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Happy New Year!

Incredible.. 2010 is here already.. time flies when you’re having fun 🙂 Have a great one!


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The 10 Powerful Musts In Marketing


By Kevin Thomas

Whenever I meet a Business Owner or an Entrepreneur the first question I ask is “how does your Marketing measure up”? Their usual response is that their Marketing Sucks! How about yours? If you are like most, Marketing is the last thing that you work on in your business. You are either doing the technical part of your business or you are putting out fires. You usually don’t have a clear plan or strategy on how to set up a successful Marketing initiative in your organization. Most of the time, we are being reactive instead of proactive. We wait until business slows down and then we put a bunch of money into different media sources in hopes that business gets better. Typically, this doesn’t work. But if it does, we don’t measure it, to see what part of our message inspired our clients to come in the door or call us on the phone. If you would like to develop a Marketing Strategy that will give you awesome results, consistent traffic and more profits, I encourage you to read on. These are the 10 Powerful Musts that your Marketing Plan should have.

You must have 10 Marketing Strategies active at all time

Most companies have three or less strategies working for them and because of that their message doesn’t reach their customers in enough time for it to stick. Researches show that a potential client must hear, see or experience your message 9 times or more before deciding to do business with you. Your website, your TV ad and your print advertising alone, isn’t enough to drive the traffic that you need to make your business successful. I teach my clients how to determine the 10 affordable mediums that they can use to get their message out, so that they can attract more clients to them.

Your Marketing Message must address your target market and their interests directly

Your message must be focused…..like a laser beam on your target market. It must speak to their needs directly and clearly. For instance, an auto repair facility may communicate that they are the local experts for European automobiles. By doing this, they have separated themselves from every other repair facility in their area. Anyone who owns a European automobile now has a local expert that they can take their vehicle to.

Your Marketing Message must be consistent across all mediums you use

Many Business Owners are their own worst enemy. This is because they are communicating one message in one ad and another, somewhere else. We mentioned earlier that it takes nine or more impressions before someone makes a decision to purchase from you. If you are sending multiple messages, it will dilute your voice and cost you opportunities.

You must track all leads and know what Marketing Medium brought your prospect to contact you

There is an old saying, “What you measure you will manage”. You must know what is working and what is not. If you are advertising somewhere that is delivering results, you want to stay there. If you are advertising somewhere that isn’t giving results, drop it and put your money somewhere else. Most business owners have a general idea of what medium is bringing clients in but are not sure. You must track this area. It is as simple as asking a couple of questions or adding a box on your website that asks the client how they heard about you.

Your Marketing Message must be dramatically different from your competitors’

In my Companies, I am constantly watching, reading and listening to my competitors’ marketing messages. Most of them look, sound and feel identical because they are put together by the advertising sales reps. They are not marketing experts. Their goal is to sell you space and get a commission……not to help you develop a marketing strategy. If you look at the newspaper ads for Car Dealerships, you will see exactly what I am talking about. Remember, “Same is Lame”.

You must constantly be looking for ways to provide additional Products and Services to your target Market.

I call this recycling your customer. You must look for ways to get your customer to continue to spend money with you. Look at Wal-Mart. They started selling just household products and now they sell groceries, electronics, jewelry, etc. You can even get your oil changed, do your banking, get an eye exam or have your taxes prepared while you are there! What products and services compliment what you are currently selling? How can you add that to your existing operation? By doing this, you will add value to your current business model as well as become a one stop shop for your clients. This makes their life easier and it will increase your bottom line.

You must maintain a current database of your current and potential customers

It blows me away when I sit down with a client and they don’t have an organized database of their clients. How can you stay in touch with them to share about the new promotions that you have going on? How can you follow up with them to see how the product that you sold them is working out for them? Without a database, you cannot. You must develop one so that you can remind them that you are still here and more importantly that you still care.

You must use strategies such as Guarantees and Testimonials to enhance your Marketing Message in all communications

People love testimonials and guarantees. This gives your potential client the warm and fuzzy feeling that they need to feel comfortable about doing business with you. If they read or see how your product or service has helped hundreds of people improve their lives, save money, time or increase their income, they are more likely to do business with you over your competitor. Your guarantees show the potential client how much confidence that you have in your product or service. Offering powerful guarantees such as warranties and full refunds, if not satisfied, proves to the consumer that there is no risk involved with doing business with you. If your competitor doesn’t say these things, it may show that they are not willing to back up what they are selling.

Your Marketing Message must tell your prospect what to do next in making contact with you

After hearing your message, your prospect must be directed on how they should contact you. Should they email, call, write or come in? You cannot assume that they know, you must tell them. They will appreciate you for this.

You must communicate with past customers on a regular basis to ensure that they come back again and again.

The easiest sale is to those who have already done business with you. How are they going to remember you if you don ‘t communicate with them? I encourage my clients to stay in touch with their clients a minimum of 4 times per year. I advise them to stay away from big holidays such as Christmas and Easter because everyone sends cards during these times. Consider sending something on their birthday, the Fourth of July, New Years Day and Labor Day. You will probably be the only person they receive a card from on any of these given days.

If you develop your Marketing plan using the 10 Powerful Musts, you will increase your business with both new clients as well as returning clients. You will also see an increase in referrals to your business. The best businesses understand that marketing is the most important part of their business because without customers you have no business.

So what are you going to do next?

Well, you can go down to your local college and sign up for a Marketing course if you have the time to do so. Most business owners don ‘t. You can read a bunch of books and extract the principles outlined, but that takes time and disciple. Or you can hire a Marketing Coach who will help you develop the strategies that we have outlined. By doing so you enjoy the privilege of having your customer pipeline filled at all times.

I am currently enrolling students in my Marketing mastermind group. If you’d like more information please email me at Kevin@southeastbusinessdoctor.com. I will send you a fre-e Marketing Evaluation.

About the Author

Kevin Thomas is a serial entrepreneur, licensed business coach, and a motivational and inspirational speaker. Kevin is currently working with Business Owners who are in the top five percent of their field or have aspirations to be there. Kevin is a master in business strategies which have helped him build several businesses that run successfully without him. If you would like to receive his success secrets newsletter, go to http://www.southeastbusinessdoctor.com .

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50 Ways to Save Money – “This is Money”‘s top 50 money-saving tips – #23 – 31

23. Don’t pay full price for theatre or theme park tickets
If you are prepared to tolerate the unwieldy website and hit-and-miss customer service, lastminute.com regularly boasts some amazing deals for London’s theatres and the nation’s theme parks. At the time of writing you can see top West End show The Producers plus a two-course meal for less than £20 a head, a saving of £60 per person, and tickets for Chessington World of Adventures cost from £12, a saving of nearly £50 for a day out for a family of four.
Saving: £100s
Link: www.lastminute.com

24. Beat the ticket touts
Ticket touts earn their living by getting hold of tickets that are ‘otherwise unavailable’. Well, here’s the news: they are available to everyone when they first go on sale. You just need to know when they go on sale. Simply sign up to for the free ticket alert newsletters from the main agents to ensure that you’re first in the queue.
Saving: £100s
Links: Ticketline; Ticketmaster

25. Stop trying to keep up with the Joneses
Trying to keep up appearances is little more than a costly illness. Remember, you cannot judge someone by what they have because you don’t know how they got it. Chances are they’re in more debt than you are.
Saving: £1,000s
Link: This is Money’s guide to getting out of debt

26. Trade down your car
So, you bought an American sports utility vehicle (SUV) that nets 15 miles to the gallon on a whim. Obviously we’re all very impressed – especially by the personalised number plate. But can you honestly justify the ongoing expense? If not, get rid of it. Then visit a car supermarket, where you can choose from thousands of cars at knock-down prices. If you’re a true money saver, consider an ex-rental model which you can pick up for a fraction of the cost of a new one.
Saving: £1,000s
Links: Daily Mail find a car service; Cargiant

27. Ask yourself: do I really need this?
Imagine the scenario. It’s lunchtime and you’ve got an hour to kill. You find yourself in a department store and there’s a sale on. You pick up a beautifully packaged selection of barbecue tools and associated garden paraphernalia. And it’s half price. Now, stop! Ask yourself: Do I really need this? Exactly. Now, put it down and walk away.
Saving: £100
Link: This is Money’s money savers’ guides

28. Walk/cycle to the station/work
It maybe a bit of hippie notion to many people but it’s free.
Saving: £100
Link: Cycle Campaign Network

29. Get off the station before your usual stop and walk
We may be creatures of habit but isn’t it worth tinkering with the routine if it’s costing more than £50 a month in unnecessary fares?
Saving: £100
Link: Living Streets

30. Cut down your drinking
A few beers after work a few nights a week is a financially debilitating state of affairs. Set limits and stick to them.
Saving: £100s
Link: Calculator: Pleasures v treasures

31. Pack up smoking
Never mind the health implications, the guilt and the smell, your 20-a-day habit is costing you nearly £2,000 a year. Pack it in.
Saving: Nearly £2,000
Link: Givingupsmoking.co.uk

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Abandon Yourself!

by: Neil Eskelin, Source Unknown

Alexander the Great, the Greek king, once led his troops across a hot, arid desert. After nearly two weeks of marching, he and his soldiers were near death from thirst, yet Alexander pushed ahead.

In the noonday sun, two of his scouts brought what little water they were able to find. It barely filled a cup. Alexander’s troops were shocked with he poured the water into the burning sand.

The king said, “It is of no use for one to drink when many thirst.”

Treating those who report to you as partners or associates will not work if it’s only a scheme of a strategy. It must be a genuine heart-felt expression.

When we truly believe in the potential of people, they rarely disappoint us. That is one of the messages of Max DePree, in his perceptive book, “Leadership is an Art.” He recommends becoming “abandoned to the strength of others — of admitting that we cannot know or do everything.”

Starting today, vow that you will treat your associates as partners, not subordinates.

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Be a Leader

by: Michele Milligan, Source Unknown

The following was written by a high school student writing an essay for her final exam:

“A true leader has the confidence to stand alone, the courage to make tough decisions, and the compassion to listen to the needs of others. He does not set out to be a leader, but becomes one by the quality of his actions and the integrity of his intent. In the end, leaders are much like eagles… they don’t flock, you find them one at a time.” Hard work, profound dedication, and encouragement toward others are what entitle an individual to be a leader.

A strong work ethic is one important quality of an adroit leader. As the saying goes: “There are always two choices, two paths to take. One is easy. And its only reward is that it’s easy.” Hard work and intense dedication can only make you better, both mentally and skillfully. If others see one person working as hard as they can 100% of the time, they will work harder for that one person. No matter how unmotivated people are, if just one person steps up and takes the lead, everybody else will follow. Leaders motivate others.

Many people find themselves working harder when they know that they get something out of it. Just by hearing a few pushing words that motivate and encourage, people force themselves to work harder. Leaders are usually the ones who ignore their own accomplishments to commend others for theirs. The leader keeps everybody’s head up at all times, as they work harder and harder, and more diligently toward their goals. The number one thing that a leader tries to avoid is making people feel guilty or to look down on them because leaders bring others higher in the world, usually with the result being success. As a noble person once said, “There are high spots in all of our lives, and most of them come through encouragement from someone else.”

Hard work from one person makes other work harder. Vehement dedication shows others the success that comes through it. Encouragement and support for others make others feel good about themselves and give them something else to work for. These are all very significant traits that a leader must possess. Don’t wait around for things to happen, make this world what you really want it to be, be a leader.

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