For many small businesses, the best way to increase profitability is to increase turnover, as there’s no limit to sales but there is a limit to how much you can reduce your costs.

Let’s look at how you can focus on each of the five ways in our profit increase calculator to achieve your goal of improving profits.

Increase Your Leads

By interacting with greater numbers of people, you’ll increase your chances of turning more consumers into customers – or at the very least, having them lead you to potential customers.

For example, if you own a convenience store and you can come up with some attractive signage out front to get more people into your store, you’ll increase your leads.

So what can you do to increase leads or make more people aware of your business? A few tactics you might consider using to increase your leads include:

  • Advertising – set a budget and increase how much your business is promoted.
  • Direct marketing – work out your target audience and market directly to them via email.
  • Network – attend industry events and conferences to meet potential customers. These may be moved online for the meantime.
  • Create a website – to open online and international opportunities.
  • Develop new distribution channels – think about using agents, licensing your goods, or using new distributors.

Convert More of Your Leads into Customers

How many potential customers walk out of your store, leave your website, or inquire about your services without making a purchase?

Just imagine if you could convert 10% of those people into customers. How many extra sales per day would that be?

A few tactics you might consider using to convert more leads into customers include:

  • Arrange training for employees – on sales conversion and sales closing methods.
  • Personally attending a sales training course.
  • Running demonstrations – for potential customers to see what you have to offer and how they could benefit.
  • Highlighting the benefits of your goods or services – through promotional material, your website, blog advice, social media platforms, and free trial offers.
  • Preparing incentives – for your staff to offer to potential customers, hopefully encouraging them to purchase.

Increase the Number of Items You Sell per Customer

If you can entice your customers to buy just one more item from your business each year, your sales (and hopefully your profits) will increase.

A few tactics you might think about using to increase the number of items you sell to each customer include:

  • Widening your product range – by asking customers what else they would be interested in buying from you.
  • Bundling products and services together – like adding after-sales help to certain products.
  • Increasing capacity and capability – for example, purchasing extra equipment to increase your capacity while hiring additional staff to enhance your capability.
  • Researching your competitors’ offerings – to find product or service opportunities.

Increase Your Average Sale Value

Can you come up with some ways of increasing the average value of each sale you make? Rather than hiking up prices, see if you can increase prices by small margins (like 1-3%) or find ways to sell higher-priced items more often.

A few tactics you might think about using to increase your average sale include:

  • Training your staff – so they’re confident offering complementary items and upselling more expensive goods.
  • Increasing prices across the board – would your customers notice a small price increase? Consider informing them and trying it, as the extra money will go towards your bottom line.
  • Advertising your higher-valued products or services more often.
  • Developing a premium product or service – and encouraging your regulars to go for it.

Increase Net Profit Percentage

A few tactics you might try to increase your net profit percentage include:

  • Identifying and monitoring your top five expenses in your budget reports.
  • Finding out where you can make savings and reduce costs.
  • Concentrating on higher-margin services or products.
  • Looking into alternative suppliers with cheaper supplies.

Review these five ways of increasing your profits at least every year. In the meantime, plug some figures into our profit increase calculator to test what you could change and the effects of those changes on your profit.

By using simple, practical steps, you can improve your business’s profitability. Chat to us to find out more. Click here to book a free chat with an MBP Business Partner.

Creating a content strategy for your business to use on its website and social media, gives your brand much needed consistency. A high level of consistency will positively grow your brand’s image. A positive brand image will build loyalty among your followers. Loyal brand followers will not only support your business but make those very important words of mouth recommendations for your business.

Do you see where we’re going with this?

Today we’re going to walk you through understanding what a content strategy is and why it’s important, plus how to create a kick-ass one for your business.

What is a Content Strategy?

A clearly defined content strategy defines what the world, or your target market, sees of and about your business. It’s a set of standards which define your business’ branding, including the obvious logo and colours, as well as messages and writing style.

An effective content strategy will be a living document. It will evolve as your business does, adapting to changes when you make them. At the minimum, it’s a good idea to review it every 6-12 months.

Inside your strategy document, you’ll find specific details on your:

  1. target audience
  2. writing style, including language, grammar and punctuation
  3. tone and voice
  4. competitors
  5. images, fonts and colours
  6. types of content

We’ll discuss more on what’s included in your content strategy shortly, but for now, let’s take a look at the reasons it’s important to have one.

Why Your Business Needs a Content Strategy

If you’re on the fence about whether it’s worth the time to develop a strategy for your business’ website and social media content, then this is for you. We strongly believe that a business with a strong brand presence doesn’t happen by magic. It takes hard work to maintain a consistent face to your audience, but one which is made easier with a content guide.

Creating a content strategy will help:

  • create a consistent message – consistency helps grow trust with your audience, building positive relationships. This consistency will be seen not only on your website and in your social media posts, but also in your newsletters and in printed media.
  • help your team – if you are a relatively new sole trader, chances are that you are doing everything yourself, making keeping things the same easy. But as you grow, outsourcing parts of your content is most likely going to happen. Whether you hire a copywriter for your blogs or someone to create social media posts, if they don’t know what your content style is, they can’t replicate it.
  • helps your target audience – if your brand image and wording stays the same, people will instantly recognise your business’ work. People like things to remain the same, and when you’ve gone to the effort of tailoring your brand to suit your audience, why keep changing it?
  • make your content better – if you know how to communicate with your audience, then you’ll get very experienced in creating content just for them. Practice makes perfect after all.

Ready to get on and develop one for your business? Well, next on today’s agenda, we’ll cover how to create a content guide for your business.

Creating a Business Content Strategy Guide

We’ve explained the benefits of developing a content guide and touched on what you’d expect to find inside one. So, it is time we looked at each aspect in detail and walked you through how to create your own content strategy.

As mentioned above, there are six different types of things you’d expect to see inside a strategy guide:

1. Target Audience

Also known as your buyer persona, this area will clearly state who your target audience is. This will include information about their demographics, problems and interests. You’ll also list their likes and dislikes, income and where they’ll find and follow your brand. What they find important about your business, the benefits they’ll receive from your business, their pain points and their values.

If you haven’t already, now is the time to nail out your target audience. Start by describing your ideal customer in words or/and images if that helps. List their characteristics and the benefits they’d personally receive from your business.

2. Writing Style, Including Language, Grammar and Punctuation

Will you write using formal language or slang? Are bullet points okay? What about quotes? Will you use emojis, paragraphs and words in foreign languages? Knowing what your writing style is will ensure that not only do your words remain similar, but so does your use of commas, hyphens, lists, bold and italic text. All these things ensure consistency remains in your messages with your audience.

Chances are you’ve already got an understanding of your writing style, and most likely it is something you already do naturally in your communications. After all, in the early stages, you are your brand. Make a list of the words you want to use and describe what your content will look like on the page.

3. Tone and Voice

The voice of your brand needs to sound the same no matter when it is used. Your audience needs to think that they are hearing from the same person every time they see your brand. This includes text within your website, email communications and social media. A brand voice is like a person, so you can give it attributes such as being friendly, kind and approachable. Your tone are the emotions or feelings someone gets when reading your text and what they will believe your business represents.

Make a list of words that people will believe your brand is (creative, religious etc) for the voice, and for the tone, how they’ll think you are (clever, caring or smart etc) to help you with this one.

4. Competitors

Here you’ll list your main competitors, what their marketing strategies are, their top selling products or services and what their brand demonstrates to their audience. You want to be 100% certain about how your competitors present themselves so that you don’t copy them. Yes, that is right – don’t copy them! You want to stand out from your competitors, not look and sound the same as them.

Spend time researching where they advertise, the types of engagement they receive and where their content is found.

5. Images, Fonts and Colours

Here it’s all about your visual brand. Your logo, the colours you use, the shapes and fonts of your brand. To create this, you could copy and paste from your brand guide if you’ve got one. Or simply list the different aspects within this section of your content strategy guide.

6. Types of Content

For this, you’ll want to write down the types of content that you want your brand to share. Will it be content your suppliers have created, or 100% original works written by you? Are you going to write blogs or case studies and how often will they be added to your website? Will you link to other businesses with complimentary offerings? Then there needs to be a list of the types of content your business will never discuss, share or link to. Once again, a list will suffice here, as will specific examples of the types of approved and unapproved content other businesses may have created.

 

By now you should be ready to get cracking on creating a content strategy for your business. Remember this is just one specific task which can help propel your business.  Our business development services can provide the additional support and advice you’ll need on growing your business. Get in touch with the team at MBP today and together we’ll get your business moving forward to where you want it to be.

If you’re considering a business rebranding, you’re likely to have multiple reasons as to why you are likely to take this path. Whatever your reasons, business rebranding isn’t something that just happens overnight and requires identifying the specific reasons why a rebrand is necessary. Some of the main reasons business owners move to rebrand include:

  • repositioning their business to target a new audience or be more appealing to an existing audience
  • branching out to a wider international-based audience
  • updating an old outdated image
  • moving away from a bad reputation
  • a merger with a new company or having new directors join the business
  • making your business stand out from other similar ones

Once you have decided to rebrand, you’ll need to decide upon a rebranding strategy. From here, you’ll need to follow the steps necessary to make the transition from old to the new brand. We’ll cover both points in this article.

Choosing Your Business Rebranding Strategy

You’ve decided to move forward and begin rebranding. To begin this journey, you first need to decide on your rebranding strategy.

  • partial rebrand – more like a subtle image change, a partial rebrand is mostly a visual change to meet the needs of your business and target audience.
  • full brand – a complete reworking of your brand, from the values and mission statement, the products or services you offer and the way the brand looks.

You can involve your target market in this decision. Ask them what they like and don’t like about the brand as it is today. Having an understanding of what they think is incredibly useful!

Of course, the option you end up choosing will depend upon the main reasons you want to rebrand. Once you’ve made your choice, next comes the rebranding steps themselves.

Steps When Undertaking a Business Rebranding

There are five key steps we’re going to individually walk you through when it comes to rebranding your business. They are similar to what you would do when establishing a new brand, which in essence is what a rebrand involves:

Identifying your brand’s target market and audience.

You’ll need to re-establish exactly who your target audience is and where they hang out. Undertaking surveys, observations, competitor analysis and simply identifying who is buying from you will give you the information needed to do this. Nail out your new buyer persona, which includes details such as their age, income, location, likes and dislikes. This information will help you when creating content for your website and social media platforms.

Defining what your business’ mission, values and vision are.

Here you’ll redefine exactly what your business stands for. Why do you do what you do? How will you do it? What are the reasons behind the way you do things? Included in this section is your brand voice. This includes the words you’ll use, along with your tone of voice.

Choosing a new name for your business.

One of the hardest things people find to do is naming a business. You likely spent a considerable amount of time choosing your original name and now need a new one. When brainstorming a new business name, think about making up a new word, changing the spelling of an existing word, using an acronym, combining words or stating what you do. Make sure to check your business name using OneCheck for existing trademarks, domains and social media accounts too.

Coming up with a new slogan for your brand.

A slogan is a catchy little phrase associated with your business. If your old slogan still fits, then keep it. If not, brainstorm ideas for a new one. Think about making a claim, providing instructions, being metaphorical and including compliments within your slogan.

Building your brand’s identity from bottom up.

Here we are talking about your brand’s visual identity. Your logo, colour palette, fonts and imagery are all things to consider. Using the services of a graphic designer here will pay dividends, as they will be able to use all of the information you gathered in steps 1-4 and transform it into a brand guide for your business.

It is often this step which business owners find the easiest out of the entire rebranding process. You have learnt about what worked and what didn’t with your old logo and colours, and usually have a clearer idea of what you do want. In short, look for a logo which is clear and easily recognisable as yours. The colour palette needs to be chosen based upon what your audience would best respond to and is appropriate for you to use in a variety of manners. The fonts need to work with your brand’s voice and vision, and finally, the shapes and imagery need to help tie everything together.

Where to Next in Your Rebranding?

For many total rebrands, everything a business presents to the world needs to be updated. Website, email, social media and contact details all need to be changed and promoted. This can cause a huge issue if your existing audience didn’t know about your rebrand. That is why it is a great idea to keep them in the loop, helping them feel like a part of the change itself, so it isn’t a huge shock when it happens. It will also keep them informed about the changes your business is making, how these changes will benefit them and how to contact you moving forward.

Don’t forget to also include your employees and contractors in the process too. They can act as brand ambassadors, letting people know about the changes on your behalf. They’re also going to feel included and continue to show brand loyalty as they feel involved in the process.

Then it is all systems go when it comes to promoting your new business. A new website domain name will mean that your organic traffic will be almost non-existent at the start. You will need to put considerable effort into the content of your website and can expect to see searches from Google appearing in around three to six months. You can redirect your old domain name to your new one though so that people entering that one will automatically be taken to the new site.

Promoting your rebrand via social media is key, as you will most likely be able to continue to use the same platform accounts. Sending emails to your existing email lists is also a good idea, and paid advertising can help too. If you have kept your followers engaged and updated during the rebranding process, it shouldn’t be too hard to shift their attention to your new brand.

Finally, make sure that you’ve told your suppliers and businesses whose services you use that you have made the change. A phone call gives the personal touch and is appreciated, especially when followed up by an email which includes all of the new details.

If you are on the fence about undertaking a rebrand, a chat with one of our business advisors can help make things clearer and identify a path moving forwards for you and your business. Get in touch with our team today and together we’ll make things happen.

You’ve most likely heard of the term niche market before. Often business owners are asked specifically what theirs is by business advisors, accountants, financiers and other owners. What we’ve found though, is that there is a reasonable amount of owners who still haven’t identified their own, or have little understanding of what the term means.

Let’s give you an example. Jess runs her own business selling handmade baby clothing. From merino baby coats through to cloth nappies and baby bibs, it is certain she is working within the baby clothing market However, this is a wide market with many variables, and what she should be focusing on is one specific aspect of that niche market. This will narrow her focus within the baby market, but allow her to specifically tailor her marketing, manufacturing and messages specifically to her target audience.

To help you find and dominate within your niche market, we’ve put together this handy article.

What is a Niche Market?

A niche market is a small specific part of a larger market. It is a gap in the competition, something that no one else is targeting or can target as you can. Your USP or unique selling point targets a highly refined customer audience, and this forms a big part of how you find your niche market. For instance, your target audience will need to have either a large potential for growth as well as a significant amount of market potential.

Like most businesses, the chosen niche tends to be a passion of the owner of the business. They often have an interest in a specific industry or experience within it. For instance, a person has always enjoyed gardening. A sudden redundancy has allowed them the opportunity to start up their own business and they’ve chosen to focus upon the plant industry. They are tending to lean towards the growing of plants from seeds rather than opening up a nursery, on-selling to retailers and not the general public.

How to Find Your Niche Market

You’ll already have identified the broad market you want to target, be it women’s shoes or gift baskets. What you need to do is narrow this down further using five key points:

  • Price – will the product be low or high priced? Does it need to be regularly discounted?
  • Quality – will it be a handmade product, mass-produced, premium or economical?
  • Location – will the product be marketed in a certain country or city?
  • Demographics – what is the age, income level, education and gender of the target market?
  • Values – what morals, values, attitudes and interests does the target audience have?

In the case of Jess and her handmade baby clothing, she used the five key considerations above and further narrowed down her niche to merino baby booties. She will now have the clarification she needs regarding her niche to be successful:

  • Price – mid to high priced booties, no discounts.
  • Quality – handmade in small batches.
  • Location – New Zealand wide, mainly in large cities
  • Demographics – tertiary educated, double-income families, female
  • Values – like artisan products, limited editions and one of a kind products

From here, Jess can take this information to adapt the content on her website, where she advertises, the social media platforms she targets, as well as the manufacturing and pricing of her products.

Then next comes the creation of a business niche or niche strategy to help your business take over the world or your specific target market that is. As well as identifying your target market and the unique selling proposition you can provide, you’ll need to research and understand your target audience intimately, create a business plan and start marketing to them. This moves us on to the world, or rather niche domination.

How to Be Successful Within Your Niche Market

Having identified your niche market, then now is the time to put all of your hard work into play. Of course, if you have not been thorough enough, now is also the time you’ll find out and may need to head back to the niche identification stage.

Assuming everything is all good with your work though, you’ll be able to start marketing within your identified niche. You’ll already have an advantage that the big players don’t have, and that is a highly targeted audience. It is to them that you will consider when making every decision you now come to. This means you’ll need to:

  • Identify the best ways to communicate with your market. Do they want face to face contact, or would they prefer using social media or emails?
  • Instigate a solid communication strategy with your target audience. Trial and error, surveys, questions and asking for feedback will help you identify what works best. Then once you’ve nailed it, it is important to set a regular schedule for communication with them and let them know what it is.
  • Offer products which you know your target market will want. Remember you want to be highly specific here. You can’t provide the enormous selection the big players can, but you can be very narrow in your offerings to your great advantage. Customers who want exactly what it is you are selling will want to deal with you because they can get what they want when they want it.
  • Keep growing and seeking advice. No business is an island onto itself. Asking for support from a business advisor can help keep you on the right path, solve issues as they arise or help hold you accountable for following your business plan.
  • Be a real person. This means making a personal connection with your audience, moving away from being a faceless name and instead be someone they can relate to.
  • Be accessible. Provide exceptional customer service, tailoring the ways you do things to meet the needs of your audience. Take the time to ask for and respond to feedback, as well as utilising the optimal communication channels.
  • Market your business. Having an excellent understanding of your target market, you’ll be able to run the most effective advertisements in the right locations for best uptake. Make sure you can keep an ROI for all marketing promotions you undertake, as these will ensure your money is always well spent.

Finally, being successful within your niche means sticking to it! It can be tempting to add another product or advertise to a different audience because of hearsay or a special offer being promoted. That’s why it is vital you have an in-depth business plan in place which clearly identifies what you are selling, who you are targeting and where you will be selling.

For advice on finding and succeeding within your market niche, we can help. Get in touch and make a time to chat with one of our business advisory team and let’s get busy.

As many business owners are experiencing, the COVID-19 pandemic has created serious financial difficulties for entrepreneurs. Small businesses especially are faced with cutting their budgets so they can continue to operate—even at a smaller scale—and not have to close for good. They also have to figure out how they can continue marketing themselves so once the pandemic is over, their customers and clients come back to them.

During a financial crisis, a company’s marketing budget is often one of the first areas to face cuts, but halting marketing entirely is a dangerous move.

Instead, try these tips for marketing on a tight budget.

Create video content from home

Video is increasingly becoming a popular marketing tool and it doesn’t have to be expensive. All you need is a smart phone or computer with a camera and some time to film yourself. Create a video series that can be posted on your website or social media feed. Encourage staff to create videos as well, although don’t force them to if they aren’t comfortable with it.

Depending on your business, you can post helpful tips for clients or show some behind the scenes of how your company operates during COVID-19. Hairdressers can show clients how to cut their hair at home (or how not to cut it). Personal trainers can show videos that break down different exercises. Dog groomers can show how to clip pets’ nails or wash the ears.

Host an Online Course

With people staying home and trying to stay entertained, many are looking for ways to keep their minds active. Hosting an online class is a great way to keep your business at the front of their mind, market yourself, and even continue earning money. Develop a course or class that solves your customers’ problems during COVID-19 and advertise it on your website and on social media. It’s up to you if you charge people to attend the course or if you offer it for free.

Think of the obstacles your clients face while they can’t access you and create a course to help them address that issue. Many people right now are looking for ways to keep their meals interesting with limited opportunities to shop. Restaurants or chefs could offer a class (or classes) in creating fun meals with pantry staples or mixing fancy cocktails, for example.

Keep your Social Media Going

Your social media marketing is often free or inexpensive and it keeps people aware of your business. Make sure you continue marketing with your social media posting, even it it’s just to post links to COVID-related resources or informative articles that your audience will appreciate.

Play around with your social media plan to see if there are ways to reach a wider audience without spending a lot of money. Facebook often has credits that make its sponsored posts free or almost free. Those posts reach a wider audience than your regular posts and can bring people to your website.

Divert Cash if you Can

You may have budgeted this year to spend marketing money at trade shows or networking events that will not happen. Instead, put that money in your digital marketing budget. Rather than having your marketing money spread out, focus on one or two areas that get you higher return on investment. These include areas such as search engine optimization and social media.

Final thoughts

It’s tempting to not continue marketing to save money right now, but you run the risk of not having customers when the pandemic is over. Instead, maximize your budget by diverting money into one or two focused areas. Finding ways to engage your customers through videos, online classes and social media will also ensure you’re ready to go when the social distancing is over.

Please get in touch with us if you have any questions. Alternatively, reach out to a marketing expert like The Marketing Baker.