Many business owners start their companies with a great idea and a vision for business success. Meanwhile, successful business owners acquire business management skills and apply those skills to a passion they have for their product or service to increase business profits.
We recently sat down with Brian Moran, who runs a consulting firm dedicated to helping small business owners and entrepreneurs build more profitable businesses.
Helping Small Business Owners and Entrepreneurs via Expertise
Brian has spent over twenty years helping America’s entrepreneurs realize their dreams. He works with the Wall Street Journal, Inc. Magazine, Veracle Media Group and the Small Business & Entrepreneurship Council. As part of this work, he leverages the knowledge of 25 subject matter experts from around the world with different areas of expertise, such as legal, social, technology, HR, and sales.
Business Owners – The Growth vs Maintenance Mindset
One of the key components of success for any small business is identifying the right market segments and then tailoring a strategy to accurately get your message out to those segments.
“Marketers sometimes don’t fully understand how different market segments overlap, or in other cases don’t even touch,” Moran explained.
As an example, Moran often points to the difference between small business owner market segments. “When you’re aiming to appeal to business owners with a growth-oriented vision, they look at purchases as investments in their company. But when you’re communicating with a business owner that has a maintenance mindset, they think of purchases as expenses – “That’s money coming out of my pocket. Do I really need it? Or can I get by with what I have?”
Because of these different ways of thinking about purchases, you should develop distinct messages to address each market segment you’re going after. You may customize one message to be about controlling expenses while the other one may be about investing in your business’ capacity for long-term growth.
How to Reach an Audience in Your Target Market Segment
There are many different ways to reach an audience, and no “one-size-fits-all” approach will work for every market segment. But familiarizing yourself with some options can help to develop your strategy.
The most popular ways are . . .
- Conventional Marketing: This includes old school methods like direct mail, press releases, billboards, bus benches, and other traditional marketing strategies.
- Digital Marketing: This is all about leveraging web banner advertising, Google AdWords, Facebook/Instagram ads, and email marketing strategies like newsletters.
- Content Marketing: This includes web video (interviews, vlogs, documentaries), podcasts, blog posts, and webinars.
Moran also emphasizes a very effective strategy that too many entrepreneurs and small business owners overlook: “The best way to reach an audience is to communicate directly with individuals in your target market segment. Talk to your audience and ask them what they care about. Find out what keeps them up at night. What are the biggest obstacles in the way of their goals?”
When you understand your audience’s needs, you will be able to tailor your message to them more effectively.
Planning Ahead For Business Success
When consulting with small businesses, Moran often underlines the importance of having a plan. “It’s frightening how many businesses don’t have a living, breathing document that shows your where you’re going to be at the end of the year,” Moran warned.
Moran uses the analogy of having a map app on your smartphone, “You key in where you want to go and the app tells you exactly how to get there and how long it will take, as well as any detours along the way.” To reinforce this metaphor, he uses the term “GPS Plan” to refer to a company’s business plan.
A GPS plan should include how much revenue you want to generate by the end of the year, and then work backward from there. “Everything you do between now and the end of the year is a means to that end, whether that’s marketing, social media, or investing in technology,” Moran said.
Getting businesses to commit to a GPS plan can be challenging. “I’ve long since given up on the carrot,” Moran explained. He prefers to offer his clients some tough love. “You will be out of business, all of that money, all of the goals and dreams you have will be gone, because you didn’t do what needed to be done, which is create and stick to a GPS plan”.
Committing to Success
The common thread in Moran’s advice is a willingness to step back and think strategically about your business objectives and then developing a plan to achieve them. How does your marketing approach create opportunities with your prospects? How does your GPS plan strengthen your relationship with existing customers and facilitate growth beyond where you are today?
You’ve already invested time, money and effort into building your business, developing a roadmap and plan to achieve your goals will greatly increase your odds of success.
Most people dream of success, winners plan for it!
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The information shared is intended to be used for informational purposes only and you should independently research and verify.
Note: Prior to January 23, 2020, Mulligan Funding operated solely as a direct lender, originating all of its own loans and Merchant Cash Advance contracts. From that date onwards, the majority of funding offered by Mulligan Funding will be by Loans originated by FinWise Bank, a Utah-chartered Bank, pursuant to a Loan Program conducted jointly by Mulligan Funding and FinWise Bank.