What effect can current events have on your business? Believe it or not, newsworthy stories can have helpful and practical lessons for seeing your small business in a new light. For a timely example, let’s take a look at Sky Mall.
In January, the purveyor of expensive gizmos and stuff, Sky Mall, filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy. At the end of March, the bankruptcy judge in charge of the case agreed to allow things to proceed with a sale of the trademark and online business to New Jersey-based C&A Marketing Inc. for $1.9 million.
But does this make good business sense? When Sky Mall originally filed, the company claimed that the downfall was due to airline passengers being more involved in their electronic media than looking at a glossy catalog. According to Mashable.com, 97% of airline business travelers and 94% of leisure travelers carry at least one mobile device. A whopping 66% of passengers surveyed by Honeywell Aerospace said that Wi-Fi availability influenced their choice of airline carriers. If things haven’t changed or improved in the marketplace, what kind of risk is this new company taking?
While there’s no sure recipe for effectively reaching customers or reducing business risk, there are a few things that small businesses can do to improve their marketing efforts. In a blog article posted on bizlaunchblog.com, Susan Payton notes three ways to get back to basics and refine your advertising approach.
The first question to ask yourself is, “what does our business do better than anyone else in the marketplace?” Defining this focus will help set up your business as an expert in this distinct area.
Second, consider “what are three things that set us apart from competitors?” To detect these important differences, check with customers, colleagues, and employees to come up with a list of three to five categories. Review the answers and see if you can find common themes. This will help you to brand your business for future marketing campaigns.
Last, define your audience. Knowing your customers inside and out is essential to being successful. You may not have one specific type of customer — but segmenting your customer base into your three top types of customers will help to sharpen the focus of your advertising and marketing efforts.
It’s important to take time to work on your small business marketing plan. Spring is a great time to “clean house” and refresh your plan for the future and success of your business!
What interesting small business news have you seen lately? Have we missed something that you’d like to have discussed? Let us know!