
- Have you strengthened your credibility in the marketplace? How about your visibility?
- What marketing strategies and tactics did you use? Were they effective? Why or Why not?
Now, as things get more apparent for you and you make your determinations, don’t allow yourself to get emotionally attached to any specific marketing strategy or marketing tactic, replace the things that are not working with others that might work. Additionally, know that it’s okay if things don’t turn out exactly as planned – this is all part of the growing process.