Q3 – Is your business on target?

Are you on target?

As we move into Q3 of this financial year, it’s usually a good time to look back on the past 6 months and see where your business is performing. Those targets that you set at the beginning of the year, are you meeting them? Are you exceeding expectations? Or, are you where no business would like to be and falling behind a little? If you are, don’t start panicking and throwing all of your resources out there. There are still 6 months of this year left. This means 6 months to turn it around and be where you want to be by the end.

Problems that can arise

More often than not, businesses assume the reason they are failing to meet their targets is just down the fact that they have frozen. So in response they become aggressive and active in their efforts to sell, sell, sell. However, what they don’t realise that this strategy is often going to cause more of a problem. It was never them freezing that caused the first problem, but something called Active Inertia. This is where businesses and organisations stick to their guns on the way they are going to do things, stick to the ways that brought them success in the past, even if something dramatic has happened in their area of business, such as the emergence of a new competitor or product. Take Firestone Tires for example. During the 1960s in America, they were on top. They knew who their competitors were – Goodyear – who their customers were and what they needed to do to stay on top. But come the 1970s, Michelin entered the scene with their Radial Tires. Firestone knew it would happen, as they had been keeping a close eye them taking Europe by storm throughout the 60s and knew they would make their way to America. However, despite being prepared for it happening, their response to it was anything but effective. They hung on to their way of doing things, and refused to make any drastic changes. The outcome, was them losing the top spot, as Ford – one of their main customers – announced all their new cars would have Michelin Radials on them.

What can you do?

In relation to this, perhaps this is what has happened to your business? Maybe a new competitor has emerged, or a new product from an already established competitor. So instead of just pumping all of your resources into aggressively selling, why not take a step back, and look at your marketing materials. Are you limiting yourself to one particular medium? Perhaps you’ve decided that digital advertising and marketing is the way forward for you, because it has brought your success in years previous. However, I would ask you to stop for a minute, take a look back and rethink this strategy. Consider what other mediums can do for you, such as print. Now, don’t think I’m going to start shouting about how you shouldn’t go anywhere near digital. No, how about how they can work for you in tandem? We here at kaizenprint.co.uk want businesses to succeed. We want to see the success stories and love to know that we have been part of them, even in a small way. So our hope, is that by reading this today, you can turn around whatever deficit you may be in, and bring it home at the end of the year.

Print to the rescue

When I said that print and digital can work in tandem, I meant it. Take this situation for example. You set up your new business at the beginning of the year. Over the past 6 months, you’ve gathered some clients, done some business, but you aren’t where you would like to be. So, you decide to go to a trade show at the beginning of these next 6 months. Or perhaps you’ve set up some meetings with prospective clients. However, you want to stick to the same marketing philosophy you have been for the first half of the year, so haven’t really brought any physical marketing materials. All you plan on doing is giving out your website address, sending potential clients to your social media pages. However, as good as this can be, it is easy to forget, especially if clients haven’t written it down. Meaning all the good work that was put into those meetings may have been undone. That’s where print can come in for you. If you bring brochures or even business cards along, they can and will include all the contact details that you need them to. Clients can read through them, but the important thing is they won’t throw them out. If you’ve made a good impression, they will want to keep them close by so they can follow up on meetings. But it can also lead them to your website address. From there, they can get the main bulk of the information. The more in depth side that you didn’t want to give at the shows or meetings, so they didn’t drag on. Use print to your advantage and let it lead clients and customers to your digital presence.

Internal Fixes

As important as it is to get the clients in the door, sometimes you might have to look at the internals of your business. Ask yourself, are you running in an optimal way? Is everything as good/organised as it could be? If not, then one simple way to ensure that you do become more organised as a business, is by revamping your office calendar system. Instead of everyone having their own calendar system, why not have everyone sync their calendars? A good way to do this is through using iCal if you have the systems to support it, if not another good way is through Google Calendar. This way, everyone will know of upcoming meetings or presentations, even if they aren’t involved in then. But it will help, as then work can be covered while certain people are away, meaning no times is lost and projects are the completed on time. This simple step can go a long way to getting you those extra few clients, and help making that small jump needed into the area you want to be for the end of the financial year.