4 Concerns of Every Business Owner & How Inbound Marketing Can Help
As a business owner I have a lot on my mind as I’m sure you do too. It really doesn’t matter what we sell or what services we provide, doing business is doing business and it’s a huge responsibility. It doesn’t matter whether you’re a plumber, financial planner, consultant, or inbound marketing company like us, we’re all facing the same challenges and concerns.
We fight the whirlwind every day while trying to make time to plan for tomorrow. We have personnel concerns, growing pains, and dozens of vendors, prospects, and clients to manage. Financials, taxes, projections, cash flow, and diversification all take time to master and manage. With so much to concern ourselves with it’s amazing that any of us make the time to read & write articles like this. But we do.
We make the time because we all understand that unless we’re growing and improving, learning and listening, we won’t reach our goals. At least not goals as aggressive as ours, without critical thought and continued learning we simply wouldn’t be progressing fast enough to keep up.
The 4 Things Business Owners Care About And How Inbound Marketing Ads Value
1. Growing Brand Recognition & Reputation
There is perhaps no greater satisfaction than getting complimented on the appearance of your business. If you’ve built something you’re proud of it feels really good to get complimented on it, there’s no denying it. Your brand represents your professionalism, credibility, and reputation. Everything you produce can enhance your brand identity or damage it just as easily. You should be constantly concerned with your image, your presentation, and your reputation in the marketplace and how best to improve it in order to win more business.
How Inbound Marketing can help
One of the most beneficial and long-lasting outputs of inbound marketing is the effect on your brand identity. Content creation and thought leadership around your services position you as an expert in your field, beyond others in your industry. By continually creating and publishing free resources your organization stays in touch with prospects, educating them on what you do and how you do it.
By sharing your intellectual property freely you increase frequency, improve reach, and grow brand recognition. Your organization becomes the credible resource people recognize, remember, and respect. When the time is right for them to purchase who else would they consider but you? Inbound marketing builds your brand by professionally and dynamically broadcasting your message.
Evaluation Tip – List the methods you have for reaching prospects.
If your list is void of social media, blogging, eBooks, search engines, and email marketing you could be missing out. Your prospects use the internet every day, if you’re not reaching them there you’re not reaching them as often as you should be.
2. Making More New Sales
A good friend and consultant shared a quote with me four years ago that I’ve held close since. “A line goes up because a sale is made”. There is no truer statement in business in my opinion. You can’t grow without sales and there are costs to building a consistent sales engine to drive new clients (CAC – cost of acquiring customers). You likely invest blood, sweat, tears, and a lot of money into the continued success of your sales department, without it you simply wouldn’t grow.
How Inbound Marketing can help
A properly executed inbound marketing campaign can breathe lifeblood into your sales effort by reaching and converting additional leads. A salesperson’s best friend, inbound marketing leads put them in front of qualified opportunities instead of instead of behind the phone hunting. Your sales people likely spend half their time prospecting and hunting. Cold calling and traveling to networking have a huge cost, in this example 50% of base compensation.
If you could cut that cost in half and increase production at the same time I’m betting you’d jump at the chance. That’s exactly what inbound marketing can do for you. For the price of as little as ½ of a salesperson you can increase the productiveness of your entire department.
Evaluation Tip – Calculate your spend
Figure out how much you spend on all sales personnel, licenses, activities, management costs, office costs, payroll taxes, and benefits. If that number comes out to more than $15,000 inbound marketing could really make a difference.
3. Scalability for Future Success
You can’t grow into a truly scalable company until you can relinquish some responsibility. If you’re forced to spend all your time in the day to day operations you’re accomplishing little more than creating yourself a job. You have to be able to trust your team of employees and vendors to their job better than you can do it yourself. This is often a ‘two steps forward, one step back’ process, scalability is fragile and dependent on many things.
One of the most painful setbacks to your organization’s forward movement is turnover, especially in the sales department. Good sales personnel build relationships and a robust pipeline from which you plan to harvest new revenue from, when they leave their pipeline usually goes with it. When your salesperson leaves and their pipeline vanishes it’s time to start over, crushing your short term projects and threatening your plans.
How Inbound Marketing can help
Inbound marketing serves as a leveling device for volatile pipelines. The valleys are shallower and the spikes are taller as the steady, sustainable results from your marketing create leads regardless of the sales department’s activity. When you lose a salesperson you may have to jump back into meetings while you train a successor, but you’ll at least have a sustainable pipeline and a steady flow of new leads.
As your new hire learns how to hunt and present your offering they’ll have prospects at all stages of the buying cycle in their pipeline to develop further. Every salesperson or business owner that’s had to start from scratch sure understands the value of a healthy pipeline. A properly executed inbound campaign can add velocity during good times and lessen the pain created by sales personnel churn.
Evaluation Tip – Dig into your sales reporting over the previous 12 months
Chart the number of meetings, proposals, and new clients produced by each salesperson every month. If you’re seeing large spikes in production (volatility) then you might benefit from an inbound marketing campaign. If you can correlate the lack of bottom line production to lead generation you can definitely benefit.
4. Building Peace of Mind
Peace of mind is tricky thing, it’s there one minute and gone the next. Everything can be running smoothly and just when you’re feeling good about the future something changes. In order to find peace of mind in your business you have to insulate yourself from risk as much as possible, while taking risks at the same time. It’s a good idea to protect your assets and your future by drafting a buy/sell agreement with your partners, creating a living will, and doing strategic planning for the coming years.
Understanding where you want to go, and what will happen if things went wrong, can protect your business, employees, and family. Creating and developing processes, tools, and dependable resources can also build peace of mind. The more you can depend on those around you to execute without your involvement the more insulated you’ll be in the event you can no longer contribute. While employees come and go, reliable services provided by established vendors can ensure continued success.
How Inbound Marketing can help
The reliability and layered performance of an enterprise inbound marketing campaign provides more stability than an internal resource. For the cost of an employee or less you get the strength, depth, and experience of an entire department at your fingertips. Add to that the power and value of HubSpot’s marketing software and peace of mind is truly obtainable. Your business will be in much better shape to grow beyond your involvement and you’ll achieve a level of stability not possible with internal resources.
Evaluation Tip – Ask yourself a couple simple questions
If you were gone tomorrow, would my business survive? What would happen to your employees? What would happen to your family? Do I have the new business engine in place to produce new clients without your involvement? Peace of mind comes from preparation and the culmination of many sound business decisions, take some time to form solutions to these questions and you’ll sleep better at night.
My advice is to take some time to evaluate where you think you’re at with each of these concerns. Is your brand truly positioned to help your organization make more sales? Have you put the resources and team together to drive your organization going forward, even without you? Peace of mind comes from planning. It comes from building dependable resources you can trust to execute in every facet of your business.
If you have another concern you’d like to highlight please share it in the comments.