As a medium sized business owner, I am always thinking of ways to improve our business; from our engagement with our people and clients, through to how we operate and what technology we use.
An avid fan of finding gaps in technologies and building my own, I have been 'head down, bum up' now for about a year or so building technology that is going to change my entire industry. This ambition is not for the faint hearted, but serves a purpose for a entrepreneur that is keen to make their mark, but also share with competitors and clients the outcomes of technology that is smarter than what is currently on the market in the field of marketing services.
I've been challenged like anyone else over the past quarter, because I don't know what is happening in the world. I too have stopped spending. I am second thinking my European holiday that I take yearly, and am a little more focused on what the business is doing than I would care to admit (other than in this blog!).
My business Marketing Eye receives anywhere between 15 inbound leads per day all the way to 50 or 60. The problem is the leads are low hanging fruit at the moment. People who don't have money to spend but want ideas (for free mostly). They want discounted marketing and are looking for a guarantee that they will get sales at the end of it.
The truth of the matter is a smaller percentage are the clients we are looking for. That $2 million to $200 million in revenue client that is looking for a high growth return and know that marketing will help them accelerate their brand in the market, and generate leads so that their sales people can sell.
We have spent 12 years perfecting our formula of how we work with clients, and ensure that if they are really up for high growth, that we are able to do everything in our power to ensure that that happens.
The idea of discounting marketing makes me want to vomit. I know how dramatic that makes me sound, but it literally makes me sick. Who discounts marketing? Sure, some companies charge too much and cannot justify it, but if you are business person and you look at Marketing Eye's business, and take into account overheads and salaries, you would immediately realise that it is good value. 18 years ago when I started my first business, I charged $185 per hour and the clients received good value. Now, we charge much less than that, and the clients receive even better value from a more experienced and talented team that is not reliant on me.
Our clients without a doubt, get value. Not only do they receive value, they receive an honest, open and transparent partner. What more can one ask for?
There are many reasons why companies have had a bad quarter, and ours too hasn't met our business plan expectations:
- The economy is uncertain; locally and globally. No-one including the Politicans that we pay for seem to know what is going on.
- The newspapers and media is so full of bullshit and spin that no-one knows what is fact and what is made up to get a point of view across.
- Investment in employees is on the down in the last quarter because people are holding onto cash.
- Signing marketing contracts or taking on new hires has come to a halt or at the very least is focused on what is necessary, not what is part of the bigger picture.
- People are feeling down, and some of that comes down to mental health but mostly because the uncertainty is causing a dark cloud.
- Buying a home is unreachable for many, and interests rates has risen while banks profits have gone through the roof, so many are thinking about whether Sydney and Melbourne will do a Perth.
- Investment in technology is slowing as many companies know it will improve their businesses, but cannot justify the upfront costs in such uncertain times.
I want to go against the trend. In the GFC, I invested in marketing and people and doubled my business. I also knew it was time for our CEO to move on at the time, as she had been in the role for 8 years and wasn't growing the business. Wrong position, but for a good person - and it reminds you that you an always put someone in a different position if the first one isn't working as it should. I was younger, and less experienced to realise this.
My thoughts on what to do in the next 2 months as we close off the financial year:
- Invest in your people. Launch the last two months with them and give them every up-side in the world to perform at their peak.
- Invest in marketing and technology.
- Shout from the rooftops why someone should choose your business over your competitors.
- She runs an international
- marketing consultancy firm
- that provides small businesses with a marketing
- consultant and in-house team of creative, web development and PR experts. Marketing Eye serves small
- businesses looking for marketing support and management in Atlanta,
- New York marketing company
- Sydney marketing consultants
- Melbourne marketing consultants