Small Business Academy

25 Jan

 

1/25/2012

 

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Q: Is market research useful for a small business?

A: Knowing you market is the key to success, particularly for a small business. However, to many small business owners this task can seem daunting. I would like to break it down into a few simple steps and I hope this will inspire you to become better connected with your customer base resulting in you as a business owner having a much better understanding of who your customers are and just what it is that they are looking for. Understanding this is the key generating more sales and growing your business. So let’s get started.

The first step toward success is defining it.

Though this may sound strange to some I actually recommend that you start by launching your own campaign. This will provide you with invaluable information and it is one of the best results getting methods I know that cost next to nothing to implement thanks to the Internet. The best place to begin when embarking on your first marketing campaign is to determine your goal. In order to do that, you need to ask yourself two questions.

1. Who are you talking to?

2. What do you want to accomplish?

Who are you talking to?

Are you talking to customers or prospects? Are you reaching out to industry experts and peers, or to followers of your brand? No matter who you’re talking to, it’s a good idea to dig a little deeper and ask:

· What are they like?

· How much do they know?

· What do they expect?

· Why would they want to hear from me?

The more you know about who they are, the more focused you can make your message. And the more focused your message is, the more effective it will be.

What do you want to accomplish?

Now that you know who you’re talking to, the purpose of your message starts to come to life on its own.

You can:

· Reward current customers with “insider” information or special member-only offers.

· Attract prospects by telling them who you are and why you’re better than your competition, and entice them with an introductory offer.

· If you have a big announcement to make or a new product, then you want to talk to industry leaders for sure and possibly customers as well.

Customers, prospects and industry leaders are vastly different audiences with different expectations, levels of knowledge and reasons for wanting to hear from you. Knowing what to say affects every step in the process.

For example:

· If you want to expand your customer base, then you know you should talk to prospects.

· If increased sales is the goal, then it makes sense to talk to customers and prospects.

· If you have a big announcement to make or a new product then you at least want to talk to industry leaders and possibly customers.

TAKEAWAYS

· Know your goal BEFORE you send your email.

· Get to know your audience.

· Send the right message to the right audience.

ACTIONABLE ITEMS

· Write down the goal of your email so you can judge whether or not the email helped you accomplish that goal.

· Write down who your audience is and what you know about them so when you compose your email you can make sure you are giving them relevant information.

· Take the time to come up with a plan before you hit send.

I hope this has given you a little guidance. If you need more in depth help I have a free video series that goes into more detail about this very subject at AlexzandraD.com, so please feel free to enter you email address and the entire video series will be delivered right to you inbox! You can also leave your comments or questions just under each video. I love hearing from you and it helps me create even more meaningful products and services for you, so keep them coming. Good luck!

 

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