A good place to start is to become consistent in your marketing activities.
By that I mean plan ahead and have a quarterly or 90 day marketing calendar mapped out for your business.
The reason most businesses have spikes and troughs in their revenues, and in most cases poor cash flow, is because of inconsistent or ad hoc promotion of their business.
When there isn’t much revenue coming in there tends to be lots of activity to market the business. As soon as business starts to flow in the focus goes off the marketing and on delivering the product or service.
Three weeks later when all of the products or services have been delivered, there is a large drop-off in demand and therefore revenues. Back to the marketing “pump”, and so the cycle goes.
Planning out your ninety-day marketing calendar is not that hard. At the start of each quarter you may need to devote a few half days and involve staff (if you have any) in brainstorming some great offers.
Make it visible. I have found, when working with Melbourne business coaching clients, it is most effective when you have an A3 desk top calendar or large whiteboard placed prominently in your office. This way it is a hard to ignore reminder of what you need to do consistently.
Give yourself a tick for every planned activity that you have completed and a cross for those you have skipped over or not completed. The ratio can be very informative at the end of the month! If you have employees include them in the planning and communicate when your offers are being promoted.
This way everyone is on the same page and can respond effectively when a customer enquiry for the offer occurs. First of all you need to come up with the offers, then you need to look at how you going to promote the offers.
Some suggestions are:
- Create vouchers of various values that can be applied to your services or products that must be used within 28 days
- Have an offer that is only available for the first 20 or 50 people to register within a time frame that allows them to get a second item completely free.
- Create an offer that allows them to get a second service or product if they spend X amount of dollars.
- Have a free offering of your services or products for one week or one month.
- Guarantees are great, have a money back guarantee attached to an offer which reduces the risk in the eyes of the customer.
- Package a product with an associated service and offer a discount on the overall package. Of course you should crunch the numbers to make sure you are making a profit.
Schedule your offer on your Marketing Calendar for a particular week along with the resource required (who is doing the work) and any activities required (graphic design, printing, website changes etc).
When promoting your offers there are many ways to accomplish this, both paid and free. Depending on your budget, and the speed at which you desire results, select mix of free and paid approaches.
You can get fast responses to your offers through Google Adwords (PPC) and Facebook promoted posts or ads. I would not recommend spending the money on either of these methods if your offer is weak or you do not have a tested sales funnel in place.
Quick, low cost methods include emails or newsletter broadcasts to your own list or customer database and joint venture/cross promotions with other businesses that have a target customer profile similar to your own.
Each week and month tally up the offers and the results to see which ones have created the most business for you. Same applies at the end of the quarter. Adjust your offers and create another 90 day marketing calendar.
After a few quarters you will have the structure, offers, knowledge and discipline to keep a steady stream of business flowing.