The chances are that, if you are running your own business, you are fundamentally an entrepreneur and instinctive marketeer. There are as many definitions of the term marketing as there are management gurus. My particular favourite is, “Marketing is the process responsible for identifying, anticipating and satisfying customer requirements profitably”, i.e. marketing is in fact ‘the’ fundamental business process and one which should be led firmly by the Chief Executive.
Marketing is no longer a touchy feely subject; it is a highly disciplined management process on which there are no end of excellent books, courses and training material available to the business entrepreneur, which I can’t begin to summarise here.
However, there are fundamental aspects associated with the marketing process, which should stand out clearly, both to yourself, and to anybody else looking at the business.
Know what business you are in – A seemingly obvious question, but do you know? The way in which you define it can totally change the direction in which you take the company over the coming years. A potential buyer will be attracted to a company that has a clearly defined and established position in its chosen market. It could be the fundamental reason why they may be willing to pay multiples over and above the net asset value for the company when it comes to a sale.
It goes without saying that you will be working to a well-honed strategic business plan, but, are the basic 4 P’s of marketing clearly evident in your plan?, i.e.
Product – Are the products or services you are selling clearly defined, developed and understood?
Price – Do you have a clear pricing strategy for your products or services?
Place – Who are your customers and potential customers, by market, by company, by individual?
Promotion – Are you using the correct elements of the marketing mix at each stage of the sales cycle, i.e. direct v indirect selling, pr, advertising, seminars, exhibitions etc.?