Good marketing advice and sound marketing decisions can make an enormous difference to the way your business perfoms in the crucial early years - in this article, we'll have a look at some of the things you really need to know...

The decisions you make now are the most complex you will ever make

One reason is that you can’t afford to get them wrong. So there is more pressure on you now than there might be in future. There is no point in starting with a sub-optimal strategy and then expecting to change this later. If it’s not right now then you should change it now - or you might not get the chance.

In any case, you should not need to change the fundamentals of your business. That goes against everything in marketing. If you don’t have the information you need to make the decision; the best thing you can do is find it.

The other reason is that you have less information on which to base your decisions than you will have in future years. Or do you? Actually, you have less information on current customers than you will when your business is ten times the size. But your opportunity to learn about the market as a whole is unchanging.

With this in mind, we can see how wrong it is to assume that advice and support for start-ups should be ‘basic’ or ‘simple’. It’s make or break time – let’s get it right first time and move on …

The trial and error approach will ruin your business

(Related to the previous point): It does this for 3 main reasons:

  • It makes you look amateur which in turn damages your reputation (and your ability to sell)
  • If you change your mind about what you stand for, it is far less believable
  • It costs you money in wasted effort and duplication

Do it once and do it right. Or you will run out of time, money and credibility. Knocking something up that ‘will do for now’ is a sign that you need to stop and re-evaluate.

It’s about more than just communications

Product development is part of marketing. As is the way you deliver service. Your claims are only as good as the extent to which you live up to them.

Technology is only part of the solution

The fundamentals of marketing have not changed. It’s great to use new techniques, but understanding customers and markets is where it’s at. How will you apply the technology so it is useful in your business?

Do not mistake product knowledge for market knowledge!

BEWARE of bad advice

Lots of people will tell you how you should run your business. If they want to do it that way; let them. It is not their money and livelihood that are at stake. There are no consequences to them of being completely wrong. You are in business to use your own judgement.

There are no shortcuts

Knowing what you excel at and continuing to excel at it are the real means of delivering ‘ROI’.

Article by Graeme Jordan of STO Consulting Ltd.

Contact Graeme by email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

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