You may have heard the saying “customer is king!”…well, I hope you also know that your customer is “changing”. Don’t be left in “Alice in wonder land” by discovering late that your customers’ needs, buying behaviour and preferences have evolved in the past decade.
You need to pay attention to trends, events and market dynamics in your industry so as to keep track of changes around you…and exploit these changes to grow your business and your market.
If you’ve been engrossed in the day to day business operations… you need to pause now… stretch your feet and take a look at these recommended ways of keeping tab with your market.
Many business owners occupied various job roles in their lifetime as employees. It is not surprising that they tend to structure their new business to reflect their former positions of strength when they were in paid employment.
If you had a background in sales…prospecting would come naturally to you. But for those business owners who do not have a sales or marketing background [before setting out in business]…you need to learn how to “get out” and “knock on doors”.
To do this you either hire someone with a background in sales to go all out to find new customers or you [for the love of your business] have to brace up and get this all important part of the business process done.
One strategy to use in prospecting is the “law of averages”…if you need 10 customers then you need to reach out to 100 persons and at a conversion rate of 10% you will be able to get 10 persons out of the 100 persons you talked to say “yes” to your offerings.
Get Everyone Involved In Marketing
One marketing mistake a lot of business owners make is to relegate the marketing function to only the sales and marketing department alone. This way the accountant, the production manager the warehouse department and even the driver and any other staff of your business is exempted from marketing responsibility simply because-“it is not their DUTY”…WRONG!
For you to grow your business, you need to get EVERONE in your business to be involved in the marketing process.
One way to do this is to inculcate customer value in your organisation’s culture and sell your staff the benefit or need to be intentional about being a customer-centric organization.
For example, if the production department is aware of the need to satisfy the customer needs, they would produce goods that will meet the needs of your customers. When the sales or marketing personnel brings feedback from the market the production department will act on this feedback and make sure that the customers’ concerns are addressed in the next production.
The same goes for all other departments of the organisation…when all your team members are exposed to the customer; it provides a tremendous opportunity for your business to gather market information that could be harnessed to grow your business. After all, the customer is king and all team members should learn how to treat him/her like royalty…that’s the only way to win in this hyper-competitive business world.
Subscribe To Trade Journals
This may sound old fashioned…but there’s no better place to get first hand information about happenings in your industry, other than reading up your industry’s good-old journals!
There are boatloads of information that you can assess if you’ll c make out time to read up your industry’s journals occasionally and be sure you act on any actionable intel you come across.
By attending tradeshows, conferences, trainings and even joining a facebook group you’ll be able to make connections that’ll get you in front of both colleagues and experts.
Watch Your Competitors
Yes you’ve got to watch your competitors…they could spot trends, opportunities or challenges that you couldn’t see. Keeping a close eye on the competition will help you stay abreast of industry trends and position you to take quick and drastic marketing response to any market stimuli in your industry.