Don’t Bottle – Share!

If you follow SME Needs on Twitter, you will have seen a few tweets based around common sayings such as A problem shared is a problem halved or Two heads are better than one.

These sayings are often considered as old-fashioned or twee, but they’re still so true.  Think back to the last time you went – Oh Yeah. Was that when someone added to a conversation or discussion and then, suddenly, things made more sense?

See, I told you two heads were better than one

Let’s think of some examples:

  • Napoleon had his Josephine
  • Susan Ma has Lord Sugar
  • even Tony Blair talked with Alastair Campbell!

At the other end of the scale, Nero spent too much time talking to his fiddle, proving that it is better to have someone to talk to about your issues and if you talk about them, chances are they become less of a problem and great things can happen

I hope this is useful – talk to you soon.


Mathematics will help your small business improve its marketing

Almost all small businesses worry about sales levels; indeed all large businesses worry about sales levels as well, but as I work with small businesses lets stick to them.

There is a way to be more certain about sales levels and that is through the use of simple mathematics. Let’s look at how mathematics can help small businesses.

As a small business owner, you will know how much profit you need to make each month in order to pay the bills. Now lets work backwards:

  • From your profit margin, you can then calculate how much turnover you need to generate.
  • From your turnover you can work out how many sales you need to make, to current or new clients
  • From the sales figure you can see how many prospects you need to talk to about how you can help them.
  • From your prospects figures you should then be able to see how much resource needs to be committed to generating interest in your services.
    • The amount of traffic to your website
    • The number of outbound sales calls
    • The level of interaction on your social media platforms

Let’s calculate the figures for an example company, which sells cufflinks to retailers:

  • Money needed each month: £3,000
  • Profit margin: 60%, so the company needs to generate £5,000 in sales
  • At £50 a pair (they’re nice cufflinks), that’s 100 units per month
  • Every other retailer they talk to buys, on average, 10 pairs of cufflinks, and they have a good number of retailers who buy each month. 60% of sales come from repeat customers, so this takes care of sales for 60 units per month.
  • That leaves a further 40 units to sell, with a close rate of 50%, so they need to talk to 8 different retailers every month.
  • As their website isn’t an e-commerce site, retailers have to call to discuss their needs. On average 50 people look at the site for every person to pick up the phone so they need 400 visits per month
  • At the moment the website gets 250 unique visits per month

From here you can see what work needs to be done: the company needs to develop another 150, or more, unique visitors to their website.

If you can do these calculations for your business, that’s great and I hope this helps.  If you can’t please get in touch and I will be happy to work with you on developing the numbers


Consistency is Key

As you develop a following, whether for your newsletter or on social media pages such as Facebook, Twitter or LinkedIn, they will come to expect a certain amount of information from you. Let’s explain why marketing consistency is key.

Your followers follow you because you have provided them with interesting information and they would love some more. If that flow of information falters, you risk upsetting them. They will probably forgive you the first time you miss a blog/article/post but their patience will diminish rapidly the more you fail to deliver.

Maintaining marketing consistency over long periods of time is not always easy.  As you get busier delivering to clients you find the time available for your own marketing gets more rare. It is therefore best to have a series of blogs (etc.) planned ahead. That way you can maintain your consistency and keep your followers happy.  You never know, they might even start to refer you to others and your following increases.

Marketing is all about getting more people interested in your services, so keep your consistency levels high and the followers will come.