The S.W.O.T. analysis that can save your business

Posted by Vernon Simpson on August 18, 2013

What is the one thing you can do as a small business owner to make sure economical and   other external factors do not have a negative impact on your business? Is there anything you can do right now that will enable your business to sidestep negative conditions and position your business to not only survive, but THRIVE?

What you need to know…

There is one basic business principle that can help you turn negative economic and environmental factors to your advantage and you can use this same principle in your business right now to become the predominant force in your market. It’s called a SWOT Analysis, and it stands for Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats.

Why you need to know this…

A SWOT Analysis helps a small business owner discover their personal strengths and weaknesses, and use that information to position themselves so they perform their highest income-producing activities. That immediately jump-starts revenue and profits for your business.

A SWOT Analysis also allows the business owner to predict threats to their business, and develop a pre-determined plan of action that will enable them to turn any threat that materialises into an instant opportunity. It worked for Toyota, didn’t it? They were the only car company whose SWOT Analysis predicted the gas crisis, and the public’s current demand for hybrid vehicles.

The cost to you if you fail to act…

Do you have a SWOT Analysis for your business?

Do you know the tools required to properly perform one?

Do you have any idea what your strengths and weaknesses are, or for that matter, what your highest income-producing activities are for your business?

If you don’t, what will be the future costs to your business if you fail to act?

Develop these critical skills and you will position your business as the obvious choice for your prospects to buy from.

To take a Test Drive on our system visit http://BusinessGrowthForYou.com/guidedtour

Until the next time

Vernon Simpson, Nydes Business Coach

Coaching Business Owners and Executives to their next level of Excellence

P.S. Please remember that at any time you feel ready and qualified to move forward and acquire the professional help that can enable you to build the business of your dreams, just click here and check out our E-Learning Marketing System™. It’s helping small business owners just like you get the answers and the help they need to build the business they have always wanted.

We created the E-Learning Marketing System™ with the perfect combination of online resources, tools and support to get you out of any financial distress you’re presently experiencing… help you get laser-focused on your highest income-producing activities… and help you develop and then apply the fundamentals that build multimillion  pound businesses. click here to see for yourself.

How to Profit from Direct Mail Part 3

Posted by Vernon Simpson on August 11, 2013

Last week we covered the first two steps of your direct mail campaign; how to determine your target audience, and how to communicate to your target list and make them an offer that will entice them to act immediately.

This week we will cover the last three steps of your  campaign:

  • Developing a compelling direct mail piece
  • Pick your timing
  • Follow up

Develop a compelling direct mail piece

You are in control of how your format your message. Are you sending a letter? A brochure and a letter? A postcard? The format of your direct mail piece needs to be tailored to your target list, and reflect your product or service. A younger audience may respond to a postcard, but an older audience may appreciate a formalised letter. Ensure that whatever format you choose, the piece is professionally designed, prominently includes your logo and company branding, and is professionally produced.

This piece of paper has to act as an ambassador of your company – you absolutely need it to appear impressive and professional.

Pick your timing

Some products and purchase decisions are best made at certain times of the year, or the month. If your business or service is seasonal, then there are good times and bad times to try to generate leads. Consider the best purchase windows for the people in your target marketing. When do they get paid? When do they have the money to spend on your product/service? When do they spend the most money?

Anticipate these windows, and time your direct mail campaign accordingly. If you run a lawn sprinkler installation system and summer is your peak season, run a direct mail campaign mid-way through spring, and at the beginning of summer.

Some common time windows include:

• Holiday season (November – December)

• Fridays (paydays)

• The 15th and 30th of every months (also paydays)

• Seasons (spring, Summer, Fall, Winter)

• Financial cycles (year-end, tax time)

• Sports seasons (cricket, hockey, football, rugby, etc.)

5. Follow up

Comprehensive follow up to a direct mail campaign means two things:

1. Following up on your letter with a phone call or second letter

Often it takes more than a letter to get a potential customer to take action. This can be a result of the accuracy of your mailing list, your offer, the time of the year, or the quality of the marketing material (brochure). If you are certain that your mailing list is accurate and up to date, follow up the piece with a phone call, or sends another letter.

2. Recording, measuring and analysing your results.

It is essential that you evaluate each direct mail campaign based on your time and financial investment and your rate of response. How else will you be able to tell if it was a successful or effective strategy?

For each campaign, record and analyse the following information:

• Number of letters sent

• Number or responses as a percentage

• Number of sales directly resulting from the campaign

• Number of enquiries

• Total value of sales directly resulting from the campaign

Based on this information, determine if the campaign was successful (did it make you money?) or not. Consider making some changes to your list, your offer, or the piece itself, and try again.

If you want some help in putting together a great direct mail marketing strategy  and running a good  campaign t visit: http://businessgrowthforyou.com or make an appointment with me  on : https://my.timedriver.com/62NK1

Until the next time.

Vernon Simpson, Nydes Business Coach

Coaching Business Owners and Executives to their next level of Excellence

 

 

Profiting from Direct Mail Part 2

Posted by Vernon Simpson on July 22, 2013

Last week I explained that direct mailing is a very versatile marketing strategy  that can help you achieve a number of business objectives from lead generation to customer retention. And to get the most out of this strategy you need to get the pin point accuracy of your mailing list right.

Now that you have a laser-sharp mailing list, you will want to do everything you can to target your message to the recipients on your list.

An effective direct mail piece:

Has a clear structure. The piece is clearly a letter – there is an engaging headline, clear message, point form list of benefits, and postscript.

Features an irresistible offer. The purchase opportunity is too good for the target audience to refuse. It includes an element of scarcity and urgency.

Focuses on customer benefits. The customer clearly understands “what’s in it for me?” The product or service is clearly positioned as something of value and a solution to a need, problem, or desire.

Is personal and conversational. The letter is personally addressed, and reads as though it was composed specifically for the recipient. It is written in conversational tone, with 100 short sentences and limited description.

Is short. The letter communicates what it needs to, and closes. It does not go on for pages in length. The messages are clear, succinct, and simple.

Is urgent. The piece gives the reader the need to act immediately. There is a time limit or a quantity limit to the offer that requires an urgent response.

Includes a Postscript. The offer or urgency is repeated after the signature at the bottom of the letter. Like a headline, everyone will read the P.S.

The Five-Step Direct Mail Campaign

1. Determine Your Target Audience

As  we discussed previously , you will want to ensure that you have the most accurate, targeted list possible for your direct mail campaign.

Be clear about the purpose for your direct mail campaign –this will help you decide if you want to send your letters to your entire target market, a segment of that market, existing customers, or potentially a referring business’s customers. Then you can determine how you craft your offer, how you structure your letter,  and when you choose to send it.

2. Choose what you want to say

What is the message you want to communicate to your target list? What can you offer them that will entice them to act immediately?

Create a specific offer for each direct mail campaign to ensure each time you communicate with your target list you have something new to say. Tailor this offer to each mailing list.

Decide what product or service benefits will be most compelling to your target audience, and include those benefits prominently in your letter.

Next week we will cover the last three steps for your effective direct mailing campaign.

 

Until the next time.

Vernon Simpson, Nydes Business Coach

Coaching Business Owners and Executives to their next level of Excellence