However naturally positive we are, we will probably all agree that 2018 is going to be at least as challenging as 2017, possibly more so. Difficult economic times, volatile world events, a lack of talent and fast-changing technology make it a high priority to future proof our business.
I know this only too well from experience. The financial crash of 2007-8 may seem like eons ago now. But I still remember how difficult it was getting financial investment for the company I was CEO of. The straitened financial circumstances that resulted by the crash meant I had to rapidly re-appraise our 5-year strategic plan and re-think our plans for expansion.
Last weekend I spent the day in Chichester, ostensibly to start my Christmas shopping; but truth be told looking for cosy but indulgent lounge wear. I spent a happy half an hour checking out one of my favourite brands, Mint Velvet, whose winter marketing campaign I love.
As I rifled through the cashmere jumpers and lace backed camis, this got me wondering why I was prepared to pay premium prices for items I could easily get in other shops for less. The answer was brand. Mint Velvet has created a brand that speaks to me and my aspirations. Here’s why.
Last week I was asked if it’s too late to plan a Christmas marketing campaign. I replied that November is certainly late to start planning. But it’s not too late. This is why.
According to Google Trends, shoppers started searching for ‘Christmas gift ideas’ back in August! Ideally by the beginning of November, you should be well-advanced with your holiday promotion plans – whether or not you’re excited about hearing Christmas music in the department stores or seeing the latest John Lewis advert.
A couple of years ago Will, the owner of a trades business asked me to help him put together a marketing strategy that was right for his business. Despite being fully booked for the next 4 months, he didn’t have a lot of spare cash and his promotional budget was small. Nor did he have the time to spend on marketing.
His challenge was to increase the visibility of his company and win more business as cost effectively as possible – whilst working at full pelt to deliver orders on time.
Today I thought I’d explain my business model and how I make money. The received wisdom in my industry is that business consultants and coaches should deliver their services online, and eschew a one to one model. But I don’t do this.
Every day I see adverts encouraging people to start or take their business online, when this is not the right model for their business, budget or skill-set. That’s why I thought it would be helpful to explain why and how I’ve developed my own business in a way that’s right for me, my budget and my skill-set.
A business owner I know is struggling to operate a profitable business. She offers a vast array of products, some of which are clearly more popular than others. She regularly discounts products in the mistaken belief that this will bring in more customers and boost sales. But this doesn’t drive up sales, revenues and profits.
I’m itching to talk to her about what I call the Product Profitability Quadrant™ as I’m sure this will help her to create a far more profitable business.