The focus of #Smallbizchat is to end the failure of small businesses by helping participants succeed as their own bosses.
Jimmy Newson is a business and growth strategy consultant, international speaker, and founder of Moving Forward Small Business. He specializes in working with small businesses and entrepreneurs, and is a Contributor and Leadership Network member of Entrepreneur.com. Newson holds industry certifications from Google, HubSpot, SEMrush, Cascade and Trainual, and serves on the boards and boards of various private, government and non-profit organizations. For more information: https://movingforwardsmallbusiness.com
Jimmy Newson: In today’s ever-changing marketplace, companies of all sizes need clear direction to stay on top. A solid strategy ensures that small businesses are on the right track by identifying target markets, allocating resources, setting realistic goals and working towards achieving them.
Jimmy Newson: A strategy is like a roadmap for small business growth. It enables business owners to assess competition, identify opportunities, mitigate risks, and set clear goals. Small businesses with strong strategies are well positioned to outperform their competitors and achieve growth.
Jimmy Newson: As you develop your strategy, it’s important to keep three things in mind:
- Vision: Strategy must be aligned with the long-term vision of the business. Management needs to consider the desired outcome of what the business will look like in five or ten years.
- Market analysis: Your strategy should consider industry trends, competition, and consumer behavior. Business owners must be aware of market shifts, economic trends and consumer habits and adjust their strategies accordingly.
- Allocation of resources: A strategy’s effectiveness is determined by the resources allocated to it. Business owners should think about the financial, human and technical resources needed to achieve the set goals.
In summary, having a solid strategy is critical to small business success. Creating a roadmap helps business owners anticipate potential roadblocks and proactively overcome them while capitalizing on growth opportunities.
- Why do small businesses need a strategy now?
- What does strategy have to do with business growth?
- What are the top three things to consider when developing a strategy?
Chris Carr is a successful digital entrepreneur. He founded his own company, Farotech, over 22 years before him. He is a comprehensive digital his marketing agency located outside of Philadelphia. Farotech is not only listed in the Philadelphia 100, but also in the Inc 5000, America’s fastest growing company. Chris is at the forefront of his AI and hosts a podcast (Digital Marketing Masterclass) co-stars Andy Crestodina and features some of the top names in marketing. For more information: www.farotech.com
SmallBizLady: What are the main problems in building a strong brand reputation and where do most companies fail?
Chris Kerr: The moral of the story is that if your brand sound isn’t contagious and reproducible, your brand will fail. Multiply that by the size of your sales collateral, blogs, podcasts, webinars, ads, basically anything you do from a marketing perspective, even if your brand is inconsistent or off by just 1%. If your website uses fonts in one direction, but your ads use them in another, customers these days are less tolerant and will turn their attention to your competitors. It happens very quickly and the chances of you persuading them to come back to see if your actions worked are close to zero.
SmallBizLady: How does branding lead to better ROI?
Chris Kerr: At the end of the day, branding is nothing unless it leads to ROI and sales. But we’ve seen so many companies come to us saying they need more leads and more opportunities. So what if you could snap your fingers and give them what you want? Imagine a bucket full of holes. That’s why brand information is now leaked, leading to worsening sales and prospects. If you add more water, it will spill over the sides or run down the hole. Our argument is that we need to get a new bucket: a better message, a better system for generating, nurturing and converting leads. Most people think the answer is no clear bucket. Just keep adding more water. And we say to them, “You don’t have a water problem.” I have a problem with buckets. A good example is Apple Maps. When someone sends me an address, I avoid Apple Maps and go straight to Google Maps. Without a large market to serve, it’s very difficult to get users to come back to your site later if they come to your site and bounce because of your crappy and inconsistent branding.
Basically, you only get one shot and one impression. That’s why doubling up on branding, even if you think it’s invisible, can actually be the biggest contributor to your bottom line and brand equity.
SmallBizLady: How do you think AI is forcing companies to adapt, and what are the new ways companies need to double down and adapt?
Chris Kerr: For over 22 years, we have taken pride in the art and science of marketing. But with the advent of AI, we realized we needed to focus more on the art side than the science side. The scientific side is swallowed up with yesterday’s tools. We believe that in the world of AI, it is imperative that companies put more emphasis on branding and strategy. Going too late can cost you money, and branding discoveries that are flawed or under-appreciated can reduce your visibility. So what we did was study everyone who was really good at branding and designed a BrandDNA workshop and a book of brand his toolkits.
BrandDNA is a series of exercises and workshops designed from rigorous research work to help companies articulate their brand and develop a strategic plan to inform all forms of deliverables such as copy, advertisements, offers, creative projects, core pages and websites.
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