We all know the cliché it takes money to make money. Starting a business can be expensive, but it isn’t just a monetary expense, it’s also a time expense. People always say time is money, but in reality, time is more precious than money. You can always make more money, but once time has passed you can never get it back. Not carefully planning how you’ll spend your startup capital and your irreplaceable time can be downright fatal for any new business. These few tips will help you keep your business growing in the right direction.
It’s about quality! Many times people will ask me about buying a zip code list. That might make sense if you are in the business of provide goods and services to an entire community, like a grocery store. If you are looking for motivated sellers who would be willing to sell their home at a significant discount, a zip code won’t really make sense. Most people in a zip code aren’t willing to do such a thing. This is where focusing on leads that are more specific to situations that would create the motivation will be well worth your time and money. Obtaining lists for area code enforcement violations, absentee owners, probates, and pre-foreclosures are all examples of situations that would create a higher than normal motivated seller. If you track your leads and figure out how many calls come from your efforts and how many of the calls lead to deals, this will give you a metric to determine the quality of the lead source you are using.
Consistency is key! It’s so important that your customer receive your message on a consistent basis. If you aren’t going to commit to a consistent marketing message, you are wasting your time and money. That means reaching out to the same customers multiple times. Now the question is, for how long? As long as your customer meets the criteria for being including in your target audience you should be contacting them. What you likely find if you track your marketing is that you’ll have a very low conversion rate after just one campaign when compared to repeated attempts. That may mean months or even years, but you’ll never know when they will need you.
Bigger isn’t always better! If your finances are limited you will likely be more successful marketing to a smaller area or smaller number of leads. It would be better to be consistent with a few leads than to only reach out once to the masses. Decide how much you can afford to spend monthly, both in time and money, and be prepared to commit to spending it for 4 to 6 months before abandoning your efforts. It takes time to grow your business, especially if you resources are limited, so you shouldn’t expect overnight results.
Don’t focus on what you do; focus on what you do for them! Think about what it’s like to be in your customers shoes. They are looking for something that makes their life better. Focusing on what and how you do business is boring to your customer. Focusing on what you do to enrich their life is interesting to them. Your marketing should create curiosity, not tell them everything. Be careful being too detailed in your explanations. Sometimes people will read something and decide you can’t help them, even though you might be the answer to their prayers. Being just a little vague can be intriguing enough for them to seek you out. At that point you can use your ability to build rapport to gain the sale.
Tell them what to do! Don’t expect your customer to know what you want them to do. Always include some sort of call to action in your marketing. Do you want them to “Call Today!” or “Visit Our Website!” Even if they don’t consciously see it, unconsciously you are putting the thought in their head to take action.
As you begin a new business or grow your existing business, keep in mind, most of your time and energy will be spent in marketing. If you think putting an ad on the internet and putting some signs out means you are marketing, you’ll soon find yourself frustrated and discouraged with the results. Don’t advertise just for the sake of advertising. Every marketing activity you do should complement each other and be for a strategic reason. Keep these few tips in mind to help you get the most from you marketing.