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Turn your small business into a BIG one : Easy to implement ideas

Turn your small business into a BIG one : Easy to implement ideas

In every businesses life, there comes a time when you decide whether the business has 'legs' to grow further.

Marketing Eye has hit this point many times and each time we have done a situation analysis and made business decisions on where to go. Right now, we are in expansion mode with the US market firmly in our sights.

If you are in this position, think about what your Big Hairy Audacious Goal is and work out how realistic it is given your current resources and capabilities. Things to consider include;

Expand into new markets

In Marketing Eye's case, the US market is the 'new market' we are expanding into. We did relevant research to find out whether the market was receptive to our style of business, how many small businesses in high density markets, costs of setting up Marketing Eye offices and produced a feasibility study. It's very important that when you do expand to a new market, that you have invested in research and developed a business plan for that new market.

Franchise or Licence your company or products

I have seen franchises fail and succeed. Fail because no matter how much publicity they received, they could not make a dollar. Afterall, you become the franchisor. It's hard enough being a franchisee but let me assure you there is a lot involved in being a franchisor. You need to have legals, accounting, marketing, management, systems, operations - you name it - you need it. And it all costs. The franchisor needs to survive on fees derived from franchisees and sometimes if they are not making too much money, then you are surviving on nothing of significance. One of the most successful franchisors in Australia once told me that it is best for a consulting business to 'licence' their IP because of all the legal issues associated with franchising. Speak to a franchise lawyer. Norton Rose has the best team with Stephen Giles.

Diversify your offerings

If you sell hairdressing services, then why not sell hair care products. That one is a no brainer, but if you think about what else you can sell in your business, then it may mean the difference between whether or not you make $1 million or $2 million. Marketing Eye added SEO (search engine optimisation) services last year and every single company should take up the offer as it is more cost effective than any of our competitors and the results speak for themselves.

Market your business offline and online

Think about what you could do if you spent money on marketing. While offline is still effective, leveraging online platforms to penetrate the market more comprehensively and in a more targeted way will help catapult your business to new heights. Companies that fail to invest in online marketing are falling to the way-side and will not survive in the next couple of years. Even if its just having a well-branded website that says what you do and how people can find you - it will mean the difference between getting a sale or not. I recently visited a website for Meier Business Systems in Brighton and could not believe how bad their website was even though their product offering and service is very good. I am sure they lose sales every day because of it.

Innovate and then innovate some more

If you stop innovating, you stop. Full stop. Being innovative and a thought leader will keep you ahead of the curve and will ensure that you are more interesting to your current clients and future clients.

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comments ( 13 )
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  • Josh
    15 Mar 2012

    Being a uni student study marketing (at the moment social media marketing) and an active social media user myself, I couldn't agree more with the point regarding marketing your business online. Times are changing with the social media revolution and companies need to invest in this revolution for their best interests. It provides companies with a cost effective and efficient way to reach out to the wider community.

  • Sandra J
    Sandra J
    06 Mar 2012

    I think it is very important for small businesses today to market offline and online. I would use offline methods to target locals situated around the area and online platforms to target the rest of my market.
    Social media and having an email database is a cost effective way to promote your business. Having a website at all (in addition, to a well branded and user friendly one) can be the difference between making the sales and losing them.

  • Giorgie
    24 Feb 2012

    Differentiation is what makes the business special, and the product or service as well. If there aren't any different business out there it will be quite boring and we won't even get any ideas towards thinking about something different. Having a variety is more interesting than no choice.

  • Marco van Olst
    Marco van Olst
    23 Feb 2012

    I think innovating is one of the most important things to do. Because when you are the first one in your business who is innovative, you can be market leader in youre business. And it is very important to expand into new markets, so do you see the blue ocean? Or do you focus only on the red ocean, with many competitors? It is possible if you are innovative. And for some companies it is very important to be different, right then they are profitable.

    If you look to the Golden Circle. For many companies it is very important to think frome the outside to the inside. So they know what they do, and they know how they do it, but they do not know why they do it. And I think if you goes from the inside out, than you can be succesful and profitable, and so you can turn your small business into an BIG one. Because it is very important to know why you do it, because when you believe in a product or something, the client also come to believe. And then you know how you do it, and what you are doing. So being different is not weird!