101Small Business Fundamentals That Could Easily Change Your Life
Following is the introduction to a book that I am writing online. The first 40 chapters out of 101 are linked below. By the time you've read those 40, I should have at least another 10 ready for you. Subscribe so you are kept up to date.
The Top Ten Marketing Fundamentals According to the Serial Marketer
Several months ago I set out to create my seminal book up to this time. In 1998 I updated When Friday Isn't Payday, a book that attempted to take a business owner or even a potential business owner through every phase of a start up or take over from the conception of the idea to the eventual sale or passing off to family or employees.
The book is available dirt cheap on Amazon used, or you can buy a brand spanking new copy for a little bit more money. Heads up: the internet portions are a bit outdated. However, that means the other almost 300 pages are evergreen. Warner Books believed in those 300 pages in 1993 and gave them new life in 2008. Inc Magazine said it was one of the top three small business books published in 1993. The new title is Running a 21st Century Small Business. There are tons of reviews if you care to check it out.
In late 2011, I completed my 4th in a series of books for the bicycle industry, called Principles of Bicycle Retailing for the Internet Age. There are only a few copies left at $50 each. The content works for virtually any retailer. You can buy that here.
Now I wanted to kick it up a notch. I've started and owned or co-owned 33 businesses in a variety of industries. But I don't want to bore you with all that. If you're interested, check out my bio. In the last five years I have worked with another 250 businesses for anywhere from a few months to the entire five years as a marketing consultant. The die had been cast.
The seminal book is to be called something like 101 Marketing Fundamentals According to the Serial Entrepreneur. The title is a work in progress, and if you are great at titles, give me your best idea in the comments. I'll reward you with something if I use it. No promises. It will be any more than a signed copy of the book.
Or books. There is a chance I will release this as 5 books or 10 books. Short eBooks covering various aspects of the marketing equations. I have written 35 of the chapters and they are interspersed here in this blog. I might take them down when I finish. I might not. Not sure.
I am in the process of rewriting the first ten chapters. They are linked below. Depending on what day you follow the links, you may get the first draft or the latest update. But know this, it is all free, and no obligation. I've been blessed in my life with great mentors and I'm happy to pass along any wisdom that I might have gained. You may not think it is great wisdom. Happy to have you express your opinion in the comments of any of these chapters. I'm not nearly too old to learn.
So have at it. Here are the first ten chapters. And these are in order of importance. After the first 10 chapters, the tend to fall in groups.
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The Top 10 Marketing Fundamentals According to the Serial Entrepreneur and Biz Book Author Randy Kirk
1. Setting Goals Is The Number 1 Marketing Fundamental by a Landslide
2. Strategies Are What Make Goals Come Alive
3. Tactics Are the Third Leg in an effective Business Plan
4. What is Profit - How Do I Make More of That?
5. Cost of Goods and Overhead Can Make or Break You
6. Nothing Happens Until Something Is Sold
7. Customer Service and the Ultimate Question
8. Business Reputation Online and Off
9. Hire, Train, and Motivate the Best People
10. The Quality Decision
10 Marketing Secrets: How Do You Establish An Image For Your Small Business? Chapters 11-20
It is never too late. You can start tomorrow. Each of these items is linked to a blog post that gives the details for the headline.
11. The Niche Your Company Occupies
12. The Branding of Your Company
13. The Territory Your Company Seeks to Sell Into
14. The Demographic of Your Client Base
15. The Expression of Your Personality as Projected onto Your Company
16. Your Logo, Colors, and Slogan and the Impression They Make
17. The Street View of Your Business
18. The Brands you Carry Effect Your Company Brand
19. Online Personality Commonly Doesn't Reflect Your Business
20. The Way You Answer the Phone Is Part of Marketing
Marketing Secrets Tutorials - Logistics Review - Key Stuff You Need to Properly Market Your Company in 2012. Chapters 21 - 30
|Marketing Secrets: The Fundamentals of Great Marketing|
Take a quick test of your business leadership skills. How do you come out on these four?
Thus far in our series of 101 Marketing Secrets from a Serial Entrepreneur, we have built the case for goals, strategies, tactics and seven of our top ten recommended logistical considerations.
The seven logistical items we have covered thus far are linked below. Are these elements controlling you or are you controlling them. Are you proactively evaluating and planning for adequate provisions for the battle, or are you marching into war hoping you'll find ample supplies of critical materials, equipment, and other resources along the way?
21. Having enough money matters! A lot.
22. Suppliers are more important than customers
23. Lost our lease is more common that you think. Facilities
24. Employees are a necessary evil OR your key to long term success
25. Time is relentless, unyielding, precious. Count it
26. You and your employees have limited time and energy. Plan accordingly
27. Your family is a logistical consideration. Unhappy families kill businesses
28. If You Ain't Got No Axe, You Cain't Cut No Wood
29. Empty Wagon or Museum? - Inventory Control
30. Small Business Visibilty Has a Cost and a Benefit That Can be Measured
Referrals Beat Every Other Method as a Source for New Clients, and Excellent Quality Clients at That. Chapters 31 -40Chapter #31 I make my living helping small businesses figure out the best way to increase sales. My services are much more necessary for helping with print, trade shows, packaging, new product development, blog, websites, videos, social media, and email than they are for the most effective tool in marketing for generating new business. WOM - Word of Mouth.
However, I spend huge amounts of time convincing my clients to do the very things that will increase referrals. You can read about them throughout this post and throughout this blog.
With #31 in the series we now move to building on that foundation with specific approaches to delivering phone calls, foot traffic, and online activity. The goal will be to go from the most effective for the most businesses to the least effective. Effectiveness would be defined as those things which provide the highest return on investment of time, energy, and cold, hard cash.
There are certainly times when you will want to undertake marketing methods that have a low ROI, but still create absolutely certain results at appropriate times. Sometimes the ROI is not easily identified, but can only be seen over a very long term. For our purposes, we will look only at high, immediate, ROI as the criteria.
With that introduction, we return to the number one source of new business for almost any new business. All the statistics show that at or above 50% of new customers are showing up at small businesses because of this factor. My own conversations with 1000's of companies would show the same results. Anywhere from 50% to almost 100% of new customers are derived from word of mouth (WOM).
The interesting thing about WOM is that most of the cost of traditional WOM is free. WOM is most commonly driven by things like quality, customer service, and overall experience. Achieving those three elements in a business may require the hiring of better people, training investment, use of better materials, and spending on fixtures and systems. Almost anyone who has studied these kinds of business costs has come to the conclusion that the savings from scrap, obsolescence, rework, and lost customers alone pay for these expenses and more. That they are also responsible for increasing sales and profits through WOM is basically icing on the cake.
32. Creating Effective Word of Mouth (WOM) About Your Customer Service Edge
33. Experiential Marketing
34. Amazing Products and Services? Grade Yours!
35. Amazing Follow Up. Are Your Customers Out of Sight, Out of Mind?
36. Stay in Touch to Create Maximum Word of Mouth
37. Equipping Your Clients to Recommend You Can Increase Word of Mouth
38. Find the Influencers in Your Community to Spread Word of Mouth
39. 7 Ways to Thank Those Who Send You Business to Build WOM
40. Do you Cultivate Customers, Clients, or Fans?
Virtually every company I have ever discussed marketing with will tell me one minute that WOM is the number one source of new clients, but then assume that the future will depend on the internet or some other factor. My first thought is always, "how do we capitalize on what is already working."
Obviously, Word of Mouth is no longer only the traditional case of one person telling another in a face-to-face or telephone conversation. There is now an entire industry based on internet reviews and social media that has pushed WOM into something quite different. I will go out on a limb however, and even offer you the chance to tell me I'm all wet. Traditional WOM can provide all the potential that it always has. And if the company is doing what it should to create traditional WOM, the online version will do quite well, thank you very much. Online WOM or WOMM will be discussed in future chapters.
*****If you are finding this information valuable, please tell your friends and associates who own small businesses. Tweet about it, Facebook it, Linkedin it, Google+ it, and Put it up on Pinterest.
Chapters 41 - 50 should be coming to you by the end of June. Maybe sooner. The basic idea of the next 10 chapter is "Going Big." Sometimes we get caught up in small time thinking. These are larger, more aggressive, and more visible types of marketing effort. The rough chapter titles for this section are:
41 Call a Huge Amount of Attention to Your Company (event, contest, scavenger hunt)
42 Go Where Your Customers Go
43 Join Something. Anything. Ok. Almost Anything
44 Do Something Wild and Crazy (price, delivery, hours)
45 Give Away Gold Bars (or something else valuable)
46 Make Your Mom Proud. Become a Local Celebrity (top execs or employees, too)
47 Make Your Dad Proud. Become a Noted Expert (top execs or employees, too)
48. Make Everybody Proud. Write a Book
49 Start A New Community Event
50 New Products, New Services, New Displays, New Ideas, New Categories