Small Business Marketing For Sales Growth

Most small business owners would agree on the need to have a plan for sales growth. Yet far too many small businesses rely on “sales effort” and far too few establish appropriate marketing strategies for sales growth.

Most marketing experts suggest three marketing strategies that are open to all businesses, large and small:

o The least-cost strategy. Using this strategy, a company competes by selling uniform, standard products. Market demand for these products is usually highly elastic. An increase in price triggers a sharp drop in sales volume because (1) demand is low, supply is high, or (2) there are plenty of competitors who can supply substitutes. Buyers expect price concessions, which naturally lead least-cost firms to emphasize production at the lowest possible per-unit costs.

o The differentiation strategy. A company using this strategy attempts to offer unique products that are set off from the competition by superior quality or service. Market demand tends to be inelastic (that is, sales volume doesn’t vary in proportion to price). Goods are priced well above production costs. The company that pursues a strategy of differentiation must invest heavily in product development and innovative packaging and promotion. And it must stay closely in tune with customers’ changing needs and desires.

o The niche strategy. Using this option, a company sells a premium priced product or service to a few buyers. Unit costs are high because output is low and costs such as labor or research and development may be great. Brand identification and customer loyalty are the keys to success.

In adopting a marketing strategy, most small businesses should opt for the differentiation or niche strategy, or a combination of the two. The least-cost strategy is the least successful for small companies. There’s a simple reason why: production costs.

A company’s production costs tend to decline as it accumulates experience in producing the product. How much production experience a company has the opportunity to acquire depends on its share of the market. The larger its market share, the lower its costs.

Therefore, the dominant competitor in a market is in the best position to pursue a least-cost strategy. It can and will shave profit margins to drive out competitors who can’t compete on price. The market leader is assured that the more it can produce and sell regardless of price, the lower its cost will go. So, the least-cost strategy is usually used by very large companies that have the resources to dominate a particular market, local, regional, national or international.

A clear message here is to stay out of areas where there already is a dominant market leader unless you’re prepared for a costly business battle. That means building on your business’s own experience, pushing its competitive edge to the limit in an effort to become the dominant competitor. You can do this by:

o Developing a new product;
o Differentiating your product to appeal to a segment of the market where you have the most experience; or
o Finding a niche in a highly fragmented market where there is no clearly dominant competitor.

When developing new products, stick to your strength. There may be a virtue in staying small, at least in one sense. For one thing, contracting for a service may be cheaper than doing it yourself. Aside from that, each distinctive business function has its own little tricks, short-cuts and hidden pitfalls. In starting a function from scratch, you are committing time, money and capital to an area where competitors, because of their greater experience, may have a clear cost edge.

It’s a common story these days that new, high technology products are no sooner brought out of the designer’s “garage” than they are an instant hit in the marketplace. A production facility is quickly put together and business blossoms-until a larger competitor swoops down with a copycat product and takes the business away.

The cause isn’t just the predatory nature of big business. Often, the designer’s experience in research and development doesn’t carryover to functions that are vital to success in a competitive market: sales and marketing, distribution and financing. The new business can’t come close to matching the larger firm’s experience and proficiency in these areas. And this gives the larger firm an insurmountable edge in the marketplace.

You should consider an alternative strategy: If your business is good at R & D, consider joining with a business that is good at production, sales and marketing. If you have the edge in one geographical region, join with a business that has strong national marketing and distribution channels. Above all, concentrate your resources where your experience is greatest.

Another avenue to sales growth is differentiation. Break away from the pack and make your product stand out from the competition on the basis of superior quality and innovation. Your objective is to maintain the unique appeal a product has to quality-minded consumers. At the same time, look for ways to make carrying your product more attractive to wholesalers and retailers as well.

Profitable niches are often found in markets where there’s no clear industry leader. For example, Enterprise Rent-A-Car built the world’s largest rental car agency by specializing in “wreck replacement” rentals. At the time, the market was under served and there was no clear leader for the service. But finding the appropriate niche can take patience. And once you find it, it’s vital to cultivate customer loyalty and confidence.

The Best Business Cover Letter Ever

The corporate world is a place where no silly games are allowed, no children are permitted and no tantrums and whines are accepted. It is the world where you transform to be the mature person that you need to become. It is the training ground to the many business battles in your life. It is where you can unleash your intellectual and strategic capabilities. It’s the world where decisions, determination laced with fun co-exist with one another.

Looking for your place in the corporate world is easy enough to do if you know what your priorities are. If you have an idea of what your abilities, strengths and aptitude are you can wisely take advantage of them in presenting yourself to the rulers of the corporate world. But before you primp and wear your power-dressing outfit to deliver your weapons to the different companies of your choice, you need to make sure that your resumes and business cover letters appropriately reflect the person wearing the all too professional business suit.

Resumes are the backbone of the jobseeker’s achievements and desires. Business cover letters are the foundation of his/her skills and accomplishment. As someone who wants to be a part of the business world, your resume should reflect who you are and who you want to be. The business cover letter, on the other hand, should stress and indicate the qualities that you have to make dreams a reality.

Writing a resume is simple especially if you have a template to follow. Business cover letters are somehow easy to do as well with the different templates you can get ideas to. However, writing a business cover letter can be harder than writing a resume just for the reason that you are in a way merchandising your strengths that shouldn’t sound arrogant, too good to be true and egotistic.
If you’re writing your business cover letter, here are some tips and tricks that you can follow.
Even if you know how to make one, it’s still better to review or check sample business cover letters online or at writing/business books. In these time and age where everything is changed in just a minute, it’s wiser to check if you’re still up to date.

If and when you follow business cover letter templates, make sure to just get the gist of the template. Sample templates are there as models only. You still need to do your own construction with the basic structure that templates give. The most common mistake of jobseekers that use business cover letters is that they only delete and change the part of the template where their information is needed. And then leave everything as it is. You cannot impress or catch the attention of your potential employer if he/she sees another altered business cover letter template. He/she’ll just think of you as someone who can’t even write an original cover letter.

Make it a point to outline what you plan and can do for the company. Not just the standard line where jobseekers say that he/she wants to be an asset to the company. You need to be more specific and more driven than that. It will show that you already value the work that you’re looking for.

Exclusive Business Strategies – Your Business Battle Plan

WRITING A BUSINESS BATTLE PLAN

Your business battle plan is one of the most important documents you will ever create as an entrepreneur. It will guide the direction of your company and also give potential investors a blueprint of the company’s structure, commitments, daily operations, and future objectives.

There are entire books-LONG books-about how to write a business plan. Reading a few of them is a great way to educate you. But meanwhile, let’s focus on the basics. What you really need here and now in the trenches is a simple plan that starts with where you are and what you’ve got and gives you a clear direction about what to do next.

The consultants and fancy graphics and appendices may or may not come later, but the kind of plan I’m talking about right here, right now, is one that covers the basics, one that you will understand and USE as a day-to-day action plan.

• Start by writing a detailed description of the business and the nature of the product or service you are offering.

• What is the purpose of the business and why does it exist? What drives the passion that made you start this business? These answers will become your mission statement.

• Make a list of competitors who offer the same product or service and point out how yours will be different and/or better. Dissect your competitors’ strengths and weaknesses as compared to yours.

• Who are your customers? How will they find you or how will you find them? This is the raw beginning of your marketing strategy.

• What are your revenue goals per month? Per quarter? Per year?

• What systems have you put in place to produce and deliver your product or service? To reach customers? To collect payment? To provide customer service and follow up? Think of all the steps in your process and the systems that will support them.

• How will you track all your actions and results?

• Write a 60-day action plan.

• Write a daily action plan for the next seven days.