Why marketing is important in business

question-mark-2492009_1920What is it that makes marketing such an important asset in business ventures? Why should companies focus on growing their marketing department? Product, price, place, and promotion are the four Ps of marketing. Anyone who has completed marketing courses will know this. These four Ps are why you need marketing strategies in your business today.

Sets sales

Product specifications are being marketed to a selected target audience through chosen promotional channels. This is bound to set your sales numbers on a steadily increasing route. This is the department that makes known who you are as a business, what you offer and how you can meet their needs as a potential consumer.

One mistake most companies make in the time of a recession is to cut marketing funds and efforts. Instead of cutting it off completely, rather downscale and be smarter with regards to your marketing efforts and platforms. Consumers may be spending less money during this time but they are still spending money nonetheless. Use that motivation to keep pushing your value product offers and focus more on your already-loyal consumers. You will be one of the few companies with your name still being spoken about.

Marketing makes your business known and without it, your client base would only consist of family, friends, and passers-by.

Builds brand identity and business reputation

Marketing is a platform to build your brand identity, your name is out there and people know what you’re selling, but now it’s time to get to know who you are as a business. It’s important to understand that you are people selling to people. Regardless of how huge your corporate company is, consumers are reassured by the fact that there is a human being on the other side of the line. Social media marketing and profiles is a great way for clients to get an idea of what goes on behind the scenes and can put faces to the names that sign off on their email conversations.

Marketing makes it possible for you to let clients know what your values are as a company and lets you show them how you live them out through your business and offerings. In this way, it helps build your business reputation and helps customers feel comfortable in what they are supporting by choosing to do business with you. It also gives potential customers the insight they need to make the brand switch or give your business a try.

Clever competition

In a world of competitive markets, even the marketing efforts of competitor companies can help you. Marketing is important to stay updated with where the marketplace values lie and, in turn, you can adjust and redirect your marketing strategy accordingly.

When advertising against competitors, keep it fun (not detrimental to the brand of another company) and keep it smart. Make use of the advertising slots in their Facebook and Youtube video campaigns and use their social media profiles to create a target audience segment based on their followers. All’s fair in open advertisement placement.

Channels communication

When it comes to advertising and mass media marketing, there isn’t a lot of room for two-way communication. You are directing data at your target consumer and they just have to take it in. With the rise of social media platforms, there is now the opportunity for consumers to talk back.

Making marketing inclusive means you can better understand what it is people want, need and demand. In turn, you can use this to make sure you are the company they turn to. Tell a story and start a conversation with social media marketing. Encourage comments and sharing and you will have consumers valuing your interaction and you will be gaining ideas for future campaigns and product upgrades.

Inspires innovation

Lastly, marketing is important in business because it inspires innovative thinking. Marketing is an ever-adapting department that needs to be able to manipulate all types of updatable medias and harness the power of whatever is #trending on a weekly or even daily basis. New ideas are constantly sought after to make your business stand out above the rest and bring the edge that consumers are looking for.

Marketing makes the consumers eye-line stop on your product sitting on the shelf instead of browsing over it to land on the more recognisable brands. Marketing is undeniably important in business and you don’t want to find out what your business would be like without it.

10 Ways to save your sinking business

Businesses go through many phases over their lifespan. During certain seasons the sales can go through the roof and during other periods, the sales may dip. But what happens if your business is experiencing slow sales for a long period? When the customers aren’t flocking to your business in large numbers like they used to? Your business might be sinking rapidly and you need to find ways to save it.

Find out where the problem lies

Is it poor management? Failure to implement marketing strategies? Lack of experience? Or maybe you won’t take risks? When you find out the why your business is failing you’ll be able to find solutions to help revive it back to life. You can’t implement strategies effectively if you only cure the symptoms and not the real problem.

Figure ways you can save your company:

Rebrand

In order to save your business, you may need to rebrand your company. Rebranding is great when you want to grow your business and reach a new market. The market you may want to target could be based in a specific demographic, you could want to reach more woman or a younger audience. Rebranding involves more than just changing your company slogan and logo. It also involves changing the vision and mission of the company but when you do this you need to keep your target market in mind. Will your new brand appeal to them? Will the risk pay off? Make sure your brand distinguishes you and is in line with what your company stands for.

But before you rebrand your business, make sure you first find the root cause of the problem. There’s no point spending money changing your company’s branding strategies only to find that the reason your company is performing poorly is that you offer poor service. Make sure you find the real cause of the problem first.

When should you rebrand?

If the name of the company no longer serves its purpose then it may be time to change it to something else. Or maybe the name doesn’t fit with the market you are wanting to acquire.

If your brand doesn’t stand out

The marketplace is competitive and for a business to be sustainable, it needs to be the fittest in order to survive. And a key way to help it succeed is to set it apart from the competition. Consumers need to be able to differentiate your business from the rest of the businesses in the marketplace. You can take a gamble and rebrand your company. The more you stand out, the more you’ll be memorable to your target audience.

Ask customers

Your customers are the ones taking money from their pockets in order to make use of your service or buy your product, so it would make sense to ask them for feedback. Ask them to rate your service. The feedback could help you solve problems. Do your customers feel well connected to you? Does the advertising you use to appeal to them?

Offer what your customers need

Does the product solve the customer’s problems?  You may be providing a service which customers don’t want. If the product doesn’t appeal to your clients, go back to the drawing board and find something which will cater to their needs. Because if your customers aren’t satisfied, your business won’t survive. Align your marketing strategies and product model to suit the needs of your customers.

Outdated technology and skills

We live in a world of ever evolving technology and it may be your business is using outdated software or skills. When you’re falling behind in technology, you won’t be able to keep up with the competition. If your customers are using certain social media platforms to access the competition and you don’t use those platforms, you’re in trouble and you may lose out on a huge market. Make sure you keep up to date with the latest technology so you can keep up with your customers.

Check your finances

If money is the main reason your business isn’t doing well, you may want to look at your spending habits. You may need to cut down on unnecessary spending which could be costing your company each month. You may need to bring in outside help in order to help you figure how to solve your financial problems.

Merger

You can merge with another company. When you merge with another company you can lower costs through economies of scale and also have access to their customers. A merger will require financing and you can acquire funding through corporate finance.  

When your business is experiencing failure you need to go back to the drawing board for a fresh approach. Find the reason why your business by collecting data, asking customers and looking at your expenditure. Once you’ve found the root cause you’ll be able to find the best solution to help your business.

How to start a taxi business

It is safe to say that a job is quite the rare commodity these days. Interviews are in abundance, but appointments are few and far between.

Whether you’re just entering the job market fresh from school, or circling back from a previous employment, you need a reliable and steady income to sustain yourself. But if jobs are scarce and bills are stacking, what are you supposed to do? Here’s an idea – start your own taxi service. Who knows, your fleet might be the next piece of iconography synonymous with your area.

Starting any business can pose a few challenges, but the internet is your friend. You can learn almost anything with a quick visit to your favourite search engine. In the meantime, here are a few tips to start your own taxi business and avoid some of the most complained about pitfalls.

Who will be driving?

You need to decide whether you will be driving, or whether you’ll assign someone as a driver (either a business partner or employee). If you are the one responsible for driving, you have to make sure that you have a valid driving license and a ton of free time on your hands. The more you are available to transport people, the more income you’ll generate. If you choose to assign someone else to drive, you need to check their driving license. Make sure that it hasn’t expired and look for any conditional modifiers indicated (such as vehicle class, manual or automatic drive and the necessity of glasses). Whoever you choose needs to be clued up about their surroundings, or at least in possession of a GPS. Also consult the internet about third-party insurance, especially if you are providing the vehicle they will be driving. While you’re at it, read into the process of getting your business registered and licensed.

Choose your vehicle wisely

The vehicle is the most important element of your business, as it is the direct source of your income. The vehicle you choose need not be the latest and greatest in automotive design, but it does need to be presentable and in working condition. So, your uncle’s old pickup truck just short of being written-off probably isn’t your best option. Keep in mind that your passengers need to sit comfortably and try to make provision for multiple passengers per trip. In other words, the vehicle needs to have a back seat and doors for passengers to access it. An added bonus would be to find a vehicle with moderate to low fuel consumption. You wouldn’t want all of your revenue going towards that thirsty tank. Your vehicle will be an invaluable asset, so it’s important to do your research and make the best possible decision. Consult the internet to find opportunities for machinery asset finance and weigh up all your options.

How to be a good driver

Now that your business is registered, your driver has been chosen and your vehicle has been financed, it’s time to take people places. Here are a few tips on not sucking as a chauffeur.

Speeding

Try your utmost best to stick to the speed limit. The benefits of this are twofold – firstly, you will avoid unnecessary expenses in the form of fines and secondly, your passengers will sleep soundly knowing they didn’t narrowly evade the clutches of death. Even though your passengers might not always be the most patient, it is a fair assumption that they’d rather arrive late than not arrive at all.

Conversation

Although your job will mostly consist of customer service and human interaction, your job description is not ‘therapist’. Keep the conversation light and minimal. The only thing worse than a creepy silent driver is a blabbering one. You’ll be able to gauge the level of  conversation required from the passengers as they enter your vehicle. Be friendly and professional but whatever you do, don’t rant about your ex.

Music

We all know how awkward it is when you want to have a conversation with a friend or loved one but you feel like a stranger is listening to every word. Well, this is your life now – you’re the stranger. So to avoid those cringe-worthy moments, switch on the radio and ask your passengers if there’s a specific channel they would prefer. This will instantly make them feel more comfortable (especially if their favorite song comes on). However, take note of the fine line between background music and noise pollution.

Ambience

Last but not least, put some thought into the general feel inside your vehicle. Make sure to keep it clean (yes, bin the takeout boxes) and keep the unseemly smells at bay with an air freshener. Impression management is important for a new business and nothing ruins a first impression quite like a trashed car that smells like a dumpsite.

4 things to consider before starting an IT business

Have you always dreamed of starting your own business? Did you perhaps complete an IT or computer related qualification? Well, why not start your own IT firm? Unfortunately, not everyone knows how to get started. There is a lot of uncertainty and risk that comes along with starting your own business. If you ask any successful IT professional how they find it to work for themselves, they’re likely to tell you that the satisfaction of working for yourself can make it worthwhile.

Finding and starting your own company is all about motivation. Every successful business owner has a story about how and why they started their company. That story usually includes the tribulations, milestones, pitfalls and successes they faced along the way. Although every company has a different story, the businesses that reach success tend to have taken similar pivotal steps. So, when looking to start your business, those are the kinds of companies you should approach for advice.

As an IT consultant, you should provide expert advice in a wide range of fields. Your services might also be needed to counsel a startup computer company or simply provide technical support to your clients. Like any other business, starting your own IT firm can be overwhelming. So, here are a few things you need to consider before being your own boss.

What can you offer?

Before creating your business cards, you need to think about the services you’ll offer prospective clients. Don’t think you need to be an expert in all things IT to start your business. The good thing about this industry is that you can learn as time goes on. In fact, the more work you do or practice you get, the more successful you could be. There are likely to be other IT consultants in your area. So, check what they’re offering their clients and do something they don’t offer. You should basically find a niche you do better than others and focus on that expertise. Perhaps there was a section in your information technology course you were good at, so why not specialise in that? Specialising in this kind of industry is where the money is at.

Before getting too hung up on the money, think again. Ask yourself whether you’re in it for the money or the love of the work. If you’re starting this business for the money, well, you won’t get very far. Most businesses are succeeding because they are doing it for the love of the work. So, take a look at the things you excel in and offer that to prospective clients.

Create your business plan

Unfortunately, no business will succeed without a detailed business plan. Before you think too far ahead about how you’ll be as an entrepreneur and how you’ll make money, you should put together a business plan. Be clear with the services your IT company will offer. Also, state how you plan to find new clients and what you’ll charge for your services. Just make sure you don’t undersell yourself. Many consultants make the mistake of setting their prices too low. Remember that your business has to make a profit. You’ll also have fees that you’ll have to cover, such as rent, equipment maintenance and employment taxes. If you’re not sure how to create a detailed business plan, approach other successful businesses. There are also many online tools you can use.

Prepare yourself for long hours

You’ll be working for yourself now. So, that means you aren’t likely to work office hours only. You might have to work overtime. Are you willing to put in the extra hours? Many IT professionals who’ve made the switch from employee to self-employed did it in stages. Some people usually stay at their full-time job while getting their business off the ground. And starting your own business might not happen within a few days, it might take months or even years. So, before going the entrepreneurial route, ask yourself whether you’re willing and able to log some long hours. You should spend way more than 40 hours per week running your business. You’ll soon realise starting your own firm isn’t a regular job. And yes, it offers increased flexibility but also more responsibility.

Think about the nitty-gritty details

When you’ve mapped out what you’ll be offering and written your business plan, it’s time to think about the day-to-day logistics of running your IT business. Do you have office space or will you work from home? It’s important to make sure you have all the necessary equipment. You should know what you need and that you have those items included in your budget. You should be able to multitask. You maybe won’t have any employees yet, so you should be able to do a little bit of everything. Think about all these things and create a to-do or check list. That way you’ll have everything organised.

There are a lot more steps and things you should do in order to run a successful IT business. Take these four tips into consideration as they’ll give you a solid base to start working for yourself.

Do you have what it takes to succeed in sales?

 

To be or not to be that is the question. You may be considering a career in sales but you’re not sure if you’re the right fit. Your hesitation could come from all the negative stories you’ve heard about the profession. And now you’re just not sure you’ll make the cut. You should do an introspection and ask yourself if you have what it takes. Are you fanatical about making a sale? Do you not take no for an answer? Do you have an outgoing personality? If you answered yes to these questions then sales could be for you.

Here are a few things you should know before pursuing a sales career path

Pressure

There are people who thrive under pressure while some just crumble under it. When you’re a salesperson you’ll deal with intense pressure because you’ll have to meet daily targets and deadlines. In order to perform well you need to know how to manage stress.

Communication skills

A good salesperson needs to have good communication skills. They need to master the art of conversation. For instance, you shouldn’t dominate a conversation, you should give room for the other person to have their say.

These are the 4 barriers to effective communication:

Using technical language – if you use acronyms and technical jargon which is only relevant to your profession then your customers might not understand you. You should be clear and concise when you make your sales pitch.

Lack of concern – if you show a lack of empathy towards the customer you won’t persuade them to purchase what you’re selling.

Judging the other person – a major block to communication is criticising or belittling another person. If you want to influence your customers and grow sales, then you should avoid judging them when you’re talking to them.

Lack of attention – You need to make the customer the centre of your universe. And the best way to do that is to pay attention to what the customer is saying and listen to them.

Great Listener

A salesperson needs to have good listening skills. You need to give your undivided attention to your client. Scrolling through your phone or interrupting a customer while they’re talking isn’t likely to score you brownie points. Focus on what they’re trying to convey in order to cater to their needs. If you don’t listen to the customer then you’re not likely to win them over and understand what they want.

Outgoing personality

Extroverted personalities are often talkative and thrive in social settings and make amazing salespeople. A salesperson has to be a people’s person and be able to form relationships quickly.

Be positive

Personality sells. People are attracted to warm, positive people. A salesperson should be energetic and have a radiant personality. The friendlier you are the more people will be drawn to you and be able to open up.

Confidence in your product

If you want to have the customer eating out the palm of your hands, you need to be confident about the item you’re selling. You need to believe in the product and its value in order to successfully persuade your customers. And if you’re not confident, you’ll instil doubt in the mind of the customer you’re trying to persuade.

Willingness to improve

You should be willing to improve on your craft. No matter how good a person is at something, there’s always room for improvement. And a good salesperson knows that. You could buy books, read articles and attend seminars. Acquiring more knowledge will help enhance your skills. The more you learn about sales, the more you’ll be able to influence others.

Persistence

A great salesperson knows that even when the going gets tough, they shouldn’t give up. They know they should persevere even when faced with challenges and obstacles. You need to be able to bounce back even though you had bleak sales in the previous month. When you’re a salesperson you’ll deal with ups and downs and you need to know how to keep yourself motivated through those times.

Achievement orientated

A salesperson needs to be fixated on reaching their goals each day. Always keep your eye on the prize and be achievement orientated. Your aim should be doing better than your previous records and others in the team.

Whether you’re studying a marketing course or just want to pursue a career in sales, you need to determine if you’re the right fit. Otherwise you’ll be frustrated and lack motivation. As a salesperson you’ll need to be confident, persistent and have a strong desire to win.