I really enjoy talking with small business owners about where they are and where they want their business to go. It’s fun to brainstorm a list of steps it’s going to take to move them toward their goals, and then seeing the results of those actions.
The process of building a plan to move to a desired future state begins with questions. You can answer them in a working session with your employees, advisory board, or on paper by yourself. However you work through the questions, answer them honestly to build your marketing strategy. What type of questions do you need to ask?? Here are just a few to get you started:
Questions about your customer
- Who is your target customer? An important part of this question is not just who do you want to sell to, but who you want to avoid. Some prospects are too small and others are too large. Both will force you to adjust your business process, and the change for one client may not be worth the effort in the long run.
- How big is your market? How many customers are out there?
Questions about the value of a customer
- What is the average purchase volume?
- How long does a customer stay with you? Is it a one-and-done transaction, or do customers come back time and time again?
Questions about your goals
- How many new customers do you want? “More than I have now” is not a valid answer. There is no way to build a viable marketing plan without a specific goal.
- How many customers do you need to be profitable?
Questions about your sales process
- How many interactions does it take to close a sale?
- What percentage of good leads become customers?
- How many new customers can you handle before you have to add another person or piece of equipment? Sometimes the answer to a business goal is not more customers, but simply more profitable ones.
How often should you go through this process? At a minimum, you should take time once a year to evaluate where you are and where you want to be. Need some help with questions? Download some of our checklists and forms or give us a call. We would love to ask you a few questions.