Save Your Business From Disaster

There’s a lot of talk on the island of how businesses are suffering due to the economic downturn, so it’s time for some “good news” reporting showing it’s actually possible to do well, even in this climate!

In the spring we ran a series of articles in this column on how to improve your marketing and advertising for your business. And now, every fortnight the Business column will again focus on how you can improve your business.

We’ll feature interviews with local business owners; we’ll be reporting on positive business news and most importantly, we’ll be offering lots of help and advice on how business owners and managers can improve their marketing, advertising and business operations to help weather the economic storm

Today we’ll start by going back to basics. The first article from the previous series covered the importance of having systems in your business. This is one of the most important business concepts we’ll cover, and I cannot overstate the importance of having systems in place.

What you’ll discover is that if you want a reliable way of getting more prospects, of converting more prospects into customers, and get more money out of your customers, you need a reliable, repeatable, consistent way of doing the necessary tasks in your business.

And if you have staff, having proper systems in place is even more important. With systems you’ll ensure every staff member follows best practices, that they perform to the best of their abilities and that you can build a reliable, manageable business that will thrive in the current economic climate!

SYSTEM spells out: Save Your-Self Time, Energy & Money. If you have systems in place you create a business that works exactly the same way every time, down to the very last detail, where staff can run the business for you whilst you take some time off.

Building systems to cover your whole business can be daunting, so we’ll start by taking small steps.

First of all, you need a system for finding new customers and clients, as they are the lifeblood of your business. Do you know how you find new customers right now? Or how they find you? Do you know how many new customers you’ll get this week? Or even how many you had last week?

Don’t try to say ‘I only sell to tourists so I don’t know’ – if that’s your market you have to stop relying on tourists finding you despite your lack of marketing, and start planning how you can attract a reliable stream of tourists week after week.

Most businesses rely on advertising, and maybe brochures and a website. Some businesses find advertising works very well, others try it once and give up. If your advertising failed it’s for a simple reason: the way your advert looked and was worded failed to attract customers or enquiries.

So you need to create a system you can use to discover better ways of finding new customers.

Whenever you advertise, or promote yourself in any way, you need to test, test and test. Start small. Track response. Analyse your results. You discover what works, and do more of it. If it doesn’t work, drop it.

Let’s take a real example. If you don’t advertise at all, start by trying small, affordable ads.

Create an ad that’s completely the opposite of what you are doing now. If you have a “corporate” ad using lots of colour, white text on dark background and your company name is at the top of the ad, in big bold letters, then try a black and white ad, telling customers what benefits they get by being your customer, and use a small version of your company name at the bottom. Make your phone number bigger and use a call to action, such as ‘Call Now!’.

Try it for a week or month, even run it at the same time as your normal ad, and see if it generates more calls or customers.

If you have a plain ad, try the opposite. Use bold colours, big text, bigger logo.

You’ll soon find out if your response is any different. If you get less customers, drop it like a hot potato. If it gets you more customers, it becomes your regular ad!

Continue your testing. Change the text in your ad. What works best for you? A discount for mentioning the ad? A free gift? Quoting prices? There are hundreds of things you can test. Go to www.effectivemarketingtenerife.com and select ‘Canarian Weekly Column’ to find some suggestions and a free Ad Writing Checklist.

Try at least 10 different ads over time and you’ll soon start to see a real difference in your response. By having a system for finding effective ads you’ll soon start making your advertising much more profitable.

It takes a bit of effort, but your reward is huge.

If you want more profits and customers, clients or patients, call Jennie on 902 789 660 now or visit www.emtenerife.com. Why? Because we can help you grow your business quickly and affordably!

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