What business owners really need
I’ve noticed an interesting trend over the last couple of years amongst business owners, which I wanted to share with you.
At Blue Frog Marketing, we run the outsourced marketing department functions for a wide variety of clients in the financial services, health, building & construction and services markets.
We’ve run client surveys with over 10,000 respondents across these industries and one of the regular questions we ask of business owners/clients of our customers is “what is the biggest challenge you face in business?”
The interesting trend is that it doesn’t matter what size business that business owner runs, they share two issues which stand out as much more common or important to them.
The first is cashflow and it’s fairly obvious what is driving this. As economic conditions deteriorate, and as debtor days increase, cash flow becomes restricted and of course this becomes a big issue. Sure, there are solutions like paying your bills later, overdrafts and loans, but if the issue is still top of mind for over 40% of all those surveyed, it’s clear the issue hasn’t been resolved by these financial solutions.
Perhaps this is because business owners aren’t trained in how to manage money, perhaps it’s too complex in a smaller business – I’m not sure – but it’s clear there are opportunities out there to help more businesses solve this issue.
The second issue, I have far more affinity and knowledge about and that is “getting new customers” – this varies from survey to survey but 40-70% of all business owners surveyed say that this is the biggest challenge or issue they face.
What’s interesting is that the two issues are somewhat tied together – the business owner sees cash as a problem, and they identify getting new customers as a solution to that issue amongst other things.
I write a lot of resources on our DIY RAPID MARKETING CENTRE and mentor our clients about the importance of a strong strategic marketing system. This includes quality market insight, a full detailed plan and consistent and measured implementation of the marketing program.
What I notice a lot about businesses we consult, is that initially they are not making as good a use of existing databases and customers as they could be. In fact, they are ‘leaving a lot on the table’ to coin an old phrase.
So my message to business owners out there -the 10000 or more who have responded to our client surveys, and the several hundred thousand other small to medium business owners around Australia is this:
1) To get new customers, you need a plan – if you don’t have one – then start work on it immediately.
2) Don’t forget your existing database and clients as a solution – sell more to them and they’ll be more profitable to you and this will help with margin and ultimately cashflow
3) If you’re in the business of cashflow solutions, there is an opening amongst small business as they are obviously not satisfied with current solutions or cashflow would be less of an issue to them. Either they are not taking advantage of existing solutions, or they are poorly managing their money – either way – there is an opportunity to help.
Founder Blue Frog Marketing
Author, Marketing has no off switch