-A business has been a going concern for 15 years with a concept so strong they have franchised stores nationally and are moving swiftly into the US. Success was achieved with very few marketing materials. Management considered that given their success without marketing, the possibilities with marketing were very encouraging. They set out to prepare and execute a first class, professional marketing program. After a long development process and much internal discussion, initial marketing tools were prepared. Some franchisees took a wait and see approach. Other stores began to use the new tools and sales took off. The head office is now moving ahead with additional marketing tools and most franchisees are anxiously awaiting the new materials.
-A business has been plodding along for the past 20 years. In the early stages, they had moderate success. Lately, the owner has spent a small portion of his time on building sales. The company has plateaued at a much lower level than where it should be. The owner has reached a pivotal point in the company’s development. Should he try to sell it as is, take the money and devote his energies to other interests or does he attempt a marketing turnaround giving the business a much needed shot in the arm and a fair chance at success?
If your business is facing tough competition, suffering from neglect or just not achieving its potential you have two options:
Let it maintain and possibly die or Option B
Create a marketing turnaround. Where you breathe new life into an established business and hopefully raise it up to the next level of success.
Start with a realistic assessment, develop a solid strategy, prepare a marketing program, and execute that plan to deliver the sales results you deserve. This process is not a quick fix. Do it quickly, with the wrong motives, unrealistic expectations, no help and you may find yourself in deeper trouble than you were before.
The following are essential points to remember when planning your marketing turnaround:
- Seek objective, outside professional help. Do it yourself and you will likely take your eye off the day to day running of the business, cause unnecessary anxiety and either keep your business where it is or hurt it further.
- Rethink your business including current customers, competition, industry changes, and technology. Even what business you are in.
- Assess your company’s current status. Put everything on the table both good and bad. Include aspects of the business you are proud of and issues you wish would just go away. Address staff, products & services, location, profitability and new business development issues.
- Determine what your customers like about you and what they would like to see changed.
- Maintain a level of objectivity. Emotion has no place in this process. To achieve a successful marketing turnaround you do what is best for your company.
- Look carefully at past marketing efforts. Examine past success and failures. If you are still running a marketing program and cannot justify the expense with an accurate accounting of plus sales consider canceling it or at least place the program on hold. Successful marketing turnarounds stop the bleeding quickly.
- Review competitive activity. Often times a new entry in a market will utilize new marketing techniques, new thinking and achieve sales that you never thought were possible.
- Take time to review existing staff in light of the plans you are preparing and the growth you seek. I have come across too many companies that set out on a path for success and were thwarted by staff that either didn’t agree with the new ways or were actually afraid the company would succeed. The last person you expect to come forward will be the first to say goodbye. They liked things the way they were. If you need new people, clearly identify the skills needed and begin the hiring process immediately.
- Be flexible, prepared to adjust your marketing plan as new opportunities and challenges arise.
- Perseverance is an absolute must. If you give up too early, you may fall short of the great success your business was destined for.
- Speed, perseverance and flexibility are key to success.
And that’s According 2 Eric.
© 2010 by Eric Gilboord. Eric Gilboord is a specialist in making marketing easy for business Eric Gilboord is the CEO of Warren Business Development Center Inc. where they increase the value of your business with better Operations, Finance, Sales and Marketing. Growing a business significantly or exiting successfully are huge undertakings you may only do once or twice in your life. If you want to grow your business to its’ full potential or enjoy a successful exit you’ll need help. You can try to put an adhoc group together or you can save a great deal of time and money by working with WarrenBDC and their teams of very experienced specialists. If talking to someone who ‘gets it’ will help – take charge of your future right now and call Eric +1 416-270-2466 or visit www.warrenbdc.com. Eric is a popular speaker, columnist and author of many articles and books on moving a business up to the next level.