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Friday, May 19, 2006

Is Your Business Fun?

Today I was sat in my office talking to one of my friends, or at least a client who I regard as a good friend.

I was updating him with the current state of his blog, the follow-up direct response marketing and updates to the web site Acorn Service is doing for him.

As we were winding down he told me an interesting fact about oils and how they’ve found that cold-pressed virgin oil sold in the USA may not be so! We then naturally gravitated into the best oils for health and finally we started talking about raw foods.

Now the interesting thing about raw foods is that he’d been to a party at and he’d been given a cheesecake to try. Then after he’d eaten it and enjoyed it he was told that it had been made with all raw foods. It sounded very interesting and made me want to look up the web site.

So after we’d finished I went over to the web site and ended up chatting to Peter Pure (I kid you not, what an appropriate name!) for quite some time. It turns out that he’s also been to loads of Jay Abraham seminars in the USA and likes Ted Nicholas (apparently Ted’s planning on visiting the UK for a seminar in September) and he’s been to The Millionaire Mind events that I’ve been to in London as well.

He also been in sales and marketing for a long time. Or maybe it just seems like it to him!

Time Poor, Customer Abundance

He told me that the problem that he had was lack of time. He only had so much time in the week to do things. So he’s employing a salesman to take him more out of the sales role.

He has no problem with getting customers to the door. In fact he’s not looking to do much marketing as he needs a few weeks to make sure all his current clients are well serviced.

As we spoke I realised that although he knew lots about marketing he wasn’t applying it all to his business. Because it was just one more thing he had to do.

Like almost every SME owner I’ve met.

I know one entrepreneur who has set-up and run successful businesses that could have been much more successful with a proactive marketing approach.

But he didn’t have time either. Just think if he’d made 10% more profit from his turnover...

Simply by using some marketing.

Virtual Marketing

Then it struck me what SME’s need is someone who can not only think of the marketing strategies and tactics they need but can also do them on their behalf.

Funnily enough I’m already a virtual marketing department for two of my clients.

But I’d never quite seen it like that. I’d always thought that I gave advice and that was it. It is much harder work than providing a business with tactics and strategies but the upside is you get to see a business that you know has more potential do well.

Would I run a virtual marketing department for every company who asked me?

Well, my criteria for running a virtual marketing department are simple:

  • I will communicate honestly with the client and I expect the same in return

  • I expect to be involved with decisions that may affect marketing

  • I will always charge a fair price for what I do and part will be linked to performance

  • My client will understand and apply copyright laws and data protection laws

  • We will have some fun when we talk/meet or otherwise communicate

  • My client and I are in business for the personal freedom and responsibility and to make a difference

So if a client were to lie, or to take a decision that affected marketing without discussing it with me, or to quibble on payment, or to “borrow” a mailing list or CRM software for me to use, or to copy a web site they like we’d need to part company.

On the other hand a client who fulfills those criteria is a dream client and I’m likely to go above and beyond the call of duty to help them achieve their marketing and business goals!

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