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A Free Business Advice Session

Want A Free Second Opinion On Why Your Marketing Isn’t Working And What You Can Do To Fix It? (UK Small Businesses Only)

Which Of These 7 Common Marketing Constraints Are Holding Back Your Business And Frustrating You Like Crazy?

How much do you want or need more customer enquiries, more customers and more regular sales revenue? And what are you prepared to do?

Further down the page, I’ll explain how you can get a free 60 minute “Business SOS” coaching and advice session with me to:

  1. Help you to understand why your current marketing and sales systems aren’t giving you the results you want: and
  2. Help you to see what you can change to get more leads, customers and sales.

First let me explain what’s happening and why you can get a lot right and still be stuck.

This way, even if you decide you’re not yet ready to talk to me, you get value from your click to visit this page. (If you’re in a hurry for details of the free business advice session, click to Business SOS and you’ll be taken to the right section. You’ll see this link a few times on this page.)

Your Current Marketing And Sales System

You have a marketing and sales system in your business made up of your decisions and actions. (And perhaps your inactions and indecisions.) It may not have been designed consciously but something is there, with good bits and bad bits.

This “system” determines how many enquiries you get, how well you convert these enquiries into customers and how much these customers spend with you.

This leads to one simple conclusion.

If you’re not getting the enquiries and sales you want, there are one or more constraints in your system. These cause your marketing to get stuck at a level that disappoints and frustrates you.

Fortunately, with help, you can identify why you have problems attracting the customers you want.

There Are 7 Major Areas Of Constraint

There are seven major areas where problems can arise and where you can make improvements. The details are explained below but first, I’ll explain how these constraints dampen down your marketing results..

If there is only one constraint, you can think of it like the weakest link in a chain. No matter what you do away from this weak link, your improvements will be limited because the entire chain depends on the weakest link.

If there are several major constraints in your marketing system, then think of it like a three lane motorway with several roadworks on your route. These cause one or two lanes to be shut down, limiting the flow of traffic to a crawl. Eliminating the first roadblock helps but there’s still another bottleneck causing trouble ahead. To reach your goal of a smooth-flowing marketing and sales system, you need to improve all the roadblocks.

(If you’re in a hurry for details of the free business advice session, click to Business SOS and you’ll be taken down to the right section.)

The 7 Critical Factors And Possibly Major Constraints In Your Marketing & Sales System

Let me satisfy your curiosity and tell you about the seven vital factors in attracting customers and keeping them buying. This way, you can see how they fit together and how problems cause constraints.

I present a contrast so you can see the good and the bad and get a feeling for where your business fits in-between.

Critical Factor 1 – You Must Find Your Starving Crowd

This is about your choice of target market.

If you’ve got it right, there are plenty of potential customers who want exactly what you offer. You may not be able to attract these customers but at least they exist.

You have this constraint if you haven’t found your starving crowd i.e. you’re not clear about who is your target market and exactly what they want. You need know who has a strong desire to solve the problems you can fix.

The Business SOS advice can help you find your Starving Crowd.

(If you’ve seen enough and I’ve covered what may be your biggest constraint, click to Business SOS and you’ll be taken to the right section.)

Critical Factor 2 – You Need To Make An Irresistible Promise That’s Good For Your Customers And Good For You

This is about your offer – what customers get and what they pay – and what you say to communicate it.

If you get it right, the right people will pay attention to your marketing messages, decide your offers appeal and take the action you want.

Not enough of your target customers may see your marketing message often enough (constraint 3). A reasonable proportion of those who see it will take action and make contact and become qualified leads, predisposed to buying.

A lot can go wrong in your marketing message and offer yet it’s often an area that isn’t given enough time and attention by business owners.

You suffer from this constraint if only a small proportion of the right people who see your message then make contact. There are two symptoms to look out for:

  1. If you’re always under pressure to reduce your price.
  2. If you struggle to explain why people should buy from you and not from your competitors.

The Business SOS advice can help you to develop your Irresistible Promise.

(If you’ve seen enough and I’ve covered what may be your biggest constraint, click to Business SOS and you’ll be taken to the right section.)

Critical Factor 3 – You Need To Get Your Irresistible Promise In Front Of The Eyes And Ears Of Your Target Customers And Do It Often

This is about the choice of marketing media you use to communicate your marketing message and how often your prospects see the messages.

If you get it right, your customers will often see a compelling marketing message from you. When it’s the right time for them to buy, they will make contact with you.

For many, the choice of marketing media is what marketing is all about.

It’s not.

It’s one of the seven critical factors.

How often have you been told “you must have a website” or “you must use Facebook”? Or perhaps direct mail or telephone based selling and prospecting (that’s setting up appointments)? Or advertising on the local radio, in the newspapers or specialist magazines. Or…or….or…

The truth is, there are many ways to get your message in front of your prospective customers. Some will cost more than they earn which is why you must trial small, test and measure your success.

This constraint is a serious problem if your targeted customers aren’t seeing your marketing messages often enough to build up credibility and not seeing it at the right time, i.e. when they want to buy.

The Business SOS advice can help you to understand which media are likely to make sense for you to use. I’ll also encourage you to measure and test.

(If you’ve seen enough and I’ve covered what may be your biggest constraint, click to Business SOS and you’ll be taken to the right section.)

Critical Factor 4 – You Must Deliver A Great Customer Experience

Do you realise a customer is assessing your business and its suitability every time he or she comes into contact with it? This happens before they buy, while they are buying and after they buy and use the product or service. These touchpoints are your moments of truth.

Do you deliver well at each of them?

If you get it right, the customer has a positive experience every single time there is contact and builds confidence in your business, your products and your services.

There are a lot of things that can go wrong which is why recruitment and training of your staff are important along with having clear systems and processes. Potential problems will vary widely with the type of business you have.

To get some idea of how your customers might feel, do you remember the times when things went wrong when you were a buyer and how how frustrating even little things can be? I bet it affected your opinion of the supplier.

You are trapped in this constraint when your prospective customers come into contact with your business and are left disappointed.

The Business SOS advice session can help you to identify these moments of truth and think through the standards you want to set for your business to deliver consistently.

(If you’ve seen enough and I’ve covered what may be your biggest constraint, click to Business SOS and you’ll be taken to the right section.)

Critical Factor 5 – You Must Take Opportunities To Sell More To Customers

This means making sure that the customer buys what they really want at the start. After that, they should have the opportunity to keep buying while they satisfy their want or need.

This is about helping your customers and helping yourself.

If you get it right, your customers are happy to keep buying from you because they continue to get more value back than they pay out.

Are you worried about coming over as “salesy” and this has been holding you back?

The example I often use is when you’re having a meal in a restaurant and the offers from the waiter help you to have a great experience. I’m sure you don’t resent being asked if you’d like to see the wine list, to have a drink from the bar, a dessert or a coffee. It’s part and parcel of offering good service.

This constraint hampers your business greatly if you aren’t clear about what the customer really wants at the start and you don’t continue to make offers that are good for the customer.

The Business SOS advice session can help you to see how you can make additional offers that genuinely help the customers.

(If you’ve seen enough and I’ve covered what may be your biggest constraint, click to Business SOS and you’ll be taken to the right section.)

Critical Factor 6 – You Must Encourage Happy Customers To Refer And Recommend Your Business To Others

Your customers can be your best salespeople through their referrals, reviews and testimonials.

If you get this right, a steady stream of qualified customers will come to you with little effort from yourself.

One of the big benefits of the Internet for buyers is that they can get behind the slick marketing messages and find out the opinion of other customers. Instead of relying on the experience of family, friends and colleagues, there is now a much wider circle of influence.

This can be a huge constraint if you receive negative “word-of-mouth” comments and reviews. Alternatively, you miss out on a good opportunity if you don’t get positive reviews and referrals.

The Business SOS advice session can help you to improve your reputation and find ways to encourage more customer referrals.

(Just one more to go but if you’ve seen enough and I’ve covered what may be your biggest constraint, click to Business SOS and you’ll be taken to the right section.)

Critical Factor 7 – You Must Have A Positive Marketing Mindset That Allows You To See Opportunities And Possibilities And Then Take Effective Action

How you think and feel about marketing will have a major impact on what you do.

If you get this right, marketing is fun, satisfying and even fascinating.

There is a chicken and egg problem here. Your marketing mindset may struggle because of the results of your marketing or your disappointing marketing may have been caused because you don’t have the right marketing mindset.

If this is a constraint and stays a constraint, you will remain stuck. You won’t approach your marketing in the right way, you won’t know enough and you’ll reach for easy solutions. This will probably be new or changed marketing media solutions that people convince you are the right ways to go. Yet, if you don’t solve constraints in the other areas, you’re stuck in the “weak link in the chain” situation.

The Business SOS advice session can help you to improve your marketing mindset.

To Summarise…

There are seven main marketing constraints you may be suffering from:

  1. You haven’t found your hungry crowd.
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  2. You haven’t identified your irresistible promise.
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  3. You don’t get your message in front of enough of the right people as often as you should.
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  4. Prospective customers and customers get a poor experience from their dealings with the business.
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  5. You don’t ask your customers to buy what they really want or encourage them to buy often enough.
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  6. You don’t get enough positive recommendations and reviews.
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  7. You don’t have a positive marketing mindset that lets you take advantage of opportunities.

Do any of those sound or feel familiar?

Things may not be as black as they appear. If you have some happy customers, you’re doing some things right.

The aim is to resolve the areas where your business is seriously constrained and to build on what you do right.

I’m happy to give you 60 minutes of my time without any obligation. This would normally cost up to £300.

We won’t have a chance to work on all these issues but we can have a good look at one of them or a less detailed look at a few.

If you’re sick and tired of disappointing email and you’re ready to do something about it, email me, ask for a Business SOS and tell me about your business.

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My Business SOS Will Help You Fix Your Marketing Difficulties

I’d like to offer you a free Business SOS (Second Opinion Session) to help you identify your particular marketing constraints.Then we will talk about what you can do to improve that constraint, and as a result, how you can attract, convert and keep more customers.

This 60 minutes session is focused on you and your business. I promise I won’t even talk about my services unless you ask.

Let me be clear.

There is no obligation to buy my business coaching and advice. In fact, I probably don’t want you to.

I am semi-retired on health grounds and I can only work with one business owner each morning. I offer this Business SOS because talking to people like you gives me more variety of challenges to think about. It also means I am helping more people.

At the moment the session is free. I could charge for it in the future but, currently, I have space for an extra client.

After the Business SOS session, there are two main ways you benefit:

  1. You feel better about your business. You understand why things were going wrong and what you can do to fix your marketing. Your frustration turns to determination to take effective action.
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  2. When you’ve started making positive changes, more revenue flows into your business. Your money worries start to ease as you attract, convert and keep more customers.

I hope I also encourage you to learn more about marketing. The “school of hard knocks” is probably the best teacher but the lessons are often very expensive in terms of mistakes made and opportunities missed. I’m very happy to recommend books and training courses to help you to learn more. I’ll even give you tips on how to find a business coach

To start getting your marketing unstuck, email me at paul@businessdevelopmentadvice.com, ask for a Business SOS and tell me about your business.

Why Listen To My Advice?

Good question.

There are two big concerns for many business owners before they contact a business advisor.

One is how much it will cost. At least you know these 60 minutes are free and given to you without any expectation other than you will change what you do after we speak.

The second concern is that they may know more about business than the “expert”.

I admit it is easy to become a business coach or business advisor. There are no compulsory qualifications and no legal protection of the titles, unlike medical doctors and solicitors.

People come to business coaching from many different routes and what people mean by coaching can vary considerably.

Let me reassure you of my own expertise:

  • I have more than 35 years of business experience. I’ve been a self employed consultant, coach and advisor since 1995.
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  • I am a chartered accountant. At university I gained an Economics and Accounting degree and I was torn between finance and marketing. I chose accounting through a masochistic streak. I didn’t understand finance and I believed it was critical for whatever I wanted to do in the business world. I qualified as a chartered accountant in 1985 and by the following year, I’d started going on marketing courses and reading marketing books.
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    This accountant-turned-marketer may seem strange but I believe it’s a huge advantage.The type of marketing I recommend is called direct response marketing. It involves tracking and measuring how the campaigns are performing and then experimenting to improve returns.
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    My finance background also means I’m also much more focused on improving profit and cash flow than sales value. You see, sometimes, increasing sales can mean lower profit and worse cash flow.
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  • I have an MBA with distinction from the Manchester Business School, one of the best business schools in the UK. MBA stands for Master of Business Administration and is recognised as the premier general management qualification.
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  • I have read 490 business books to keep my skills up-to-date as well as worked through many training courses. One of the ways I live my purpose of helping business owners is by writing detailed book reviews to help people like you to find the most appropriate advice.
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    I have also worked through many expensive business growth training programs as I aim to bring you a compilation of the best business advice, ideas and tips I can find. It is a never-ending search but I do it so you don’t have to. You can learn more about my mentors.
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  • I’ve blogged about business for more than ten years and written several free reports. There’s plenty of chance to read about my ideas for building a better business.

Your journey towards solving the constraints holding back your marketing starts with  one simple action.

Email me, ask for a Business SOS and tell me about your business. Isn’t it time you did it?

What Other People Have To Say About This Free Service

As I said above, there is no obligation to buy my services and these comments are all by people who didn’t become clients but found my free advice very helpful.

“Incredibly insightful, thanks.” Boris van Hemmen

“Our chat has been a big help. Thanks for the time and effort you spent.” Chrissie Vowles-Barrett

“After a turbulent period, I was lacking focus and drive. I  decided to use Paul’s free business SOS not expecting much, however, I received an in depth email which clarified my options and helped me implement immediate changes within my business.” Jill Crowther

You Can See This Free Session In One Of Two Ways

This call can either be:

  1. A one-off, no obligation free service to help you now that things are difficult. There is no sales pitch. You’ll have to ask if you want to know more about my services. Why am I doing this? I get a kick out of helping business owners and these 60 minute consultations give me a quick way to help more people.
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  2. If you feel you might want ongoing help, you can see it as a possible introduction to my business coaching and advice . This is a “try before you buy” offer because, regardless of how I’ve helped other business owners, what matters is how I can prove I can help you. Personal chemistry is also key.

You’ve got nothing to lose. You’ll get help you need or at least be pointed in the right direction.

Email me at Paul@BusinessDevelopmentAdvice.com with Business SOS in the subject line and tell me why you feel stuck and would like some support.

Just be aware that my time for these sessions is restricted and I can only do one or two a week. Ask now and get towards the front of the queue.

If You Want To Become A Client…

My Services1-2-1 Business CoachingCoaching For WomenFees & GuaranteeAbout Me

If you have found the Business SOS call helpful and you’d like to become a client, there are a few things you need to know.

  1. I reduce the “I can’t afford it” problem by getting paid the majority of my fee after the business has been improved (please see Fees and Guarantee). This is very rare. Few business coaches and advisors are willing to link their fees to your success.
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  2. I make it very easy for you to “try before you buy” through this Business SOS process. This call is focused on giving you genuine help and advice and I don’t hold back. The best proof I can help you is to demonstrate it to you during the Business SOS.
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  3. Because I’m semi-retired, I can only have one main client per day. If you become a client, you are special to me and not just one of many. I don’t work to the clock and stop the call at the 50 minute mark because my next client is scheduled in 10 minutes. Often my coaching calls last two hours, taking the time needed to make sure you understand while also aiming to move you and your business forward quickly.
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  4. The one downside of only having one client a day is I am fussy about who I’ll work with on a longer term project. Don’t be surprised if I try to put you off. Sometimes it is because I think someone else will help you more than I can. Other times, it’s because I’m testing your commitment to improve your business.

If You Become A Client, I Get Most Of My Fees When You Confirm You’re Making Progress

Because of the way I choose to work, mainly getting paid from the improvement in your results, it’s as important to me to choose the right clients as it is for you to choose the right business coach and advisor.

I expect to do many Business SOS calls with business owners who aren’t suitable to be my clients or, to be honest, don’t want my regular help. Don’t feel shy or committed to doing something you don’t want.

Other Options To Get My Help

If you’d prefer to start with a shorter “getting to know you” chat before deciding if you want the free Business SOS, that’s fine too provided you’re genuinely looking for an ongoing relationship.

Email me at Paul@BusinessDevelopmentAdvice.com and tell me you’d like a chat before the Business SOS.

This means I won’t do as much preparation before we speak but I’d still to like to know what your business does and your website address, if you have one.

Another option is that we can do the entire Business SOS by email if it’s hard for you to arrange a time to talk. Just be aware that I’m likely to ask more detailed questions up front. I can’t clarify if my ideas are relevant when I’m not talking to you unless I know more about you and your situation.

Again email me at Paul@BusinessDevelopmentAdvice.com and make it clear you’d like the email version of the Business SOS.

I have written the following free report. I recommend that you download it to experience my ideas before you talk to me. This is based on the critical factors mentioned above although it doesn’t go into the mindset issues.

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Paul Simister BA FCA MBA CGMC