Kim Peterson, CEO CommonSenseHealth.org for
As a business owner, you are likely familiar with the many skill sets needed, as well as layers of complexity that comes along with keeping your business running smoothly. A huge aspect of your business, which can determine your success or failure, is marketing.
When done properly, marketing generates current and long-term sales, growth, reputation creation and management; when neglected or done incorrectly, the results (or lack thereof) can be devastating.
Marketing consists of:
Marketing will enable you to:
The success of any business is dependent on its reputation. Proper marketing ensures that the image you wish to project is accurately represented in the marketplace and to the general public. It takes years to build up a really great reputation. Then you must consistently market to maintain it. The reputation of your company is built through active participation in community programs, effective communication--internally and externally--and quality products or services, which people love to talk about and share with their friends and family.
Marketing helps small companies to grow and compete. There has never been a better time in history to be able to break into the marketplace. With the creation of the Internet, and Social Media in particular, you are able to connect with a global community using very limited financial resources. It was once the case that tens of thousands (or hundreds of thousands or millions) of dollars needed to be committed to a product before you were able to launch. I know this from the personal experience of heading and incredibly cash intensive medical device manufacturing firm. Trust me when I say, it's much better to get up and running using as little up front cash as possible. Prove the validity of what you do and then start investing more in additional marketing efforts.
A marketing program that gives your company the greatest likelihood of success is a healthy mix of different forms of marketing, such as website development, Social Media, public relations, print and broadcast advertising, trade shows and special events.
In its first year, a company might spend as much as half of its profits from sales on marketing and outreach. After you have some traction and are generating consistent sales, a marketing budget can reach up to 30% or more, of annual sales.
Planning, implementing, monitoring and adjusting your marketing efforts will offer you the greatest opportunity to grow and develop your business. Stay on top of it and always be looking for ways to improve the process!
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