Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Guide to Connectivity - Evaluating WiFi Systems Part 3 | CRE Rentals - Technology Rental Company

Blog I wrote about connectivity in Meetings



Guide to Connectivity - Evaluating WiFi Systems Part 3 | CRE Rentals - Technology Rental Company

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

David vs. Goliath: What to do When Your Business is More Like David



We all know and love the Biblical story of David and Goliath. It is just human nature to root for the underdog and hope they win. After all, there are times we have felt our company just isn't big enough or bright enough to compete efficiently in this "The World is Flat" marketplace.

To this I say: Hogwash.

Small businesses makes up the largest segment of the US economy, but many small business owners I know have an complex when it comes to marketing their products and services. Sure we are not IBM, Apple or Wal-Mart. But we have something they don't have - agility, creativity and the ability to bring our offerings to the marketplace that much quicker.

So, let's look at the 5 P's in marketing and see where you stand:

PRODUCT

What products and services do you currently offer? Are they exactly the same as the "Goliaths" in your marketing space? If so, now is the time to either enhance that offering through innovation or kill that product offering. Let's face it: you are not going to win on price, so it might be time to spend money or streamline your offerings.

When Apple was a small company, they didn't try to compete with the dot-matrix printer, they came up with a better offering, the laser printer. They decided not to become an open source system - they controlled application development through propriety interfaces. They didn't try to compete with IBM; they segmented their product to people who would use and love them - teachers and graphic designers - two of their segments who still almost exclusively use their products.

PRICE

Your price can't be higher if you offer the same product as the big guys. You either need to offer the same thing at a lower price or step up your offering. This is a binary equation. MORE VALUE = HIGHER PRICE or EQUAL VALUE = LOWER PRICE.

PROMOTION

How you promote and where you promote your services should match your niche market. Hopefully by now you realize you cannot be everything to everyone. The more you refine your target market, the easier it is to come up with promotions to match that market.

The big guys have the money to conduct million dollar marketing campaigns. You don't. Stick to what works, get rid of what doesn't and measure results. That's what is so great about PPC advertising on social media. You can refine your target and only pay for the clicks received.

PLACE

Do people have to come to you or do you go to them? Do you have a store front or can you work from your home?

If you have a store or office, make certain everything is looking fantastic. In the town I live in, we actually still have an independent book store (I know - hard to believe). Anyway, it was small and crowded with lots of foot traffic and tons of books...everywhere. The new owner took over and what did they do? They got rid of that cluttered feel and now the store looks empty! When you ask for a particular book, they say "we can order it for you". Well I can do that...through a company called Amazon!

Make sure your place has the feel the customers want.

PEOPLE

This, above anything else, is going to make or break your company. Are you and your people friendly and responsive? Do you know what you are doing? Do you follow-through?

My dentist has an automated service and they called my phone last month reminding me that my son had not been to see them in several months. When I called back to schedule an appointment, I received a snippy person who said "your son has missed too many appointments and you will have to keep calling back to see when we have an opening." Now hold on - YOU called me! Needless to say, I am taking my business and my other son's business away from them. All because of an unfortunate encounter with someone who was more interested in filling appointments with "credible" clients than with my family.

I belong to a professional organization and the administrator is constantly saying, "that isn't my responsibility, you need to talk to ________________." NO, you need to talk to ______________. You need to understand that once you send out an email, it has your stamp of responsibility on it.

People. Above all, people make the difference.