Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Business Success Starts With the Right Marketing Strategy and Tools

When it comes to a successful business it often boils down to this--sales, sales, sales. Whether you are selling your books or products, or promoting a speaking event or book tour, normally the bottom line in measuring success is how many sales you make or how many people show up at your event. The results themselves can be what determines whether or not you are successful.

Therefore, to get the best results, it's important to focus on exactly how you're driving those sales and where they are coming from. Ask those who contact you how they found you; was it through an ad, social media, or perhaps a referral? Knowing where your potential clients or customers are coming from is crucial. That tells you what you need to be doing more of in your marketing efforts and what areas to focus on. But just as important is making sure you take full advantage of each and every opportunity that comes your way. It's so easy to do when you have your systems set up properly.

Here are key points to remember in marketing your business:

Getting the Most from Your Shopping Cart- Make sure you get your website and shopping cart working for you. This is key to success. You are missing out on major opportunities every time you don't set up an autoresponder for orders, or have your shopping cart set up to reconnect with your buyers in some way. Think how often you have purchased something (say, for the holidays) and then totally forgot about that business until you receive something new from them, like their latest sales event or their company newsletter. That's exactly how it works - out of sight - out of mind. This one simple step will make a huge difference in your business success now and for years to come.

Does a Small Business Really Need a Business Valuation?

As a small business owner, are you interested or concerned with the worth or value of your business? You may be able to pull together an estimate based on financial records, but there are many other elements of the business that aid in determining value found both inside and outside of your financials. Gaining knowledge and understanding of your business' true value with real-time information to successfully facilitate short-term, medium-term, and long-range planning will provide company guidance and ultimately higher business value.

Often small business owners hear the term "business valuation" and believe such a document or service is strictly for owners seeking to buy or sell a business. While this thinking has truth, obtaining a business valuation annually offers any owner a thorough picture of their company's health with the ability to identify both strengths and weaknesses. Having such information and data is priceless and offers an invaluable tool to make critical strategic decisions.

Running a business of any size requires much work, dedication, and sometimes some luck. Because most small business owners wear numerous hats in the company, it is difficult for them to see the proverbial forest from the trees, where weaknesses lie in the company's armor. As the business owner, your responsibility requires your objective decision-making abilities to make decisions understanding what is best for the health and longevity of the company. A business valuation is absolutely critical to obtain information to review, analyze, and evaluate the different aspects of your business.