A series of videos to help SMEs and voluntary organisations pitch for and win government contracts have been released. We want suppliers of all sizes to be able to compete for and win government business and we have reduced many of the barriers and bureaucracy in public sector procurement. But we know that bidding for government contracts can seem overwhelming – government is after all, a highly desirable client, one that pays on time and requires a large number of services, so we understandably expect
Tags: business sales, coaching for growth, customer sales, mgba, sme support, ukba
Tags: business, business coaching, business mentoring, business sales, Business Strategy, coaching for growth, mgba, sme support, ukba
The only way to reach potential customers is through marketing. You
should have numerous channels to your market, all of which are measurable, so that you know which activity is giving you the best return and more importantly which ones aren’t delivering. Obviously you do more of what works and none of what doesn’t!
Generating sales, and profitable sales at that, must be the top priority for any business. A passive approach, waiting for repeat business and referrals from existing customers, can take a business so far.
A proactive approach is necessary to build a growing business that can thrive even when times are tough. Such an approach has four key elements.
The Marketing Plan
Adopting a customer-focused business ethos is a proven method to increase the chances of a sustainable and profitable future.
Developing a marketing plan is at the heart of any truly marketing-oriented company, and ensures the customer is at the centre of key decisions. The plan needs to be a written document that specifies how your business will generate profitable revenue. It does not have to be lengthy – an excellent plan can be written on one or two pages.
Before you start writing your plan, you will need to do some research and
planning to discover the following:
• What is your current situation?
• Who are your current and potential
• What marketing environment (both externally and internally) are you
• What are the opportunities for growth?
This part of the process will enable you to get a clear understanding of where you are starting from and the paths to growth that are available to you.
The next step in developing your marketing strategy will call on you to
make a choice about the path(s) to growth that you will follow. An excellent tool to use to help bring clarity to your thinking is the Ansoff Matrix that specifies four broad approaches as follows:
• Market penetration takes a product that you already have and increases
its market share. This is usually the easiest and least risky approach.
• Market development takes one or more existing products into new
• Product development involves developing a new product for a
market you are already in.
• Diversification would have you develop a new product for a new market.
As such, it is the option that takes you furthest away from your comfort zone and area of competence. While you are considering your options and
developing your marketing strategy, it is critical that you are clear about how you are going to compete. There are two elements to this – deciding on your target audience and identifying your most promotable competitive edge.
Your Target Audience
Who you are going to seek to sell to is often not as straightforward as you
might at first think. Usually there are middle-men, as well as end-users and different types of end-users and different types of middle-men.
It all starts with a marketing plan that specifies effective methods of lead generation, supported by a solid lead conversion process and a commitment to actions and measurement of all marketing and sales initiatives.
Your Most Promotable Competitive Edge
Similarly, identifying your most promotable competitive edge is worth
spending time on. What is it that makes you stand out from your competitors that you can promote to win business?
If you have a patented product or similar, the answer is obvious, but if
not, the answer often lies in your customer service. But don’t stop there! What aspect of your service makes you stand out? The more precise you are, the sharper your marketing can be.
A Powerful Message
When you have decided what your target audience and your most
promotable competitive edge are, you need to go to the next stage and turn them into a powerful message.
So, for example, the competitive edge of “the most technically-trained staff in the industrial fasteners business” might become “We’re nuts about bolts”.
Finally, you need to bring that powerful message to your target audience at every available opportunity. At this point, it is time to consider your
marketing tactics or, as they are commonly referred to, your marketing
Your marketing mix is your selection of
the 7 P’s:
• Physical Evidence
Your marketing plan should summarise how you intend to use each part of the marketing mix. When deciding on your marketing mix, keep in mind the two stages of marketing – targeting and positioning.
Defining your target audience involves breaking down your customers into different groups (segmentation) to ensure that the specific needs of each are catered for by tailoring your marketing mix accordingly
Positioning comes through communicating your powerful message
(derived from your most promotable competitive edge) to ensure current
and potential customers perceive your company in the way you would like them to.
In simple terms, you need to:
• Find your most promotable competitive edge
• Turn it into a powerful message
• Deliver it to the right people
Once you have completed your Marketing Plan, you need to start to
use it to generate sales through the two-stage process of lead generation
and lead conversion
This article was produced by UKBA as part of their Boost Your Business series of articles. To download the full article click here:
Comments and questions can be placed in my comment box or you can email me at firstname.lastname@example.org
Tags: business, business coaching, business finance, business funding, business mentoring, business planning, Business Strategy, coaching for growth, GrowthAccelerator, mgba, sme support, ukba
Manufacturers around Portsmouth are being invited to an event to learn how HMG’s GrowthAccelerator programme can help them. The event, organised jointly by Portsmouth City Council and Business Growth and Support, is to be held at the Portsmouth Enterprise Centre will be addressed by Pauline Rippon of UKTI; Mark Barber and Richard Cooper of GrowthAccelerator and Patrick Lee of MAS.
thev event is being held on 29th May and doors open at 2.30 pm. for more information you can call Madeline Morton on 07425 133084 or email her on email@example.com.
Sc: Portsmouth News
Tags: business, business coaching, business finance, business funding, business mentoring, business planning, Business Strategy, GrowthAccelerator, mgba, ukba
GrowthAccelerator is a new partnership between the government and the private sector designed to help growing businesses to identify and then overcome barriers to growth. Small and medium sized business owners and senior managers will get to work with world-class growth experts to help them achieve their potential. The programme focuses on areas such as:
- Creating new products and services.
- Developing new business opportunities.
- Effective marketing and sales.
- Improving management capability.
Businesses can find out if they qualify for support by entering their details on the new Midlands GrowthAccelerator page.
Tags: animal care, business, business mentoring, Business Strategy, coaching for growth, horse and rider, mgba, Stables, ukba
The most commonly used flooring in stables is concrete. If the surface is roughened it is non-slip. Concrete, pavers, or stone floors will not drain naturally, and drains may have to be placed in stalls. Many stables do not have drainage however, so stalls must be well cleaned to avoid ammonia build up. Hard flooring such as pavers or concrete are also easier to disinfect and can be hosed down if necessary. These floors are harder on a horse’s legs though. Many people put stall mats made of rubber like material under the bedding for greater comfort.
If you have sandy soil you may decide to leave the earth and not lay down a solid floor. This flooring is easier on the horses legs, may be warmer and quieter than an un-matted solid floor. Earth floors are harder to clean, and will need digging out and replacing if dirt becomes too saturated.
Dust, smells and bacteria from droppings can stagnate and cause significant health problem. Having a proper ventilation is a crucial factor to ensuring healthy animal. Windows and gable vents provide natural ventilation and lighting. You can incorporate as many as possible in your stable design. They should be covered with a grill or mesh so horse can’t break the glass or perspex. Windows that swing open may work better over the long run then sliders that tend to fill with dirt and chaff making them stick.
For more information click here:
Source: The Stable Build Company
Tags: business coaching, business finance, business funding, business mentoring, business planning, Business Strategy, coaching for growth, mgba, sme support, ukba
Today is a busy day. My MGBA colleagues and I have signed a new client and, as always in these cases, there is loads to do.
This is a new start up business headed up by a guy who has considerable experience in his sector but needs help with the organisation and funding.
So emails are flashing back and forth as his cashflow and P&L develops. Conference calls are under way for funding and suppliers. And finally we are building his sales / marketing plan too.
All this is happening pretty much on the hoof as sales are happening as we speak and the client is already installing product on his customers’ sites.
All terrific stuff and everyone working under pressure but having a great time.
Business coaching and support: MGBA
Sc: Martin Parry