Effective Marketing Part 1

Know Your Market and Position Your Company

More than likely, your 10 best customers belong to a common market. A market is a group of people with one or more qualities in common. Neighbourhoods, people with similar interests, industries, nonprofit organizations, and government agencies are all examples of markets. In fact, everyone in our society is part of many different markets.

In order for a market to be viable for business purposes, however, certain conditions must exist.

Motivating Employees

When it comes to motivation, rules and regulations will only take you so far.  If you really want your employees to feel motivated to do an excellent job, you need to consider ways to get them excited about what is going on at your business and how they can contribute. Here are a few ideas that I’ve seen work well.

Involve your employees in decision-making.

Remember, your employees don’t just want a job; they want to be part of something more.  When you involve them in decisions, their work becomes fulfilling. By fostering a culture where people are involved, your company will benefit from the contributions of more than just those at the top of the organizational chart. On an ongoing basis, take the time to share your business plans and give people the opportunity to be involved in the direction your business is growing.  Keeping your employees in the dark about your long-term corporate goals is a sure-fire way to kill your company’s potential.

Teach and learn together.

Implement systems that will foster creativity and ingenuity in your employees.  For example, we hold a weekly Wardell team meeting to discuss our progress as a company.  Everyone is expected to participate and contribute. Not every idea is going to be as helpful as the next one, but by encouraging this type of “teaching environment”, we keep everyone growing in the right direction and, more importantly, invested in the process.

Reward your employees.

Don’t overlook the opportunity to give out bonuses based on your employees acquiring new skills, knowledge or competencies. Bonuses are effective when an employee can see the relationship between their work and the bonus. If this connection is lost, the value of the bonus is also lost.

Say thank you.

And finally (and most importantly), thank your employees for a job well done.  For a hard working, dedicated employee little is more important than genuine appreciation.

Building a Strong Foundation

Recently, we’ve been working with a mid-sized distribution business to strengthen their operation. This meant realigning the organizational structure, setting objectives for all levels of the business, implementing KPIs, creating position outlines, identifying profitable target markets, market position and streamlining the sales processes. It was a large but ultimately successful undertaking.

The company was now poised for growth!

The problem was – as happens in many cases – their growth started eating up their cash, and to some degree, their short-term profitability.

If you plan for this, as we had, it’s a predictable and manageable outcome that is really just a short-term pain leading to a long-term gain. But no matter how prepared for it you are, it can still come as a shock, as was the case with this particular business owner. Logically, he knew we were doing the right thing, but his emotions were starting to make some noise.

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“Wardell has helped me systemize my business so I can travel with my family often and live the life I’ve always dreamed of.”

— Brad Haima, Founder, Circle Graphics

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