Are you planning to start a new business? If you are, you cannot do it without marketing. Marketing is the front-line of a business. Technically marketing starts right at the starting phase of a business when you are finding the business idea that will work for you. It means a marketing decision is a major business decision. In this article, you will read about 3 steps to make a better marketing decision.
How do you start a small business successfully? How & why do you make the decision? How do you think clearly? In this article, you will learn how you can start a small business by making the right decisions.
There are no easy answers to these questions. There are also no short-cuts to escape from the situation marred by uncertainty.
The best one can do is to train the mind, and experience the difficult or uncertain situation. As a business owner or entrepreneur, you can take a broad framework to think the problems through.
Here is the three steps framework to approach marketing(business) issues in a small business & make better decisions:
- Review the situation
- Review the opportunity
- Train your mind
1: Review the Situation
This includes the business or economic situation at the time of startup, and your personal financial situation. Sometimes, you decide to do business because you aspire to have a certain lifestyle or values.This might include your hatred for a regular job under a boss or work that has got nothing to do with your interest and personal goals. Whatever is your motivation behind the entrepreneurial act, you need to think it through well. The approach is equally valid for an existing business to review important decisions.
The business situation that you are going to face will vary depending on the circumstances. To keep this reading short, I am going to mention only two possible situation.
The ideal Situation
Probably, the ideal situation is when you have got some extra cash and you would like to invest it. This is the safest bet to take. Often, a decision in such a situation should be easy, at least, in terms of how much dough you can afford to part with. You can give yourself a window of 6-12 months and then quit if the business is not taking off.
The difficult situation
The real challenge is when you don’t have the money. Or you have got barely a budget for 3 months, and you have to decide on a business idea to execute. Worst is when you have already put in a few years raising the business from the ground, the cash that you once had has already consumed, and you can’t quit easily.
It is indeed a stressful process to go through because no matter what you do, your neck is going to be on the line. Although, alternatives might overlap in both cases, the real challenge is if you can still listen to the idealist in you when the difficulties have got the best of you. How much do you give in to pragmatism, is an interesting question to ask?
2: Review the Opportunity
Timing and the skills set of an entrepreneur will determine how a business opportunity is exploited. I don’t reject the idea of just getting lucky sometimes, but often you should actively hunt for opportunities.That’s how things are in life. You need to work for it.
Only proactive people can find business opportunities and make a good use of them.
In a small business, an opportunity analysis can often be one of the hardest things to do in business. You need to find the right fit between you (the business), the opportunity at hand, and the situation (the market forces).
An opportunity analysis is characterized by a set of alternatives demanding almost equal attention. It is a cognitively intense activity. It is going to keep you on the toes in the planning room.
It is an arduous task to manage competing alternatives and settle for one, especially when you can’t delay the decision. However, your values would decide which opportunity to take on. There is no 100% wrong or right decision, it is mostly about what drives you forward.
For example, if you value freedom you might decide to do an online business that can generate a passive income or independent contracts. If it’s not a passive income stream, at least, it should have a flexible schedule.
What business do you do online? It is going to take some time for you to realize what you can or should do. You will be simply overwhelmed by the endless options, and free, but mostly useless advice. Internet is a bizarre place.
Again, how do you decide what business to go for?
You see, raising a business from zero is really hard. You can’t sustain it if you don’t like the work. You need to enjoy it. Your likes and dislikes are significant when carrying an opportunity analysis. The values that are linked to your interests should help you decide on the business opportunity, an important marketing decision.
You can also make use of this simple framework based on Situation, Mindset, and Opportunity if you are already running a small business. All you can do is to refine the opportunity and your mindset by analyzing the situations.
3: Train your Mindset
This is about your goals for the future business and your personal dreams. In fact, the personal dream is the beginning for most business owners. You must train your mind to stay focused and not get distracted. Practice situation and opportunity analysis while remaining focused on the direction or the destination. It is no easy task but the more you train your mind by practice, the better marketing decision you would be able to make.
To start a business, you should be ready for both failure & success. In fact, there are more chances of you failing than succeeding. If you have never experienced a failure, it would be quite hard for you to face business problems and rejections. Failing is not just a closure of business; it can also mean you are most likely to lose everything i.e. your lifestyle.
Prepare yourself mentally for the worst. It helps when the situation gets out of control and despairing. Your mind should be able to sustain the pressure and function when overwhelmed.
Therefore, train your mind, as it is the mindset of an entrepreneur that makes good decisions.
Hope, this brief article was helpful. Please do let me know if you have feedback for me. I will return to this write-up in the future to revise it.
For more operational marketing issues, you can read these 6 easy steps of marketing planning