Archive for October, 2010
A Testimonial -
Another great testimonial for the PUSH Marketing Academy, this time from Debi Hanley, an inspirational entreprenuer and great client to work with.
“Nial, I just wanted to congratulate you on a fabulous first days training at the PUSH Academy!
I have gained so much from it for both of my businesses; it has given me some clear actions to follow and challenged my thinking greatly. The first day of the course has helped me to find the focus I needed…thank you!
I felt the style of delivery was a positive mix of theory, practice and group involvement. I also found the day great fun and really enjoyed it.
There are certainly challenges ahead but I feel with yours and the groups support the next four months will be much more targeted towards success.
Founder of Flax & Finch
A Testimonial -
We’re delighted to share this testimonial that has been provided by Jackie Willis, one of our PUSH Marketing Acadmey students…
“I have known Nial Adams for 5 years now. Nial helped me as my business mentor for 6 months from 2005 into 2006. I was a real ‘rookie’ to the business world, having come out of a secure job in the teaching profession.
Nial taught me so much and it’s only since that time that I have come to realise just how much I have actually implemented in my business, and in my personal development, that has come directly from him.
Now I am back with Nial, on the Push Marketing Academy, and it has a feel like ‘coming home’. I can’t really describe it except to say that Nial really knows his stuff and is able to put it across so well. I cannot speak highly enough of him nor recommend him more highly to others.
The structure of the Marketing Academy and the materials provided really ‘hit the spot’ and pushes you to do all those things you know you should but keep putting off – you know, that marketing plan and your budget and all those figures (aaagh!!) and, of course, the ‘test and measure’, Nial’s famous mantra. But, like all things that do you good, you know you have to face it and Nial will help you do just that.
So, if you are hesitating about going on the next Academy course, hesitate no more and go for it! You won’t regret it, I promise.”
Jackie Willis Cert.Ed. Dip.DI
Director Care Motoring Ltd
We’re dellighted to share this fantastic testimonial with you from Steve Gaskin of Right Angle Events in Norfolk.
“I have known Nial Adams for the past three years, having originally met him through the Antidote Network and attended one of his marketing presentations.
Prior to forming and running our company, Right Angle Events, I was a Senior police officer in London. Since starting the business we have experienced good growth and have won several awards. Like all good companies, we carry out strategic reviews of all aspects of the business, it helps us stay focused and improve. Our marketing was highlighted as a clear weakness.
If, when I was in the police force, we identified a weakness we knew it had to be dealt with. It is the same with marketing! I don’t want to be caught again!
Last month I became an inaugural student on PUSH Marketing Academy, run by Nial Adams and his team, based in Drayton, Norwich, Norfolk.
Together with other local business people, we started the Experience in October 2010. I use the word “Experience” because a marketing “course” sounds bland and uninspiring.
Nial has designed an experience which is practical and is meant to have a rapid and direct impact on the business. His experience and enthusiasm is infectious. This instils a great feeling of positivity and has given me even more confidence to develop our marketing.
In fact, after the first course meeting and listening to Nial I followed his advice and I secured a new contract in London for nearly £1000, just 48hrs later. This is just the start of an exciting experience over the next few months.
I would highly recommend this different, exciting and inspirational Experience, which has and will continue to increase my bottom line!”
Co-Director of Right Angle Events
This is the perennial cry we always hear from the Managing Director, the Senior Managers and everyone else who has a serious interest in the bottom line of our business. Of course, that’s totally understandable; essentially every commercial venture lives or dies on the basis of sales activity and the resultant income that in turn translates into profit in the bank.
However, I’ve often wondered why so many people seem to miss the undeniable link between sales and marketing. For many people the answer for more sales is simply to turn up the heat on sales activity, push more through the pipeline and in many cases, dial up the pressure on the salespeople who sit at the coalface.
If sales is the workhorse then marketing is mostly seen as the racehorse; perhaps an expensive extravagance that looks good, tells the world that we’ve got a bit of money to throw about but in general it’s costly to run, can be temperamental and very few people know how to handle properly.
The answer to more sales could be just to drive the workhorse a little harder each day, aim to get a little extra value from our investment and there are endless ways of trying to achieve this. A large number of organisations, large and small, will restructure the rewards and incentives for each sales person, or being even more blatant just move the goal posts by telling the sales team that more is expected of them… end of!
Salespeople of quality and ability know this and play the game in return; but when the pips start to squeak and the remuneration is no longer enough to maintain their interest they’ll be off to hunt in new pastures. Why do you think that the very best salespeople are so hard to find and even harder to keep?
This scenario will probably very familiar to you, irrespective of which side of it you come from. Sales is a tough game and only the strong survive but is it really the best place to focus all your energy on if you want more transactions flowing through your business?
I often ask clients ‘If you had just uncovered a spare £50,000 in your business (and you had to spend it on your business!) where would you allocate it?’. More often than you might imagine the reply is ‘on better marketing’… you see, at an intellectual level many business owners know that better marketing is needed and actually crave it.
So why is it that so few people stop to consider that if you want more sales the best place to start is at the very top of your sales funnel… with your marketing?!
It’s not just a case of aiming to get more results from your marketing, trying to get a bigger bang for your buck has (and always will be) the never-ending objective of every good marketer but how about changing your marketing to create better quality and not just quantity. Another much overlooked element of good marketing is that it actually influences the sale process significantly.
As every good salesperson will know ‘qualifying’ your prospects is vital to ensuring a smooth and successful progress through the sales process towards secured business. Marketing is the very first step in properly qualifying your leads; this process of ‘self-selection’ is a powerful way to weed out the tyre-kickers and allow you to focus on those with serious intentions of buying from you.
The lesson here is clear and I hope you’ve already started to join the dots for yourself; marketing is wedded to sales and better marketing will help you increase sales potential. If you knew, with complete conviction, that better, more effective marketing could increase the flow of potential sales, and that you could enhance the quality of those leads wouldn’t you pay more attention to it?
If your workhorse is looking tired, unlikely to give much more output and you’ve already realised that you might need a better tactic, perhaps it’s time to up your game, improve your skills and saddle up your thoroughbred and be prepared to hold on tight to the reigns.
It could just be the ride of your life!
If you want to increase your sales and feel that your marketing could be the right place to start then I’d encourage you to consider our PUSH Marketing Academy – you’ll find everything you need to know HERE.
Reflecting upon the results and feedback from our PUSH Marketing Academy I’ve been thinking about reasons why so many business owners never really plan.
As we all know, the backbone of the UK business economy is driven by micro and SME enterprise; a nation of shopkeepers, as Napoleon once said. For many, the route into a small business comes from a desire to create and own something that gives space for opportunity, a chance to do things your own way and, above all, a shot at simply getting more from life.
It’s also about a belief that you can do things better; how often have you walked away as a consumer thinking “I could run that business better!”..? I believe it’s an equally valid reason to go for it. Ferruccio Lamborghini told Enzo Ferrari that his cars looked great and the engines were sublime but his gearboxes were trash. So Lamborghini, who made tractors, decided to prove that he could do it better… the rest, as they say, is history!
Owning and running a small business can bring great rewards; a creative outlet, strong self-esteem and status, a better standard of living and wealth creation, of course. More millionaires have been made from the sale of home-grown businesses than property sales. More than this though, it’s also about contribution; I’ve met many business owners who have greater pride in the fact that they are creating employment, supporting their local economy and leading the way, rather than just relying upon profits to measure their business success. And a sincere compliment from a customer is often worth more than just the profit in that sale (just don’t try paying your mortgage with it!).
However, the flip side of this, as every small business owner knows, is that self-employment can often mean very long hours, a constant focus on business needs, high stress levels, huge demands on time and emotional energy and even a feeling of constant dissatisfaction; always wanting it to be bigger and better. Well, all this just comes with the territory and you’ll need to expect it if you want to have your own business.
However, I can’t help thinking that some business owners are just making it way too hard for themselves, unnecessarily and that with a little time to step back and reflect, a better plan can emerge that could liberate time, resources and emotional energy, as well as turn up the volume on profits.
A significant mentor in my life always told me that “business should be boring and predictable; get your kicks somewhere else!”. What he meant was that when you plan how your business should run, start to treat it like a real business and not a job, then you will have more control over it and an ability to run systems that make everything stack up. Then you can really enjoy your business! This approach means you are truly a business owner and you’ll have the pleasure of being able to step away from it, safe in the knowledge that customers are still being served and that profitable sales are flowing in the direction of your bank account.
So why is it that so many business owners just don’t make the time to properly plan? Well, I believe there are two key reasons, 1) they’re not yet confident enough in their own abilities to set a workable plan, and 2) they’re so entrenched in the day-to-day running of their business that taking time out to plan seems impossible.
My personal focus is on Marketing Plans; about 80% of the business owners I meet who actually have a business plan have no credible marketing plan. When you consider that good marketing is often the starting point for every sale in every business this is a worrying situation.
So my encouragement to you this week is simple; firstly, stop, take time out, even if this is only one hour in your diary this week and look at your business plan. Do you genuinely believe that it explains clearly enough what your strategy and tactics are for marketing your products or services? Perhaps you don’t yet have a plan. In this case, begin doing a little research and decide why having a plan could make things easier for you. There’s a wealth of free information available out there. Or perhaps talk to a friend, colleague or close business acquaintance who has a business and marketing plan and ask them how it helps. Above all, commit to action, then get some help and support to make it happen.
It could just be one of the most important things you’ll do for your business this year!
For more about marketing plans visit www.PushYourMarketing.com