Profitable Conservatory Marketing – Chapter 10

Welcome to chapter 10 of the RPS Software guide to profitable conservatory marketing.

Introduction – Marketing is a PROCESS

Often, people think of marketing as an event, such as placing an advert or exhibiting at a show. However, marketing is about relationships with other people. This lasts longer than a simple advert or single event and is all about regular communications.

The more often you communicate, the more your customer is likely to trust you and the more likely they are to buy from you when they are ready. There is much more about this throughout the chapters of the book, and in the individual sections which we are releasing now for people to download.

In this tenth and final chapter we concentrate on Action.

It doesn’t matter how many marketing books you’ve read, or how many good intentions you have, none of this will make any difference unless you DO something.

Time

Your time is unfortunately only available once, ever. When it’s gone, it’s gone.

Running a business, I know how little time there is to do work on the business, as opposed to working in it. And one of the hardest things to do is make the extra time you need to get started, with the aim of making more time in the future to spend as you wish.

When I started doing this I found that the only free time I had was evenings and weekends, so I tried to spend one hour every evening writing e-mails, tweaking the website and doing other things. It’s actually quite easy to find an hour if you’re prepared to forego some TV, Facebook and other distractions.

Another time-saving tip is to listen to audio books whilst you drive or work out in the gym. To really study something involves reading or listening to it several times, and then applying the principles when you have understood them.

Skills

You are a skilled worker, as is anyone who runs a business. It’s your choice as to whether you chose to keep those skills fresh and up-to-date; it’s no accident that many successful businesses have excellent training programmes.

Books are a very cost-effective way of gaining knowledge, and that knowledge becomes a skill as you apply it.

There are a number of marketing and sales “experts” who offer monthly subscriptions which typically involve sending out a monthly newsletter and CD, plus online discussion forums. This is very subjective, but it might be worth giving one of them a go for a few weeks to see if it’s useful. Be warned though: some of the US “gurus” may make you feel like cringing, or worse!

Local universities run a variety of training courses from half a day upwards, and the quality of some of them is superb.

Tactics

One idea is to start by calling a few customers and asking them what you did well and what you could do better. Doing this has several instant benefits:-

  1. You get to learn about how your customers see you and what you could do better.
  2. Your customers are pleasantly surprised that you care.
  3. You may well find they refer you, especially if you ask them to!

There are also a few other really simple things you can do that may make you feel good when you’ve done them, including:-

  1. Check that your phone number is available on every page of your website
  2. Check that everything you write, on your website, adverts, brochures etc. is about them not you.
  3. Check your customer list. What else could you sell to them? How can you persuade them to refer you to other prospects?
  4. What events are happening which present an opportunity? For example, a hot summer means that people need window locks so that they can keep their house cool without risking burglars entering uninvited.
  5. Watch what your competitors are doing. Now you’ve read this you should be able to identify those who know what they’re doing and those who don’t. Don’t simply copy them but use the knowledge in here to do something different. Maybe advertise in a different place, or with a different message.

Now Just Do It!

It’s hard to explain the feeling of starting something moving. In some ways, even doing the wrong things in a small way is fine, as long as you’re prepared to learn and change them quickly.

Remember: It’s easier to change the direction of a moving vehicle than a stationary one.

One thing is certain, if you don’t do anything, nothing will happen. If you do, almost anything could happen!