According to many experienced business consultants, one of the biggest judgement errors that entrepreneurs and business owners make during a cash flow crisis is to lower their marketing budget. What might be more prudent is to laser target the best marketing investment scenarios so that you can maximise your spend and improve the potential ROI. If you’re wary about this (which is understandable given the current economic climate) a business consultant can help.
Are you afraid that your cash flow challenges mean that you can’t afford to pay another expense such as marketing, business consulting, or advertising expenses? In reality, you really can’t afford not to. You need to keep your customers engaged and continually work to attract new customers as well. Some of your competitors could be on the verge of going out of business and their customers may be looking for a better supplier or service provider. If you position yourself well you could easily capture more market share in the near future.
No one should blindly invest in marketing and advertising services. Expert knowledge is essential. A business consultant can help you in many ways, such as:
Showing you ways to work smarter, which could save time, manpower, and money
Showing you how to capitalise on existing customers to get more business. Wouldn’t you love the ability to easily extract more money from your existing customer base?
Help you determine where to spend your marketing budget. Even if your budget is small, a business consultant can help you maximise that spend so that you see a sizeable return on that investment.
Teach you today’s marketing methods. Your competitors may be lagging in new media marketing and by your embracing it, you can rise head and shoulders above that competition. If you are in a viable industry, even a recession doesn’t have to force you out of business. If you find new and innovative ways to appeal to your target demographic and market effectively, you can increase customer loyalty and even take customers from your competition.
The old adage that “it takes money to make money” is true but most true if you spend wisely. Now may be a time to focus on advertising that will bring in the right type of customers who are willing to or need to spend. By positioning your products or your services in the right way, you can attract more customers and be more successful.
In some ways, a lot of companies are hunkering down and trying to weather the storm. But remember, many success stories rise out of the ashes of tumultuous times. You don’t have to take advantage of your customers to be able to succeed and if your business consultant is experienced, he or she can help you become a great success story.
With growing interest among small businesses in improving their presence on the web, Internet Consultants are in high demand. Although there is no shortage of web designers and SEO firms out there, what’s really lacking in the web services industry is the professional Internet Marketing consultant.
Unlike a web designer or programmer, an Internet marketing consultant is knowledgeable about the fundamentals of copywriting and direct-response web design, yet also knows how to build website traffic and implement lead capture and conversion strategies. It really requires someone who has an understanding of both the marketing concepts and the technical tools available to implement campaigns and get results.
If you are thinking of getting into this field, here are 3 key things you should consider:
1. Are you a “people person” who would enjoy building relationships with small business owners in your local community? This is the #1 key to success in Internet Marketing consulting. Business owners prefer to work with someone who is local and will spend the time to learn about their business and be there to help them for the long haul.
2. Do you have the latest knowledge about Internet Marketing 2.0 strategies for building website traffic, creating web pages that convert well, and using email marketing to follow up with leads and prospects? Understanding these factors will also be critical to your success. There are a lot of designers and SEO firms over-promising and under-delivering.
3. Do you have the necessary software tools so you can research the best keywords for your clients and save time on traffic building campaigns? There are some great tools out there that make your work much easier and allow you to deliver dramatic results for your clients.
If you can master the above 3 areas, there’s no reason why you can’t build a successful Internet Marketing consulting business. Businesses of all sizes are willing to pay hundreds – even thousands – of dollars per month for Internet Marketing services, because effective Internet Marketing increases profits and often saves them money on other advertising expenditures.
Business owners also like the speed of online marketing and the fact that investments in online marketing are very easy to track and measure. In order to succeed in this field the most important thing is to get the right training.
Most consultants don’t have a clue when it is time to fire a client. Most never even think of the idea.
When should you fire your client?
You should fire your client, when they are neither ideal nor profitable.
Client Profitability is something you should evaluate regularly. Do you have a way to evaluate your client profitability and compare it to other metrics? Your challenge is to consider each client on a profit basis and be disciplined enough to honestly make the tough decisions.
Some clients may be very profitable, others may be costing you money. The problem with most consultants is that they think that any business is good business. Not true and the same consultants who believe that, may have not done a client profitability profile to know the difference.
Usually 20 percent of your clients will contribute 80 of your profits. Thus, the question then arises, “what do you do with your least profitable clients who absorb your most valuable resource – your time?
Not all clients are profitable. Let me repeat that. Not all clients are profitable.
Additionally, not all clients are equally profitable. Taking on bad business is normally worse than having no business. You may think it is great and grand to say work with a large fortune 100 company.
But many of these large companies will attempt to grind the consultant down in price and will treat them like product person or vendor of services, such as trainer or coach. By the way, there is nothing wrong with being a “trainer” or “coach” but those labels tend to put you in a box that includes revenues below what great consultants generate.
If they see you that way and treat you like a commodity, they may not be your ideal client and you probably have a lot to do with the perception and relationship being that way in the first place.
Get out pen and paper and evaluate each and everyone one of your clients on your “client profitability scale or metrics.”
Look at the total time of your involvement and investment with each client, including prep time, delivery time, product creation, etc and then look at how profitable each client is.
If any are not profitable, consider changing the relationship and business engagement so that it becomes profitable for you. If that doesn’t work, then consider the ultimate sacrifice. Fire your client.
A Six Sigma consultant, thoroughly knowledgeable in 6 Sigma training, could be brought in to give guidance on specific topics or on strategic planning for the implementation of complex processes. This consultant, with experience and expertise in Six Sigma certification, could assist, or in an emergency stand in for, a Six Sigma Black Belt. Regardless of the reason for bringing in a consultant, his or her position within the company is usually temporary in nature, and the assistance he or she will provide will be invaluable.
There may be a certain aspect of the process that a consultant might know more about. It may make more sense, and be cheaper in the long run, to bring in someone from the outside instead of sending one of the in-house staff to get the necessary training. Outsourcing, as long as it has been determined that the consultant can indeed produce what is promised, allows in-house staff to carry on with other important tasks.
Six Sigma consultants generally have strong verbal and written communication skills in addition to the Six Sigma certification you know you are already getting. The most intelligent statistical mind is not much good if that mind possesses no or lacking communication skills.. At implementation time, great communication skills are a must!
The old saying that two heads are better than one may fit here also. A consultant has honed the skills of the 6 Sigma certification which he or she has brought to your company. They will have a fresh outlook on the workings within your company, and because this is all new to them, they may see problem areas that in-house staff may have missed.
Six Sigma consultants generally have implemented Six Sigma quality strengthened systems in many different organizations and have gained a wealth of knowledge from all of that experience. Because of their experience, they can generally move into a new organization and be instantly productive, becoming a considerable asset to your in-house team. The in-house team may be resentful at the thought of having an outsider come into their midst to work, especially if the consultant is to be in a supervisory position over them. It won’t take them long to appreciate the amount of knowledge and expertise that he or she will be adding to the team, ultimately making everyone’s job a little easier, and the finished product more accurate and satisfactory. A Six Sigma Consultant’s contributions to a company will almost always last long after he or she is gone.