a small to medium-sized business can be overwhelming.

Knowing where to start and what to do to avoid the common “feast or famine” phenomenon can be puzzling. Typically, independent professionals and other business owners use a shotgun approach to marketing as time and cash flow allows. Individual marketing tactics such as mailings, phone calls and web sites are tried, with efforts peaking when clients start to disappear.

“Well, what do you suggest we do about it?” I hear you say.

The answer is in what your long-term aspirations are. Answer these questions and make them as specific and measurable as possible:

  1. What type of work are you ultimately interested in doing?
  2. What lifestyle are you looking to achieve?
  3. What are your aspirations for your business?
  4. Do you see yourself as a self employed entrepreneur or as a leader of a larger organisation? What size do you have in mind?
  5. How do you see yourself spending your time in the future? What do you see as your tasks and responsibilities?
  6. What skills do you need to attain this goal?
  7. Are you a potential rainmaker, someone who can bring in new business, or do you see yourself as co-ordinating operations and implementation thereof?

“I have all these answers, now what?” you say.

Well, now is the time for action. With the answers to the above questions you should be able to determine the type of client or customer you wish to serve or sell to.

The key is to target this group continually. Another important aspect to consider is whether your target market knows that you or your product exists. They may not be aware of the value of the solution to their problems that you or your product has to offer. Build up a prospect database (even purchase one) and market to them regularly.

In identifying this group you should be able to identify your customers’ needs and not confuse the matter with what product or service they want. You should also feel confident in addressing your customers concerns regarding the product or service you provide. You should be setting up a customer contact database so that you can market to them again in the future.

Furthermore, you should be using current customers as a base to obtain referrals and testimonials. The testimonials can be used to sway potential customers to buy your product or service. Referrals should be relatively easy sells if you have prepped your existing customers as to what type of client or customer you would like to work with.

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Tibor Mackor is the founder of Better Business Strategies Ltd; a business dedicated to assisting business owners find the freedom in their business, by aligning their vision with the right game-play and timing.