I REGULARLY speak to people who have either just started a business or have been working at it for some time.
Many of them are absolutely brilliant at working "in their business" but not so good at working "on it".
In other words, they are good at making the product or providing the service, but they are not so good at finding new customers and generating more sales.
Like them, you may not be too keen on making cold calls and selling your product or service. But you do need new customers and lots of them.
You might be thinking: "I have customers, and as long as I keep them happy, things will be okay."
However, I hate to tell you this: No matter how good your product or your service is, you will lose customers.
They will either leave the area, die, go out of business themselves or just decide to deal with somebody else.
So you need to find new customers just to stand still.
Of course, you don't want to just stand still. You want to find lots and lots of customers.
To do that, you have to get the right mindset. You have to think like a successful marketeer. Here's how:
1. Your target market
Whom do you want to do business with and what is the best way to make contact with them?
Think about your existing customers, and reflect on how and why they do business with you.
2. Your customers
What problems do your customers have? What challenges do they face that could be solved by your product or service?
3. Your solutions
What solutions do you offer? How will your customers benefit from dealing with you?
4. Your credentials
How can you prove that other customers like what you do?
Gather evidence in the form of references and testimonials that will help to influence a prospective customer's choice.
5. Your advantage
What is it you do that is different? What is your unique selling point that differentiates you from other businesses?
The 20 per cent rule
With these five points in mind, you need to allocate time every day to market your product or service. Do not fall into the trap of saying: "I'll do it tomorrow, I'm too busy today."
Overall, you need to spend about 20 per cent of your time on marketing.
There are many failed businesses that had a fantastic product or service. The majority failed because they did not spend enough time on marketing.