Leanne Hogland-Smith – Chicago 219-759-5601, entrepreneur small business for 15 years, uniting people and their talents with operations through management, increase-sales-coach.com
Consistent challenge in businesses today is a lack of processes and procedures. A lot of this comes about because there is no strategic plan, there are no goals written so what happens is that everyone is hitting different targets and the individual and business goals are missed.
A lot of communication is just refocusing the way they state things, getting rid of the words like need and should and start using “may I suggest this”. When you get rid of the emotionally judgmental words, it’s amazing at the reactions you get.
An employer now, if they have not hired smart, they end up with maybe one good employee for every four employees. Employers need to have consistent performance reviews. Employees then feel like they are part of the company’s success.
Top Tips for Small Businesses
- Communication is consistent and everyone knows where the organization is going and what their goals are. Is everyone sharing the same goals? It is critical to have your goals communicated consistently throughout your company.
- Values – What are your non-negotiable behaviors that you will demonstrate with your employees, vendors, strategic partners?
- Find out what your real brand is – Talk to your customers, not a marketing company. The expectactions held by customers, it is a really definitive way to identify your brand. Ask them, “When you hear my name what expectations come to mind?” You will get a really good idea of your brand, but you also gain a competitive edge. When you have down-time, that is up-time to talk to your customers.
- Marketing is about attracting attention and build relationships – Write copy and test it out. See if it gets some sort of emotional attention for your business.
This week’s smart marketing move goes to South of the Border for their ingenious billboard marketing.
South of the Border would be nothing if it weren’t for its billboards on I-95 South going towards Florida. I remember as a kid being excited every time I saw one. Why? Well, they counted down the miles to Florida and they were amusing!
South of the Border has one way of marketing and they do it extremely well. These billboards, are a play on words like “Pedro’s Fireworks, Does yours?” they count down the miles on every billboard and they get you excited even if you don’t know what it is! I know I was as a kid. Yes, many say this is a tourist trap, but even if it is, it doesn’t mean they are doing it wrong. They’re doing it all right. Their target audience is tourists and tourists travel on I-95 which spans the entire east coast. So their CAPTIVE target audience is traveling I-95, this is a no-brainer if you ask me! Many travel from NJ, PA and NY to drive to Florida. They have nothing else to focus on and after so many billboards kids are excited as well as parents.
It’s a good reason to stop and be a tourist. South of the Border, you’ve done it right and now it’s time we learn from you.
Lesson Learned: Know who your target audience is, learn where they are going, what they are going to do, and learn what they want to spend. South of the Border has everything from Fireworks to beer to small kitschy items. Even though they don’t tell you exactly what they offer and who they are, you know it’s a tourist area. So for your marketing, don’t be over wordy but make sure your target audience knows what your business is and why they would want to use your business. Learning about your audience can pay off big, just like it did, and still is, for South of the Border.
This week’s Smart Marketing Move goes to Menz’s Restaurant!
They won this award because they made a smart move with their business card. It’s not the plain ol’ card with just their name, logo, and contact info. Yes, it’s on there, but they also included more information, which is great for a person just learning of their restaurant.
First off, they are located in a town outside of a vacation town in southern NJ. So, they’re off the beaten path for tourists but they get a lot of business and their card helps! Below is their business card:
How does their business card help with business? They’ve maximized their space by making it a folding card, just that move doubled their space. They’ve even used the back, which is space that is usually wasted on most cards. All of which influences customers.
They have also included what they specialize in. Unlike the business card dumb marketing move, to view it click here, they have told everyone that they are a restaurant and bar but have also included that they serve seafood, steaks, and poultry. Now you know what type of restaurant it is and that there is something for everyone!
Finally, which I have rarely seen, they included a map and directions! What a genius idea, not all vacationers have internet to look up directions when their on vacation. Since they are offshore from vacation homes and hotels, they have included 5 of the closest tourist towns. Overall, I think Menz Restaurant and Bar made all the right moves with their business card. Take notes! Here’s a Bad Business Card Design.
Lesson Learned: Maximize the space on your business card to tell others about your company. It doesn’t have to be a folded card, but don’t forget about the back of your business card. Also, tell people who you are, what you do, and how your business can help them.