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Marketing is a part of business that can often be neglected with most people culling marketing first and focusing on more ‘practical’ processes of maintaining and running a business. But marketing is one of the single most important things a business can do, especially when you’re looking for growth.

Not only does marketing build brand awareness; it increases sales and engages customers.

In this month’s episode, we talk to A4G Managing Partner, Malcolm Palmer, on why you should make marketing a priority in your business and how you can build a strong marketing strategy to support your growth strategy.

Once you’ve listened to and digested this podcast, you will be able to:

✅ Know the difference between inbound, outbound and referral marketing
✅ Build an inbound marketing strategy
✅ Build an outbound strategy and which industries would benefit from this form of marketing
✅ Build a referral marketing strategy and how beneficial this method is for all industries
✅ Define your Unique Selling Point and use it within your marketing strategy to stand out ahead of your competitors
✅ Know the importance of thinking of Return on Investment when building your strategy and methods of marketing
✅ Budget for marketing (your time and money)
✅ Learn top tips from someone whose business has grown consecutively for 25+ years and helped countless others grow theirs

Let’s continue the conversation…

Marketing is part of our Business Breakthrough Growth Programme where we can create a personalised programme for you and your business to achieve growth, including building a marketing strategy. Find out more about our Breakthrough Growth Programme on our website.

Alternatively, download this PDF with all of our Business Breakthrough Programmes which you can share with your network (that’s referral marketing ;))

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Episode Transcript

Speaker 0 00:00:00 You may have never had a marketing strategy because you started your business with one customer and it has organically grown from there. And then people contacted you to do business and just doing what you do, brought people in. This means you haven’t had to ever think seriously about this. However, if you are aiming for growth, which is not organic, it is now the time that you may need to sit down and map out this route to success. I’m Charlotte and you are listening to let’s get down to business, a podcast by a 4g chartered accountants. We’re an account seat practice based in Kent with over 25 years of consistent growth in this series, we will take you through each stage in your journey to growing your business and how to overcome the hurdles along the way so that you can achieve a healthy growing business that is less dependent on you. So let’s get started Speaker 0 00:00:52 Before I introduce our guest today, I just wanted to remind you to check out our breakthrough growth program program designed to take you through every step of growing your successful business. Perhaps now more than ever. We all understand the security a well oil business can bring to you and your family. So whether you’re just starting your journey or need the extra push to reach ideal goals, this program could be for you, sign up or book a free discovery. Call now to discuss how we can tailor at this program to your business, to do this head over to www dot a 4g hyphen LP dot code UK slash business dash breakthrough slash growth, or email us on inquiries at a 4g hyphen LLP dot code UK with me today is Malcolm par managing partner at a 4g. He’s going to chat us through building a marketing strategy for growth. Speaker 0 00:01:36 Our previous episode, would’ve got you on the right path for choosing that growth strategy. And now this is how to tell the world that you’re ready to achieve those goals you set. So you may have never had a marketing strategy because you started your business with one customer and it is organically grown from there. And then people contacted you to do business, and you’re just doing what you do, brought people in. This means you haven’t ever really had to think seriously about this. However, if you are aiming for growth, which is not organic, it is now the time that you may need to sit down and map out this route of success. So to help us chat through this in more detail, I’m joined today by Malcolm partner, manage managing partner at a 4g. Hi Malcolm, how are you? Speaker 2 00:02:13 Oh, good. Yeah. Good to talk to you again, Charlotte. Speaker 0 00:02:16 Yes. Good to talk to you too. So if anyone’s followed us over the last few years, Malcolm, you hosted a great webinar, mid 2020 about making money in the new normal. And as part of this, you spoke about the very first critical issue with regards to building for growth, and that was getting your strategy vibe. So please, can you just kick us off today and run through for what our listeners, who haven’t seen this webinar, what you mean by this? Speaker 2 00:02:37 Yeah, so the, um, I mean, one of the things that I said in that marketing, um, webinar and in podcasts, um, that we’ve done since and say to clients all the time is that there are three key types of marketing. So, um, the thing about marketing is there’s tons of jargon. So people use different terms to describe the same things, but if you wanna just think of this in very logical terms, just think in terms of inbound, outbound, and referral. So inbound marketing is stuff that you do where people will then come and find you. So historically that would’ve been like advertising. Um, these days it’s more likely to be doing stuff. Website wise, maximizing maximizing search engine optimization, et C, et cetera, outbound is where you go and find them. So you might go knocking on doors or sending out mail shots or, or, or emails these days telesales. Speaker 2 00:03:33 So, so, so your marketing’s going outwards. And then the third type is what we will call referral marketing. So this is finding people who can refer you. So that may be your customers. It may be other professionals who do similar things to you, similar, but different, uh, maybe slightly overlapping, you know, the classic relationship is the plumber and the electrician, cuz they all refer each other all the time, but finding those other people and educating them about what you can do so that when they’re in a, in front of somebody, who’s a potential customer for you, then, um, you know, they will get, put your name forward or, you know, pass over a leaflet or, um, what, whatever it is really mm-hmm <affirmative>. And then you’ve got a number of things that you need to just have in place really, you know, the, the, the, the database and, um, the, the way of capturing the information when you’ve got a potential customer, et cetera. Speaker 2 00:04:29 So that’s, that was sort of the, the essence of that, um, of that particular marketing webinar, you know, it was quite, um, that particular time, of course, 2020, you know, we had a lot of clients who were very, very worried about their, um, viability of their business and, um, were focused on getting new customers through the door because, you know, otherwise there would be no business. Now, you know, I know some of our clients are really still struggling because of the, the nature of the business they’re in, but a lot of other clients there’s, um, there’s a lot of work out there. So it’s about, um, getting the best return on the time that you’ve got Speaker 0 00:05:17 No worries. So we’ve explained the marketing strategies in detail here. So just, you know, if we perhaps take the more modern form of marketing the inbound one, can you maybe just talk us through in a bit more detail, how practically we could create a plan around this first type of strategy? Speaker 2 00:05:33 Yeah, I think, um, I think you need to start by thinking about the sort of people that are your ideal customers. Um, now you need to be realistic about that. You know, um, your ideal customer is somebody who is desperate for your product or service. I’m willing to pay loads and loads of money for it, but you know, that you’re unlikely to get lots of them. So on a more practical level, you know, um, what, what do these people do? Are they in a particular industry? Are we talking general public here? Are we, um, talking small businesses? Um, you know, what’s the age, um, category of those, um, those customers and thinking in terms of who is it you want to attract to your business, and then what are the ways that they are likely to find you, you know, I mean, for, for most age groups now, um, you know, maybe, um, sort of, um, so up to 70, 75 years of age, the main way, um, when they need something is gonna be to go through, um, Google mm-hmm <affirmative> and, um, you need to be thinking about the things that they’re likely to type into Google in order to find the thing that they’re looking for. Speaker 2 00:06:55 And then you’ve gotta look at your website and the content that’s on there to see whether that is focused towards those particular, um, those, those particular keyword, et cetera. So, you know, there’s, um, it is a bit of a black art this, and, you know, there are lots of specialists out there on search engine optimization, and I wouldn’t pretend to be one of those, but you don’t have to be the most, um, advanced in terms of SEO to get yourself on that front page, because most searches, particularly for services are local, as in they put in what it is they need, and then they put in their own location or, you know, the county that they’re in or whatever. So you’re not in competition with the entire world normally, unless you’re selling, um, a product that they can download. Um, your, you know, you’re just in competition with the, your local competitors. Speaker 2 00:07:55 So you just need to get some content on the website that, you know, is engaging. It changes reasonably often. You know, it’s not the same stuff you’ve had on there for 10 years. Um, it’s got those keywords mentioned several times, it’s informative. Um, you know, Google’s changing its, um, algorithms all the time in the way that it ranks different businesses. So it’s just important that you, um, you know, you, you have that stuff on there and that when they then find you, it’s given the right impression about your business and, you know, in, in essence, that is the, the number one thing that you could be doing, um, in regard to inbound, um, you know, other than invest in significant sums in advertising, which for most owner managers is, is probably not gonna be affordable. Speaker 0 00:08:47 No, I agree. And then if we, if we then look at that sort of outbound marketing strategy, you know, this is perhaps a bit more of an old fashioned method. Maybe if you like, as part of the marketing strategy growth, you know, but for some industries, this is actually still beneficial, you know, more than others, would you say? Speaker 2 00:09:04 Yeah. For some industries. Yes. But, but maybe for any industry where no one else is doing it, you know, you know, there’s, there’s this big thing in marketing, that’s more important to be different than be better. And, you know, if every single business in, um, in your industry is spending significant sums on, you know, social media and website and search engine optimization and all of these things, you know, maybe you can’t compete with that. Maybe you need to find a different way. And, um, it’s not so much the industry, it’s probably more the customer base. So, you know, if, if you are quite specialist in terms of what you do and your customers are in a, you know, a fairly niche area, then perhaps, um, an outbound strategy might be better, you know, that you, you could buy some data or research it yourself, you know, just get yourself onto Google and find out all the people that are in a particular field and are likely to buy the product that is that, that you sell. Speaker 2 00:10:09 Um, or, or as I said, you know, you can buy data lists and then, um, and then email them. And, um, you know, generally speaking, most people find that an email doesn’t work on its own, um, that you need to follow up that, um, email with a telephone call of some kind. Um, and that has a, the advantage of cleaning the data as well, that, you know, you can update it and get different, um, new contact points, um, and maybe a physical mail shot as well. Um, you know, you’ve got the, um, you did, you do need to just learn how to do this. Right. You know, there’s a, the, the classic example, um, that was said to me, um, very early on was anything you send out needs to use the word you at least twice, as often as it uses. We and I, because, um, you know, I used to sort of laugh at the odd mail shop that came through to me sometimes from other accountants, thinking that they were right. Speaker 2 00:11:10 Didn’t realize they were right to an accountant, but you know, it start off with, oh, dear, dear Mr. So, and so, um, we are a firm that has been running for 150 years and we are wonderful and I don’t care. I don’t care in, uh, but you only care about what’s gonna be useful for my business. So, you know, you’d be better off saying you may well be in an industry that were these suffering from problems with oh, BL yes, that’s me. They’re talking about me here. Now I’m engaged, you know, so get bit of advice on this stuff, but you can use a combination of those outbound tactics, mail shots, eshots, um, and telephone calls, uh, maybe even what they call lumpy mail shots, where you’re actually giving something away for free. Um, and in order to get people’s attention, and you may be finding sections of the market, that all your other competitors that are spending all their resources on social media website, et cetera, are not finding. Speaker 0 00:12:09 Hmm. I like that. It’s, it’s also thinking like, you know, I know sometimes you get a lot of posting things through and, you know, sometimes you might throw it away, but you think I do keep the odd, the odd thing aside you think, oh, I might need that if it’s a window clean or, you know, something that might just be in my local area. And I’m more likely to probably pick up the phone to someone who’s dropped me a leaflet in the local area, supporting local business, and you’re right. That sort of strategy actually can still work. Um, so I like that take on it. Um, well, if we look, take the least talked about strategy, which is, um, probably what we as consumers do more of actually, and you’ve touched on that, um, earlier mark and that’s referral marketing, you know, we talk about products and services. Speaker 0 00:12:47 We buy all the time to our friends, families, and colleagues. And we probably do this without thinking about it. And I dunno if sometimes this sort of marketing could be feared as it can often involve asking for recommendations or, you know, but actually asking for referrals is part of normal conversation. You know, if I sort of said, you know, where did, where was that lovely restaurant that you visited the other day? Or, you know, I love your perfu. Where did you get it from? Did you see that documentary on TV other than I it’s all, that’s all, you know, it’s part of referrals. And I just wanted to share an interesting story with you actually, you know, whilst I was doing a bit of research for today’s podcast, um, and this is around Tesla’s chosen marketing strategy. So I dunno if you’re familiar, um, with it or not Malcolm, but Tesla claims to have a $0 marketing spend. Speaker 0 00:13:33 Now, I really struggled to believe that there is no cost to the marketing campaigns, even if it is indirect. So I did do a bit of digging into what this actually meant, but apparently they do not spend a penny on advertisements and endorsements, but what they do do is heavily use their social media sites ensure their product is seen within the entertainment rather than around it. So, you know, like the adverts and their CEO, Elon Musk is seen to be very present on social media platforms. And apparently he responds to almost every message tweet in comment personally. So I can’t actually deny or prove that otherwise, however, this strong message of a CEO being active in encouraging people to share his product for him free of charge is a bit of an interesting take on the referral marketing strategy. You know, like every time someone likes shares comments, re-shares retweets, they’re spreading his brand name and image to the world. So Malcolm, how can you maybe suggest business owners maximize what referral marketing has to offer and make this an integral part of their growth strategy? Speaker 2 00:14:36 Yeah, that’s fantastic. Um, example, um, of what can be done. I mean, the, um, the interesting thing about, um, Tesla of course, is that, um, it, it’s, it’s a product that, um, anybody might want, even if many people can’t afford it. So even those who are not potential customers, um, you know, they may aspire to be, uh, potential customers. Um, for many of our clients, you know, there are, there’s only a very small segment of the general population who are potential customers for them. So finding who, um, are your referral sources might re might, um, be a little bit harder, um, than, than that, you know, and, and you might also not have a product, um, or service that’s quite as exciting as, um, as schedulers as well. So, um, the, it can be a little bit, um, tricky and, and then just to add to that, to narrow the pool even more, um, a lot of people just aren’t referrers and, you know, I was used to find this so frustrating when I was younger that, um, you know, because I, cause I always was a referer, you know, and, and, um, I, I know Emma’s done one or two of the podcasts and I dunno whether she’s, um, said her sort of classic line that she always says, but when, um, she’s talking about, you know, being proactive, um, with clients, she always, um, says it’s cuz she’s nosy. Speaker 2 00:16:07 Um, and you know, but which is a great way of, um, you know, almost downplaying the fact that she’s interested in, in other people and she’s interested in what their problems are and interested in, um, how we, you know, find solutions. Um, and in, in doing that, um, the, you know, the work that we get back from that is almost a byproduct because she’s just as likely to recommend somebody else as she is to, um, offer a solution that we can, um, provide mm-hmm <affirmative>. So you, you need to find lots of people like her or, or even just, you know, even just a handful of people like her who have big customer bases and, um, you know, that can take, that can take a few years. And, you know, I was, I was fortunate enough in my, um, in my early days to have a couple of people, um, that I work with, um, a lovely lady called Liz brown, who, um, was a bookkeeper and, um, a fantastic guy called Phil Scott, who was, um, an it consultant, um, for businesses, you know, setting up all their systems. Speaker 2 00:17:18 Um, Phil bless him. He is no longer with us. Um, but, um, he, you know, he, he recommended almost his whole client base to me because, um, he, he would just ask them loads and loads of questions about their business. Um, and, and then, um, and then he’d just throw in the lobby in the hand grenade, which was, um, well, what sort of advice are you getting from your accountant on this? Um, and, and then half the time, or maybe more than half the time they’d laugh because they weren’t getting any advice from their on that. So he’d go, oh, you wanna talk to, uh, my accountant and he’d recommend me. So, um, you know, Phil was just this, this great guide for, um, for me, um, in my younger days, you know, helping me and build up my client base and introduced me to people, but some of Phil <affirmative>, but some, it fills a, a, a few and far between sometimes, you know, and, um, sometimes you’ve just gotta, you know, maybe nudge people a little bit more and just say, um, you know, what, what can I do to, um, get referrals? Speaker 2 00:18:21 What, you know, what do you think your customers are looking for? What are they not happy about with their existing, um, supplier and, um, you know, that might require you to take some of those people out to lunch or invite them along to some, um, corporate entertaining or, or just simply send them regular emails with information. Um, add another, um, chap who used to refer to me who used to refer me quite a bit, who was actually qualified accountant himself, but, um, was self admittedly about 20 years out of date with any accounts or tax stuff. And we sort of had this, um, you know, almost unspoken deal really that he just ring me up and pick my brains on stuff every now and again, and about, you know, one in five of those, um, calls would then result in him introducing me to, um, to, uh, the client whose situation he was talking about, you know, and, and, and that the, the, the marketing cost to me, of those clients that he introduced to me was the free advice that I gave him on the other four, uh, for five calls. So, you know, it, referral marketing is, is all about that relationship. And what can you give back to people? Um, and maybe it’s just referrals back to them. Um, like I said, maybe it’s just a bit of free advice here or there. Um, but you know, if you can build up that little network of people that, um, really rate you and are in a position to recommend you to the sort of customers you want, then that can be phenomenal for your business. Speaker 0 00:20:03 Yeah. I like that. And I think, you know, re you know, people buy from people and they build buy from people they trust. And, you know, you’re probably more likely to, to pick up the phone to someone, if someone, you know, is using that person or has had a good, you know, experience with that person then yeah. Just picking someone up from Google. Speaker 2 00:20:20 Yeah. Charlotte, I’ll tell you, I’ll tell you a funny little thing. So when, um, whenever, when I talk to my mom and, you know, she’s had sort of a, a new sort of tradesman come along to, um, the house to do something, um, the one thing that she always says about them, um, that is her sort of, it’s her killer point that they’re gonna be good, which is they don’t advertise, you know, <laugh>, you know, and she’s saying, well, they’re so good that they get all their work through recommendation mm-hmm <affirmative>. And, um, always makes me, you know, makes me chuckle thinking that, okay, so actually, you know, in her eyes, and she’s got a point in her eyes, somebody that advertises a lot isn’t any good, you know, and, um, which, uh, is an interesting way look at things, but, you know, it’s, it’s, it’s valid point, isn’t it? Speaker 0 00:21:11 Yeah. Well, I think maybe that is some, you know, on a basic level with te they put the money back into the product, you know, rather than spending on advertising, maybe, you know, people are putting that, that money into their service, and that’s why they’re get recommendations. So, so not a good way of seeing it, um, in some ways. Speaker 2 00:21:28 Yeah. Speaker 0 00:21:29 Um, so we’ve, we’ve gone through some of those initial marketing strategies you may need to adopt in order to attract new customers, but obviously we know that our marketing strategy should go a little bit deeper than that. You know, all obviously mark, you know, all of our customers go on a buying journey from their awareness through to consideration through, to that decision. And your strategy needs to give exposure at all points. So even though you’re attracting people to your business, you’ll constantly be marketing yourself to that potential customer. And really, even beyond that, when they’re long term and loyally committed to you in the brand, you know, just to ensure you’re always adding value for them. Um, so if we start with the next step after marketing, mark, we just touch on this, you know, that’s the sales process. How could a business owner start to create a strategy around how they perhaps run these initial meetings or interactions with their potential new customers that feed into their marketing strategy? Speaker 2 00:22:15 Yeah, well, we’re probably, um, I think we’re probably gonna do a, a podcast on, um, on sales in its own, right. At, um, some point, um, in the next month or two, but, you know, in essence, um, see, I read a few different sales books when, um, when I realized that actually I was getting it all wrong, I read over the next few years, I read a few sales books and I realized that they all pretty much say the same thing. Um, they may have different buzzwords and be written in different styles and, you know, a lot more modern. Um, but, but, but in essence, they go through the same stages. Um, and you know, and the first thing is just preparation. Um, and you know, who is it? You’re gonna see, um, you know, there’s all sorts of information you can find out about the people you’re gonna go and see whether it’s, um, you know, what they tell you on their website or social media or their accounts that are filed at company’s house. Speaker 2 00:23:12 Um, you know, the names of the people, the ages of the people, um, just, you know, just, just get yourself, um, ready, the better, the more informed you look, I mean, it’s, it’s no different to an interview really, is it, you know, the more informed you look than, um, the more impressed they’ll be, so get that bit right. Um, the, the skimming through their set rapid breakneck speed, you know, the, the first part of the meeting itself is the needs and wants analysis. So asking all the questions that will uncover the things that, that they need and want, the next part is the solutions presentation, where you present, how your product can, um, solve the, the needs and wants that they have. Um, you know, if we’ve all had meetings with people from other companies where we kind of sit there with a puzzle, look in our face thinking, well, what you are showing me is nothing like what I need for what I’ve outlined to you. Speaker 2 00:24:17 And that’s the case. They just haven’t really listened. They’ve just gotten onto their bog standard, um, sales pitch and, um, completely ignoring anything that you’ve ever said. You know, that is a terrible sales, um, habit, you know, it, whatever you show, you should be referring back to all the stuff that they’ve told you and, um, having done that part, then, um, they have what they call the clothes. So where, um, you ask for the sale basically, um, you know, a friend of mine used to what still does just say, so do you want it or not? You know, that’s his, that’s his clothes. And, um, I said, nobody’s ever really been offended by it and it’s done pretty well for his business. Um, and then, you know, perhaps they do or they’re, um, not too sure about, um, what you’ve presented. So you have to overcome objections, um, and you know, you get, you get the sale, all you done. Um, the, I think anybody can do this. You know, there are some people that are better at sales than others, but if you know your product or service than with the right process, you can be a good salesman. Speaker 0 00:25:34 Yeah. <affirmative> uh, how useful would you say it is to review your competitor’s growth strategy to compare or learn from when building your own and you know, what sort of things does a business owner look at to audit this? Speaker 2 00:25:49 Um, yeah. You know, I mean, your competitor’s growth strategies are, uh, marketing strategies are, um, a lot of it’s out there on the website, isn’t it? You know, and, um, if you wanted to be really sneaky, I’m sure you could find your way onto some of their mailing, um, lists, et cetera. Um, but you, you know, you need to know what, what you’re up against. Um, the, you know, for us, when we are talking to a potential client, you know, I always say, um, we’re probably up against two competitors. Um, we may only bump against one. So, um, if it’s only one, then it’s the existing one, you know, they have, they have an accountant already, unless it’s a startup. Um, and you know, and, and when we do, we, we, we do have a number of startups that come to us, but of course, most of our clients have already got an accountant they’re already up and running and, you know, and are not getting the help that they need. Speaker 2 00:26:43 So, um, you know, that, that we are always up against the, um, the incumbent accountant. And if we’re only fractionally better, then the embarrassment of telling that incumbent accountant that he or she is no longer acting probably means that the, the client won’t change. So, so you always wanna check them out and, um, you know, see what, um, they’re up to. So, you know, what the competition is, but of course they may be absolutely appalling, um, and disastrously bad, but that doesn’t mean you are gonna get the business because, um, they may be meeting two potential, um, providers. So I think, um, you know, it needs to be researched so that you’re prepared. Um, you need to look at the sort of marketing that people are doing. Um, you know, I, if somebody’s doing something really well, then I, I wouldn’t go there because you don’t really want to do exactly the same marketing as someone else is doing, but do it worse. Speaker 2 00:27:47 Um, you better off going for something that’s, that’s different just taking a different angle on it. Um, and all of this as well, you know, looking at your competitors helps you be your, your USP, your unique selling point. So for those of you that haven’t heard me talk about this, or Charlotte, talk about this on previous podcasts, a unique selling point is the one thing about you and your business, which is better than any of your competitors. Um, and, um, you know, you may have a lot of good qualities in your business, but, um, if everybody else that you’re in competition with does it has all those qualities as well, then that’s not gonna be a reason to change to you. So you’ve gotta find the thing that’s, um, that’s different. And if you don’t look on, um, any, if you don’t do any research about competitors, how are you ever gonna be able to find that? Speaker 0 00:28:39 Yeah, I agree. And if we just touch on then that Tesla research from earlier Malcolm, you know, there’s gonna be some costume marketing strategy, even if that’s your time in creating one. So how much could we, or should we consider budgeting for our marketing bearing in mind that most of our listeners here are hopefully looking for big growth from their businesses and likely will be established companies. Speaker 2 00:29:00 Yeah. Interesting. Um, of course not, everybody’s gonna be looking for big growth and some of that growth may be just come in anyway, you know, mm-hmm, <affirmative>, um, there’s, you know, we, where we say our, our clients fall into, um, two, um, categories, those that want, um, to make more money and those that want to have more time. Um, and, you know, O obviously, um, if you are in the first part of your career, you are more likely to be in the want more money, um, camp. And if you are in the latter part of your career, you know, you know, perhaps you’ve built a little bit of, um, financial resource behind you. You’re more likely to be, um, in the, you know, in the one in more time camp. So, um, so you, you, first of all, just gotta decide, you know, what level of growth is it that you want? Speaker 2 00:29:54 Um, you know, it may be that you’ve just worked at what your attrition rate is every year, and you know, how many new customers you need a year just to stand still. And, and you you’re happy with that. Um, or it may be that, you know, you want to grow 10%, 20%, a hundred percent, you know, what, whatever it is. So, um, that’s the, um, that, that, that’s where you need to start. And then, um, you’ve gotta then think about the, um, techniques that you’re gonna use. Um, I would tend to, um, for, for most owner managed businesses, the biggest limits in factor on all of this is gonna be your time. You know, you, if, especially, of course, if you are the one that goes and visits the new customers, um, but you know, even if you’re not, you know, just the growth of the business will Hoover up your time, dealing with recruitment and bigger premises and cash flow and all of those other things that come with that growth. Speaker 2 00:30:59 So, um, you know, if you are, if you are looking to grow, you’ve gotta think about how much time have you got, um, probably answer to that moment will be zero. Okay. Right. If that’s the case, then what are you gonna get rid of? What things are you not gonna do in order to free up some time to do the marketing? Okay, now we’ve got a little bit of budget of time. So what, um, how can I use that time? You know, I mean, if your marketing strategy is to, um, hand write personal letters with a Quill pen and then follow them up by driving to the customer’s premises and knocking on their door to see if they’re in, then, you know, that’s not gonna engender a particularly good return on investment. And obviously I’m exaggerating with that, but, um, you know, you, you’ve gotta think about what is going to get the, the most return, the best return per hour or day or morning, whatever of, of, of your time. Speaker 2 00:31:57 And sometimes people just focus on the external cost, you know, they’ve, there’s, um, a, a marketing company that’s proposed a package and they just look at that pound sign in front of it and think, oh, apply me. That sounds expensive. But actually, you know, um, it two, um, two offerings that are exactly the same cost and, um, would generate, um, exactly the same number amount of new business may be significantly different in terms of return on investment, because one of them requires you to spend, um, you know, to spend the next three weeks, completely rewriting every bit of product information on your website. The other one requires you to answer a few questions to the marketing company and, and off they go, you know, so it, it almost always comes back to return on investment of the owner, owner manager of the business. And then beyond that return on investment, um, of your team and those external costs combined, Speaker 0 00:33:05 You’re brilliant. And I, I like that sort of, you know, point on using, you know, using another company or outsourcing it or bringing someone in whatever it is, if someone’s gonna be using their time to do the marketing for you, you can then focus on what most business owners do best, which is, you know, talking to the customers, creating those relationships, you know, focusing on those sort of things. And it’s about the balance between the two, um, just to like, um, finish us off their Malcolm. Do you have any practical advice or any case studies where you perhaps supported a client, or even where you yourself have assessed and written marketing strategies which have been successful? Speaker 2 00:33:44 Um, well, there’s been lots of, um, different times, you know, sometimes people are just so busy that they don’t, um, they don’t see simple marketing opportunities. Um, one of the, um, one particular client I was talking to a few years ago, um, they, um, none of their vans were signed written, and I was just kind of gobsmacked really, you know, they, they, um, everybody that came to them came to their premises. Um, but then having come to their premises, they then had to deliver stuff back. I, I won’t explain what it was that they did, but, um, I was like, so you’ve got these, you know, five vans out on the road and they’re not sign ran. It just seemed to be, um, you know, an, an obvious thing to do. Yeah. Um, you know, the, the referral marketing, um, stuff, you know, this, this just comes up all the time. Speaker 2 00:34:34 And funny enough, often people don’t realize that they’re actually quite good at referral marketing. Um, it’s just come about by accident, you know? Um, and then when they realize they’re good at referral and they think, oh, actually, well, I better go and find, um, lots of other new, um, referral sources, um, for myself really. So, um, you know, we, we obviously, for us, the marketing advice that we give is, is part of general profit improvement. So, um, we, we are rarely going in to completely rewrite somebody’s marketing strategy. It’s more a part of their overall, um, goals. And I’m, I’m, I’m trying to think of any of the cases that are crossing my mind at the moment that I’d be happy to talk about <laugh> when they’re all existing clients. So, uh, maybe, maybe I better not do that Charlotte Speaker 0 00:35:27 <laugh> no, that’s all right. So yeah, I mean, if there’s any more practical tips that, that you’ve got then, um, share with us. Yeah. Speaker 2 00:35:34 A actually, yeah, there’s a, there’s a, a couple of, um, um, couple of things here. So I think, um, a completely two completely different points here. So the first one, um, is to do with scalability, um, of this, because, you know, the classic thing, one of the, um, one of the messages in the book that I’ve written accidental millionaires is, um, the whole thing about what got you here, won’t get you there. So, um, we get into successful business owners, get into some very good habits that work really, really well for them up to a point mm-hmm <affirmative>. And then the business has got to a certain size and that just isn’t gonna work anymore because they have no more hours in the day. So you have to start thinking about, can I scale this? Can I train other people to do this? Can I come up with a way of measuring their performance? Speaker 2 00:36:33 So I know if they’re doing badly, um, or, well, um, can I find a way of, um, helping those people do the bits they’re not quite so good at, you know, so, you know, we’re sending them out and they’re talking to people, um, and you know, and then we are getting all the data that they’ve found and we’re putting it into our database and we’re, you know, supporting them by following it up with some emails and, um, you know, product information or whatever. Um, you know, and then there’s the whole, you know, writing, um, scripts and checklists, so that, all the stuff that you’ve learned when you were on that upward part of the journey before you got to this plateau, when you know, what got you here, won’t get you there. Um, you know, all of that stuff is now written into a process that you can teach other people to do. Speaker 2 00:37:26 And if you can do, then, then off you go again, mm-hmm <affirmative>. So that’s the sort of, you know, the, the number one, um, tip depending on where you are in the journey. The other thing to think about, um, uh, to remember is that every point where there is a contact with a customer, whether that’s face to face or over the telephone, or, you know, or, or online or whatever it is, you know, every single of those points is marketing. Even if, you know, you think that it’s customer service, it’s still marketing. So, um, you know, somebody, um, said to me, um, that, um, in the, um, in the, the, the restaurant where, um, where they work, one of the things that they always say when the dessert menu, um, comes, they always say to the, to the older customers, um, oh, the apple pie is lovely. Speaker 2 00:38:27 Right? And, um, and, and, and apparently the, um, many of those older customers just stopped looking at the menu at that point and go, oh, well, I’ll have some of the apple pilot, you know? So, um, now, you know, you could have just stood there waiting, um, for them. And, um, they may have just decided actually, you know, they’ve kind of just lost the wheel to live by the time they got to the, the bottom of the, um, the list, but they’ve had a recommendation from somebody. So, um, and they’re actually appreciative, um, of that. Assuming of course the apple pie is lower. Okay. And, you know, and that’s good custom service, but it’s also marketing. Uh, and, um, you know, even the most junior employee, um, doing the most mundane piece of work, if they have contact with a customer, then you need to think about what they’re bringing to your marketing. And, and if you can, if you can do that in your business, then, um, as long as you’re in an industry that, um, is, um, has sufficient demand within it, then, you know, you’ll succeed. Speaker 0 00:39:36 Yeah. I like that. Mark. It reminds me actually of a time when I had a job, um, before this one, many years ago, and in the, in, in the retail store, I worked at, it was nothing to do with this, but we always said, would you like some stamps? I don’t know why it was just one of the things we sold on the till, but I think it’s one of those things, isn’t it it’s, you know, like, you know, marketing up, selling on the till, whatever said, would you like, would, you know, would you like this product of the day? Or, you know, would you like to go large? It’s all, it’s all related. Speaker 2 00:40:02 Yeah, absolutely. Yeah. People are buying, people are buying Christmas cards, then, you know, why wouldn’t you ask them if, um, they wanted stamp stamps, but, but you know, those staff are, are busy if no one’s ever told them to do that, they’re unlikely to, to do it. Are they? So, um, and then, you know, missed out on a, on a sale as a result. So, yeah, like that example. Speaker 0 00:40:24 Exactly. Well, thank you so much for joining us today, Malcolm, Speaker 2 00:40:28 Thank you, Charlotte. Yeah, I’ve really enjoyed it. Speaker 0 00:40:32 I think the key thing to take away from today is that there are several ways to reach our ideal customers, but if you know who they are and where to find them, you can use one of, or a combination of any of these marketing techniques to design an ideal strategy for generating customers for your business. Speaker 0 00:40:47 Next week, we are joined by real Richardson who will be discussing ways to generate cash or bring finance into your business in order to start putting amongst other things, your growth and marketing strategies, interaction. Thank you for listening today. I hope you enjoyed the episode. We are a 4g and you can find us on Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn at a 4g chartered accountants. Alternatively, check out our website, WW do ag HFA LP credit UK, which is full of free tools, guidance, and plenty of food for thought to help support you with running your successful business. I’ve been your host today, Charlotte, and this is let’s get down to business.