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More than a third of Britons have an entrepreneurial drive despite enduring economic uncertainty, research finds. This confirms my belief that small businesses should keep trying to ...

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Posted: 2005-01-12 / Author:

7 Steps To Marketing Success

In the past it didn't take nearly as much marketing effort to build a business as it does today. Unfortunately, many people are holding on to the belief that things are still the way they were and are not doing what needs to be done to make their businesses succeed.

Marketing your business is something that is a constant process and takes a considerable amount of focus and commitment.

Competition in virtually ever industry has increased. Additionally, there is no guarantee that once you do manage to attract a customer to your business they will keep coming back. We have a highly mobile and fickle society. This simply means it is more important than ever to evaluate what you are doing, why you are doing it, and what you must do in the future in order to stay competitive.

Here are some steps you can take to increase your chances of success in your business.

1. Get clear on your values and mission. I recently read a book called "The Path" by Laurie Beth Jones. She begins the book with a story her uncle told her of his experience during World War II. According to her uncle, if an unidentified person appeared to a soldier and could not immediately identify their mission, they were shot on site. Wow! Would this ever make a person clear on their mission. It was literally the difference between life and death.

This can hold true in business. If we are not clear on our values and mission it is easy to flounder and eventually our business could die. However, by being very clear on your values and your mission, you are assured more of a chance for your business to grow and thrive. Take time to write out what your values are. From there, create a statement that clearly defines what you offer your customers and clients. If you find that you are getting off track with what is important, simply take time to review your written statement.

2.Effective and realistic planning. I strongly suggest you create a solid marketing plan. As a result of completing the plan you will be much better prepared and know whether or not your marketing idea is feasible. Additionally, take time to fully understand how marketing works. Marketing is not a one-time shot or one size fits all. You must plan your campaigns. You must be committed for the long-term and test various types of campaigns as you move forward. The more solid your plan, the more success you will experience.

3.Take action. Once you create a good marketing plan take the necessary actions outlined in the plan. More times than I care to think about, I have talked to business people who put together plan after plan after plan and yet, don't take appropriate or consistent action on the plan. For whatever reason time is invested in the plan, but then very little, if anything, is done. Again, keep the long-term goals in mind as you take action.

4. Have realistic expectations. Many people expect overnight results and give up when the results they wanted don't materialize as they had hoped. Unrealistic expectations always lead to frustration and dissatisfaction. Talk to other business people to find out what they are experiencing at any given time. You may be surprised at what you will learn.

Define realistic, quantifiable performance metrics that reflect your business goals.

5. Be persistent and persevere. There are going to be times when you get very frustrated with what is going on around you. If you don't think this is true my guess is you haven't been doing what you are doing for very long. Truth be told, business can be extremely frustrating. There are times things can seem so overwhelming you wonder how you can get through the situation. It is when you revisit why you are doing what you are doing and what your purpose in business is that you can get back on track. If success were easy, everyone would have it. Persistence and perseverance can pay handsomely.

6. Create a focused marketing message. The main purpose of marketing is to identify the appropriate markets for your products and services and then open up a conversation with those markets. That simply means finding market segments that can benefit from your products or services and communicating with them in a way that motivates them to take action.

Keep in mind; the first action is not always going to be to buy. Your customers first action my simply be to stop by your store. Maybe it is to make a phone call to gain more information. Perhaps it is visiting your website to fill in a request form.

Regardless of what the first step is it is what you do after someone takes the first action is crucial to the success of your business. Develop a solid follow up system that allows you to develop long-term relationships with your client base. The health of your bottom line depends on it.

7. Believe in yourself and your vision. Regardless of how much you want something, there will be times the temptation is to give up and throw in the towel. The greatest test of your character is to be willing to follow through to the very end. You must find ways to believe in who you are and keep your vision close to your heart. Many years ago I was taught to keep going on my dreams and to not quit five minutes before the miracle.

Fact is I never know when the miracle will arrive. The only way to find out is continue forward in spite of all outward appearances.

Kathleen Gage teaches strategies that give high impact and high return. Sign up for Gage's FR*EE Report "Learn How a Salt Lake City base consultant made over $100,000 from one idea" at

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