A guest post by Renee Martinez a mother of 4, blogger and marketing consultant.
I can’t tell you how many times I’m brought into a project to find that the client has a great product that nobody’s ever heard of. Yet, when I delve into the business, nine out of ten times, I find opportunities were lost because of the client’s lack of organization and forward-thinking planning. Most of the time, the key to their success was hidden within the confines of the business, but they never saw beyond their limited scope.
There are some very basic things you can do to at least give current and potential customers the perception that the business they are dealing with is a professional, credible business. The rest depends on the actual service or product you provide to meet up to the standards you claim.
A few things not to overlook include maintaining collateral materials that have a consistent look and feel. From business cards to invoices, your materials should all look like they come from the same business. Another thing you must remember to include your contact information on all materials. If you can, send a thank you to customers for their service. If you’re selling a product through a rep, then send he rep a thank you for big orders. This is not brain surgery. In fact, much of marketing is common sense.
Another huge no-no, is going year-by-year …just sailing along without goals or budgets or measurements in place to analyze what areas of your business are effective and which areas are not. Sounds technical and intimidating? It’s a four-letter word every business should live by; plan.
A business plan is something you may recall, that you used when starting your business. Search it out and dust it off. Time to look at it again. In fact, every year, you should map out your goals, objectives, budgets (for marketing, advertsing etc…) and tactics or ways to plan to obtain your goals (ie. Promotion, open house etc..). This is your roadmap to success.
In fact, much of what I see ends up turning into what I call, chotsky marketing. That’s not a good thing. Since there’s no plan, the business is in response mode. Responding to requests for ads, placing them at whim or “because they did last year” – not really aware of effectiveness.
From the point of planning, you are in control of the business, not the other way around. You can make informed decisions based on fact. Most importantly, your resources will be spent wisely.
As the mother of four boys (ages 8, 5, 3 and 9 months), Renee Martinez has an interest in providing women information on how to raise responsible, respectful and confident members of society that mothers could be proud of.
Renee’s blog, Mothers Raising Boys (www.mothersraisingboys.com) grew out of constantly being bombarded with comments from random people like, “Wow. Four boys. You must be busy!” or “Four boys! You’re life must be crazy! How can you handle it?!”. The comments made her crazy. “My boys are the least of my troubles. They are really a joy. I wanted to create a forum for people with boys who need help as well as for people who really want a community of moms with similar experiences. A place where we can gather and share information that might in someway help create a voice for moms struggling with issues associated with raising boys.”
Renee worked in marketing before venturing into motherhood, but decided to try to work as a marketing communications consultant after the birth of her first son. One thing led to another and nearly 10 years later, she’s still trying to blend the two worlds of work and family. She’s worked on some great projects for clients nationwide, from designing and writing websites, newsletters, email campaigns, logos, marketing plans, public relations campaigns, brochures to developing marketing strategies and ad campaigns. For business marketing services, her business is called Ruby Communication (www.rubycommunication.com). For consumer communication products, such as invitations and announcements, her business is called Ruby Printcess (www.rubyprintcess.com).
Renee has also written several articles on internet marketing.