Dec 202011

Use the Ansoff Matrix to help grow your business

Very often when thinking about how to grow and improve a business our minds get confused by the options available to us and, as a result, we either don’t do anything or we end up making a mess of it.  But in very fundamental terms there are only really 4 things we can do and they are:

  • Develop a new product or service;
  • Expand our market area;
  • Diversify our offering, and
  • Increasing penetration into our existing market.

These basic ideas were developed by Igor Ansoff and are a really good guide to helping to  sort out all our ideas.  Ansoff explained them by use of a matrix as shown below. Continue reading »

Dec 162011

Be specific with your marketing and reap the rewards

As a business coach I’ve talked with a lot of companies who, when asked what their market is, have said “everybody”.  Generally speaking they have turned out to be the companies that are struggling – often due to lack of focus.  There’s a lot of competition out there and you don’t want to be trying to beat it all so how about taking a more proactive approach to targeting your market?  Here are a few quick tips to help you focus in on the most profitable market area for your business. Continue reading »

Dec 142011

A referral strategy can be a great way to advertise your business – because there is a personal connection

When you’re building a business, a referral strategy is a great way of building up customers and spreading the word about your company. If you’re just starting a small business it can also be a great way of getting your name out there in a cheap and effective fashion. A referral strategy is usually used in conjunction with other marketing ideas but can be used successfully on its own. Continue reading »

Dec 142011

Do you know what your customers really think about you?

When you’re starting a small business one of the best ways to get feedback is to ask questions of your customers. Not only does this make the customers feel they are valued and being listened to but it also provides you with a huge amount of data that can be very useful for improving your business in many ways. For example, if you know who your customers view as your main competitor then you can target your marketing effort to showing people how or why you’re better than the opposition. Continue reading »

Dec 142011

Done properly, networking can be a great way to advertise you and your business

Networking is a great way to get you and your business known in the local area. It’s also a relatively cheap way to advertise too which is good because the cost to start a small business can be high and you will need to be fairly tight with the money until the customers start rolling in.

However, don’t think that networking is just turning up, eating the snacks, having a few glasses of wine and then leaving. Here are a few things to keep in mind when networking. Continue reading »

Dec 142011

Learn how to advertise your business successfully

A lot of people spend a lot of time and money advertising their business. But only a few know how well their advertising is working for them because most of them don’t take the vital action of testing and measuring. Testing and measuring performance is vital across many areas of business but with advertising it’s really important because this is all about you spending money to get customers through the door. Get it wrong and you’ve made a loss before you even start selling. Continue reading »

Dec 142011

Knowing how to advertise your business properly can make a real difference to your sales

One of the keys to success when advertising your small business is the power of your offer. When someone turns the page of the paper or magazine, or sees your flyer you have about 5-10 seconds to make an impression. If you don’t grab their attention in that time then your advert may as well not exist. So, how do you grab their attention and make them stop and read it properly? Continue reading »

Dec 142011

Want to start a small business?  Thought about a franchise business?

Buying a franchise is something that is often forgotten when people are thinking about starting a small business. It seems like, in the mind of some people, it’s ‘cheating’ because you get help from the franchisor, or they fear that it’s not really their business because someone else came up with the idea or the product. But think about it this way: Continue reading »

Dec 142011

Flyers are old school advertising but they still work

Whether you’re buying a franchise or starting a business from scratch you need to advertise but advertising can cost money and very often you don’t know which adverts are working and which aren’t. There is, however, a good cheap way to advertise your business and that’s through flyers; here’s why you should be using them. Continue reading »