Friday, 28 October 2011

Small Business Coaching - Back-to-Basics Business Development

Does the idea of business development fill you with dread? Something you would prefer to leave well alone whilst you focus on what you do well?

If you answered "Yes" to this question - you are not alone.

And yet, business development (BD) can make a business while a lack of it - or the wrong type - is often a key reason for business failure. So...we have to do it.

With this in mind, I think our aim must be to enjoy BD and we can do this by focusing on getting the key tools and techniques right.

The aim of BD and marketing is to get maximum return - or paying customers - for minimum expenditure.

Therefore, it pays to first consider the free BD you can do before actually spending a penny.

The first thing to do is make a list of everyone you know and tell them about your business.

If appropriate, you may consider giving them a sample / complimentary service with the proviso that they tell say five other people about you.

It also helps your family, friends, work contacts if you let them know what your ideal customer / client looks like and the key problems you fix or services you offer.

Telling your network is the simplest and easiest form of marketing and it's free.

Other free sources of marketing for small businesses include a card in your Post Office, offering to do a talk about your business to local groups and developing (and then printing at low cost) your own flyers to distribute to your target market.

If you're targeting a particular market and calling prospects would be helpful then you will need a cold-calling script. For some great tips visit businessballs.com.

If you do go down the cold-calling route expect to have to approach prospects about 8 times before getting a "Yes" to your proposition.

Someone once told me that customers need to see us in at least 3 places to buy our services - so bear that in mind when you are planning your BD and marketing strategy.

If you want to try an advert in a local paper, start with something small and see the advice on my previous post called Small Business Coaching: Back-to-Basics Marketing relating to this.

When you do start advertising in your local paper do negotiate. For example, ask for 12 months advertising with 2 free months and then get this in writing.

Why not ask for an advertorial so you get to tell readers about your business. For example, outline successful examples of your business in action or come up with a case study as both work well in this type of marketing.

Is it necessary at this stage for you to have a website?

Many successful small businesses have no brochure or website and are just as successful by simply using business cards and word of mouth.

If you do want a website make sure it fits in with the type of business you are offering and then shop around for good website designers who are competent at Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) as this will help to ensure you site is visible on the first page of search results.

Business Development (BD) can be enjoyable and reap rewards if you focus on getting the basics right.

If you have found this blog to be useful please let me know or get in touch via our website West of England Coaching and Counselling.

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