Developing or retooling a small to medium sized business, as every business owner will tell you, is a lot of work. And it can cost a great deal of money too. But all too often in this process, however, some of the things that are actually the most important parts of getting your venture off to a good start are the things that are often kept on the back burner. Generally speaking, this has mainly to do with communications.
What You Don’t Know Can Hurt You.
A lot of small business owners, especially those without a great deal of previous experience from a career or without any formal marketing training, operate under the assumption that their salesmanship and passion for their product or service is much more important than the image they project right out of the gate. And that may have been true in the days before the Internet came along, but these days, it’s anything but.
Invisible Scrutiny Is Everywhere.
If you have skimped on things like your logo and positioning, your business cards, collateral materials and most importantly, your web site, you are doing your business a genuine disservice. Because, as much as you wish it weren’t true, your word and the passion behind your pitch will only take you so far, and that distance seems to shrink more and more every year.
The majority of the due diligence that your prospects will go through is stuff they do pretty much their own. This includes reading your web site and shuffling it up to the final decision makers, along with your business card and any collateral material you choose to leave with them, checking your references, verifying your cases studies etc.
These materials have now become every bit as much a part of your sales team as anything or anyone on your staff. Because after your half hour with the prospect, these are the things that they are going to spend their time with, and they will either turn the tide in your favour or against you.
A Worthwhile Investment.
At the end of the day, you really do get only one chance to make that favorable first impression. And you want that impression to be one of a business that has its act together, that looks like it has genuinely arrived and is one that makes its selling argument powerfully and without reservation. Because, like it or not, this is how you are being judged by your prospects, and for the most part they are looking for reasons to not to do business with you. Not because they are sadistic or mean spirited, but because it’s in their nature to always believe there’s ‘something better’ out there. So be that ‘something better’ for them. The investment isn’t going to be that huge, but the dividends it can pay will serve your company well for years to come.
Five Essential Pieces Of Communication That Every Small To Medium Sized Business Should Have.
- A Communication Strategy that outlines your goals, your target audiences, your main benefit, your reasons to believe and your company’s character.
- A Business Card that tells your prospects exactly what you do, what you can do for them and how to get hold of you.
- A Company Brochure that tells your company’s story in a straightforward compelling way.
- A Web Site that details all the selling features of your company and explains in depth your level of customer commitment, and houses testimonials and case studies, which are your principal reasons to believe.
- A well crafted Information Profile on your company that you can send to any trade publications that are read by your target audience, as well as for use in business media such as LinkedIn.
Onwords & Upwords offers special communicatons packages for startup businesses or existing businesses looking to effectively rebrand themselves. These packages include the previously mentioned 5 Essential Pieces of Communication customized to work for you business and marketing approaches.
Because, Onwords & Upwords Creative Director, Jim Murray is a highly experienced writer, art director and producer, he can create these materials with excellent economies of scale at substantially lower rates than those charged by groups of individuals doing the same work or small agencies or designcos with substantial overheads to cover.
Jim also has recently created a short EBook entitled Small Business Communications For The Real World which, provides a very thorough overview of the communications process. You can download his ebook here: http://tinyurl.com/nqlgtu3.