Fueling Organic Growth In Your Business.

Fueling Organic Growth In Your Business.

A stable and continually executed local marketing plan to build clientele is one of the most important elements in maintaining a successful business.

Marketing is a full-time job, from the planning, to the relationship building, to the execution and ordering of materials - all components in the local marketing plan take time and energy.  Business owners need to, therefore, develop a system to give themselves time to concentrate on marketing and relationship building while others (staff) oversee operations.



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  1. Relationship building

Many business owners can do more local marketing, but they can’t because they have not structured their staffing accordingly to facilitate this necessary task.  This will not necessarily result in business failure will encroach on the ability of the business to reach it’s full potential.

If the business owner is taking the risk, working the long hours to earn a living, then that’s a decision within their prerogative.  However, exceeding average sales and surmounting the inevitable inertia consumers have towards purchasing a new brand involves disciplined, strategic options, such as relationship building.  This is done in many ways, including:


  1. Introduction to local businesses. Finding ways that your product . service helps businesses; provide discounts to businesses in your area.


  1. Chambers of Commerce. Establish relationships with other business owners who may be part of your target market.


  1. Identifying any other place your target market may be, and establishing relationships with those people.


The intent of establishing relationships with the right people is to establish trust.  Once the trust is established, then you’re 90% of the way to securing new customers.

If you think about it, in most cases, unless you’re in a transactional business, where someone needs something now and they’re going to make a relatively quick purchasing decision, selling the product or service to someone is going to be predicated on a foundation of trust.

This of course takes time, but the intended result is a higher quality pool of customers because of a relationship based on trust .  When someone trusts you, the value component of the product or service you’re offering will be enhanced because they attach your strong values to the product/service.  Strong sales and loyalty naturally follow.

Contrast this with a merchant – customer relationship based on price.  For example, someone enters the store and inquires of the price.  After finding out, he shops around and determines that your price is the lowest, so he purchases from you.  To use a metaphor of boiled water, the relationship is relatively cold because it really has had no time to warm up.  With no trust and no attachment, the customer will change vendors as soon as he can find a lower price.

Unless your billing for each sale is high (in which case it’s in your best interest to make the sale), the benefits of such a customer relationship are limited.  Without time to establish trust and value, this person will probably hunt for your lowest price, will never turn into a referral champion, and may, in the long run, use up more or your business resources than add to them.


  1. Target the right type of customer

Establish what makes an ideal customer, and then pursue that profile.  Be careful to spend your time and money on that particular profile.  It’s advantageous to concentrate local marketing efforts among a demographic, locale, or other criteria which you can identify as having the highest probability of your return on time and money invested.

Regardless of your target  - or emphasis – market, there are venues to which those people will congregate.  So the idea is to emphasize where they are.  A shotgun approach will probably result in under-performing benefits.


  1. Discipline

A local marketing effort of course takes time.  The benefits really only start to accrue when you have an established place in the community (ie: many people know you’re there).  They subconsciously know that your name will be at public events and locations.

When this happens, people start to refer because your name is on their mind.  At the beginning when financial resources are more limited, local marketing and “get-the-name-out campaigns are word of mouth and take time – you can’t substitute eye-to eye contact for a mailer.

The fact remains that local store marketing will drive sales and future growth.   Ongoing marketing efforts can “protect” your business from possible future competition moving into the area, since your name is at least known to people in the area, and the competition are going to have an uphill battle wedging in to the influence that you’ve created in the minds of both existing and non-existent (soon-to-be) customers.



Nicholas Kilpatrick is a partner at the accounting firm of Burgess Kilpatrick in Vancouver, B.C.  He concentrates his practice on assisting business owners with accounting services, tax and estate planning and overall business growth development.



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