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Survey Says New Technology and Marketing Key to Business Growth April 3, 2012

Posted by dennissommer in Marketing.
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A majority of business leaders plan to use digital, social media, tablets and smartphones as marketing tools in the coming year to grow their business.

Business leaders are increasing their use of the Internet and social media platforms to connect with customers and grow their businesses, according to a recent survey by Citibank, of 749 business leaders.

A majority of the business leaders surveyed, (65 percent) cited increased marketing activities as a key step in growing their business. The survey also found that smartphones ranked as the best technology solution for businesses, with nearly half (48 percent) currently using smartphones.

While the large majority (70 percent) of business leaders used their company website as a marketing channel, (41 percent) said they have used social media channels, such as LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter, in the last year.  Sixty-two (62 percent) haven’t used email for marketing purposes.  A figure that remains the same from when Citibank first surveyed business leaders about social media and online marketing in 2010.

As business leaders are moving online, and relying more heavily on their company website, online channels represent an emerging opportunity to help grow their businesses.  In fact, many business leaders plan to use digital and social media tools in the coming year.

According to the survey, (60 percent) plan to increase activity on their website for marketing purposes, (40 percent) intend to use social networking sites such as Facebook, LinkedIn or Twitter for marketing and (38 percent) plan to leverage email marketing tactics to drive awareness and sales of products and services.

What does this all mean?

Slowly but surely, business leaders are starting to spend more time and money on their marketing and technology programs.  They are starting to understand, to increase their market share, awareness of their business and drive business growth, they need to implement cost effective and efficient technology and marketing tools.

So, what are you going to do this year to drive your business growth?

Until next time  . . .

Think Big and Take Action !

Dennis Sommer

Dennis Sommer is the CEO of Executive Business Advisers . Dennis is a highly sought after business growth expert with over 25 years experience.  His specialty is helping companies improve their business performance and sales revenue growth in 30 days.

If improving business performance and sales revenue growth is a priority of yours this year, contact us today to see how Executive Business Advisers can help.  Call 330-676-1876 or email us at sales@ebaac.com

Copyright © 2012 Dennis Sommer All rights reserved.

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5 Tweaks to Energize Your Business Growth April 4, 2011

Posted by dennissommer in Marketing, Sales.
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Are you going through the same old motions that worked in the past with fewer results today?  Have you run out of good ideas?  Are your competitors taking business away from you?  If so, what you might need to do is make a few tweaks to energize your business growth.

It doesn’t need to be a major overhaul of your business.  A few minor tweaks might be enough.  The important thing is to recognize the need for action and make informed decisions.

To identify where changes are most needed, you will have to dig for details about various aspects of your business. Don’t focus on individual issues, but how they fit together as a whole.

Start with these 5 areas:

1. Create a New Image
Has your customer base changed since you first started?  Is the market broader or narrower, older or younger, more upscale or less?  You might need a new image, revved up branding or perhaps just a rewrite of your website and marketing materials.

2. Improve Value Delivered
Take a hard look at whether your products or services are competitive and performing up to customer value expectations. Your goal should be to exceed value expectations. Your own customers can help with this. Talk with your customers and get feedback on how your products or services are adding value to their business and what could be done to improve them.

3. Improve Marketing Results
If your marketing is not generating a large number of leads and buying customers, it may be time to re-evaluate and devise a new marketing strategy. Take a look at your message, presentation, what you are offering and the marketing methods used to reach your target customer.

4. Recapture Your Enthusiasm
Revisit your original business plan. You might be able to recapture some of the insight and enthusiasm you originally had when starting your business.  Think back to your most successful promotions, presentations or sales efforts. Rather than reinventing the wheel, you might be able to update and expand an approach that has already worked for your business in the past.

5. Seek Outside Perspectives
Don’t be afraid to seek outside perspectives from others. After all, you might be too close to the situation to understand the key issues, sources and potential solutions. Meet and brainstorm with your trusted advisers, mentors, friends, partners, employees and outside consultants. Ask customers to give you frank feedback.

A few tweaks to your business may be just what is needed to energize your business improvement and growth.

Think Big and Take Action !
Dennis Sommer

Dennis Sommer is the CEO of Executive Business Advisers . Dennis is a highly sought after sales, marketing and business growth expert.  His specialty is helping CEO’s and executive teams improve their business performance and growth.

If improving business growth, sale or marketing performance is a priority of yours this year, contact us today to see how Executive Business Advisers can help.  Call 800-627-6512 or email us at sales@ebaac.com

10 Entrepreneurial Traits You Need to Grow a Business July 29, 2010

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Entrepreneurial spirit is a key leadership characteristic needed to improve business growth in today’s challenging economy.  Improving business growth is not easy.  Having more entrepreneurial spirit in your organization can help you achieve your goals.

The days of sitting back, waiting for customers to call or waiting to be told what to do are gone.  Successful growth companies today expect managers and employees to have an entrepreneurial spirit.

They expect their employees to take risks, to identify new opportunities and the employees are empowered to make major decisions.

If you or your employees don’t already have an entrepreneurial spirit, developing one can be tough.  But, it’s not impossible. You will need to develop certain personality traits.

Research has shown that the best entrepreneurs share these common characteristics:

1.  Confidence

2.  Courage

3.  Decisiveness

4.  Drive

5.  Experience

6.  Knowledge

7.  Patience

8.  Perseverance

9.  Self Awareness

10.  Self Motivation

Business growth success may depend on your organizations entrepreneurial spirit.  If you feel this is lacking in your organization, start putting together an improvement plan today and focus on these 10 entrepreneur characteristics.

I look forward to hearing from you.

Dennis Sommer
CEO, Executive Business Advisers

My specialty is helping companies improve their business growth, sales and marketing performance.

Business improvement specialties include: business startup  , business growth , sales , marketing , business coaching , strategic planning and customer retention

Call me today to schedule a free consultation:   800-627-6512

 

Develop Loyal Customers to Improve Business Growth July 22, 2010

Posted by dennissommer in Customer Service.
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Developing loyal customers is a simple and proven tactic used by top performers to improve business growth in today’s challenging economy.  Improving business growth is not easy.  This simple strategy can help you achieve your goals.

Do you pat yourself on the back because you have so many satisfied customers? Well, having satisfied customers may not be good enough. In today’s tough economic times true success will be measured by the number of “loyal” customers you have.

Sure, every company, salesman, and consultant wants satisfied customers, but can or should you do better than that? Should you have loyal customers?

What’s the difference? Satisfied customers are still willing to listen to your competitors, but loyal customers think you are the greatest thing since sliced bread.

You develop loyal customers by continually asking your satisfied customers if there’s anything else you can do for them. And once you have a loyal customer, make them part of your team by asking them to refer you to their friends and colleagues.

How To Dazzle Your Customer Base

1. Go out of your way for loyal customers. Do them a favor. Locate a hard to find item or, if your staff is tied up, do the work yourself.

2. Under promise and over deliver. Do they need it in two weeks? Give it to them in one.

3. Offer your best customers a benefit they didn’t even know existed. Did they miss a special offer? Give them a discount anyway.

4. Follow up, especially after a big order or a major project. Are they satisfied, or is there something else you can do for them?

5. Above all, be honest. Don’t oversell goods or services. Show them you have their best interests at heart, and you’ll have a customer for life.

Keeping Loyal Customers

Consider this, it costs six times more to sell something to a new customer than to an existing one. Follow these steps to keep your loyal customer base.

1. Within two days of making a sale, send your customers a thank you note.

2. Thirty days later, send another note or call to find out if the customer has any questions.

3. Within 90 days, send buyers another note telling them about related products or services.

4. After nine months, ask for the names of three people you can add to your mailing list.

5. On the one year anniversary of the sale, send a card, perhaps with a discount included.

Never stop courting your loyal customers. Loyal customers should make up 50 to 75% of your customer base.

I look forward to hearing from you.

Dennis Sommer
CEO, Executive Business Advisers

My specialty is helping companies improve their business growth, sales and marketing performance.

Business improvement specialties include: business startup  , business growth , sales , marketing , business coaching , strategic planning and customer retention

Call me today to schedule a free consultation:   800-627-6512

 

How Employee Training Can Improve Business Growth, Even When Budgets are Tight July 8, 2010

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Experts say, employee training is a simple and proven tactic used by top performers to improve business growth in today’s challenging economy.  Improving business growth is not easy.  This simple strategy can help you achieve your goals.

Employee training is a critical element to your business growth.  Training suffers in lean times, but it remains a critical element in your business success. 

When a company must make budget cuts, employee training and education is one area that often takes a direct hit. While training cutbacks may be intended to control costs, they can undermine a company’s ability to remain on top of new developments, eliminate a company’s competitive edge and make it harder to retain employees.

Here are four tips used by training experts for maintaining effective training efforts when budgets are tight:

1. E-learning
The growing popularity and availability of e-learning make it an obvious starting point for training on a budget.  Employees can work at their own pace, making it more convenient for them and less costly for you. 

2. Classroom Training
Despite the convenience of e-learning, sometimes there is no substitute for the face-to-face interaction with an instructor. Keep in mind that you may not need to hire trainers from outside the organization to lead training sessions; managers within the firm, consultants working on site or recently retired employees might be ideal candidates to step in.

3. Mentoring
Mentoring is another convenient and rewarding way to enhance knowledge transfer among your employees and cultivate future leaders for the company. These programs can be used to supplement online or classroom instruction, or as the sole method of imparting knowledge. 

4. Make It Easy
If workers are expected to complete courses on personal time, they may skip training opportunities entirely. Be willing to make scheduling accommodations or adjust workloads when necessary.  Instead of training sessions lasting 4 to 8 hours, break them down into 1 to 2 hour increments.  These training sessions can be taken during a lunch and learn time or at the end of the day. 

The above tips work extremely well when training budgets are tight.  When budgets become more flexible, consider providing tuition reimbursement to your staff. Robert Half International and CareerBuilder recently reported  61 percent of employees surveyed said tuition reimbursement or subsidized training was the perk they most expected their employers to provide or enhance once the economy improves.

Employee training will help you retain good employees and provide your company with a competitive edge.  This is critical when you are looking for business growth improvement in these challenging times.

I look forward to hearing from you.

Dennis Sommer
CEO, Executive Business Advisers

My specialty is helping companies improve their business growth, sales and marketing performance.

Business improvement specialties include: business startup  , business growth , sales , marketing , business coaching , strategic planning and customer retention

Call me today to schedule a free consultation:   800-627-6512

 

Write Everything Down to Improve Business Growth June 23, 2010

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Experts say, writing everything down is a simple and proven tactic used by top performers to improve business growth in today’s challenging economy. Improving business growth is not easy. This simple strategy will help you achieve your goals.

How many times have you lost clients, sales revenue or new business growth opportunities because you forgot a key piece of information? Maybe it was a new business idea, key date, important person, a goal, an action item you needed to accomplish, vital client information, key client issue, etc. Are you willing to bet your business and career on your ability to remember everything?

Sometimes it’s the little things that make a difference when you are trying to grow your business or career. The simple concept of writing down information can be the difference between dramatic business growth and business failure.

Think of it this way – It’s not real until you write it down. If it’s important to your business success, write it down. If you don’t have it written down, you can easily consider it not important, accidentally change the details in your mind, or worse yet forget entirely. Don’t let this happen to you.

Within your business, write down:
— Business and strategic plans
— Sales and marketing plans
— Business mission and vision
— Business goals and objectives
— Key business indicators
— Tactical action plans
— New business ideas
— Product improvement ideas
— Competitor analysis
— Milestones
— Sales process
— Job descriptions
— etc . . .

When working with clients, write down:
— Client details
— Industry information
— Challenges they face
— Barriers they have encountered
— Opportunities missed
— What they want to accomplish
— Time issues they may have
— Money to spend
— People needed and available
— Solutions to their challenges
— What you are working on
— What you accomplished
— New ideas
— etc . . .

When you write everything down, you will have a clear picture of what you need to do and when you need to do it. This is critical when you are looking for business growth improvement in these challenging times.

I look forward to hearing from you.

Dennis Sommer
CEO, Executive Business Advisers

My specialty is helping companies improve their business growth, sales and marketing performance.

Business improvement specialties include: business startup  , business growth , sales , marketing , business coaching , strategic planning and customer retention

Call me today to schedule a free consultation:   800-627-6512

 

Being Different to Improve Your Business Strategy June 11, 2010

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Is business strategy improvement a goal of yours this year? Truly differentiating you’re products and services is one proven method to improve your business strategy and growth in today’s challenging economy.

When you act, sound, look and sell the same products and services as other vendors in your industry, current and potential customers just see you as another commodity. This is true for both product and service companies. Pricing is usually the primary and only concern of the customer, because in their eyes, everything else is equal. Price discounting and lower profits is the norm for most businesses in the commodity zone.

To improve your business growth, sales revenues and profits, you need to create a business strategy that focuses on being different. Differentiate your business from others in your market space.

Here are a few things to look at when developing your business strategy to differentiate your business.
— Your website design and look
— Your other sales and marketing collateral
— What you are offering customers
— Product naming
— Language you use, written and verbal
— How you offer your products and services
— How you describe your solutions
— How you describe the benefits
— Your sales process
— Your customer service process

When you differentiate your business, products and services successfully, you become the best choice and selling at a higher price will not be an issue.

I look forward to hearing from you.

Dennis Sommer
CEO, Executive Business Advisers

My specialty is helping companies improve their business growth, sales and marketing performance.

Business improvement specialties include: business startup  , business growth , sales , marketing , business coaching , strategic planning and customer retention

Call me today to schedule a free consultation:   800-627-6512

 

Reinvent Offerings to Improve Business Growth June 1, 2010

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Is business growth improvement a goal of yours this year? Reinventing your product and service offerings is one proven method to improve your business growth in today’s challenging economy.

You can drive dramatic business growth by reinventing what you offer customers in a manner that increases sales volume and profitability. Bigger sales revenue and profitability comes from bigger offerings. Offer super sizes, volume discounts, extended contracts or product bundles.

Try small “Early Buy” incentives to increase volume, but keep them small with a time limit. Stand strong on the value your offering provides and stick with the original price. Do not discount pricing on your offerings if they truly provide the value described.

Provide three options or price points. Customers are more likely not to choice the lowest price. Use a set of three options to move customers from the lowest to the middle price range. Make sure each range is well defined and the differences stand out.

Reinventing your offerings will increase sales revenue and reduce your sales and marketing costs, driving business growth quickly.

I look forward to hearing from you.

Dennis Sommer
CEO, Executive Business Advisers

My specialty is helping companies improve their business growth, sales and marketing performance.

Business improvement specialties include: business startup  , business growth , sales , marketing , business coaching , strategic planning and customer retention

Call me today to schedule a free consultation:   800-627-6512

 

Focus on Niche Markets to Improve Business Growth May 24, 2010

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Is business growth improvement a goal of yours this year? Focusing more of your business on niche markets is one proven method to improve your business growth in today’s challenging economy.

Selling everything to everyone in a major market can blur your image and is very competitive. Instead, position yourself as a market leader in a niche market.

Niche specialists focus on specific industries or type of customers. Based on previous sales history, pick a niche market that drives your greatest sales, profitability and quickest sales cycle.

Focus your efforts on the proven niche market and this will drive sales growth with the least amount of effort. Niche market leaders generate strong sales revenue and profit growth driving up the value of their business.

I look forward to hearing from you.

Dennis Sommer
CEO, Executive Business Advisers

My specialty is helping companies improve their business growth, sales and marketing performance.

Business improvement specialties include: business startup  , business growth , sales , marketing , business coaching , strategic planning and customer retention

Call me today to schedule a free consultation:   800-627-6512

 

Eliminate Underperformers to Improve Business Growth May 17, 2010

Posted by dennissommer in Sales, Strategic Planning.
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Is business growth improvement a goal of yours this year? Getting rid of your underperforming products, services and people is one proven method to improve your business growth in today’s challenging economy.

If you are like most companies, you have added new products and services to your offerings list over the years. You might have added them based on customer requests, new competitor offerings, innovation, entering new market segments or for any number of other reasons.

The general thought is, the more you can offer, the more sales and profit growth opportunities you have. However, the opposite is true. The more you offer, the more confused customers become, leading to longer sales cycles and fewer sales. Your costs of sales, marketing and support increase dramatically. You are spread thinner and thinner and not able to focus on your best sales and profit opportunities.

To dramatically grow sales revenue, improve customer service, reduce costs and improve profits, you need to get rid of all your underperformers. I mean all of them. Evaluate and take action on all of your product, service and staff underperformers.

* Evaluate the sales revenue generated
* Evaluate the cost of sales, marketing and support
* Evaluate individual profitability
* Evaluate time and effort spent
* Evaluate marketing ROI
* Evaluate customer perception
* Evaluate overlapping or duplication

The general rule is – If it’s not performing, shelve it or get rid of it.

Spending less time and money on underperformers will help you drive sales growth and improve your business performance.

I look forward to hearing from you.

Dennis Sommer
CEO, Executive Business Advisers

My specialty is helping companies improve their business growth, sales and marketing performance.

Business improvement specialties include: business startup  , business growth , sales , marketing , business coaching , strategic planning and customer retention

Call me today to schedule a free consultation:   800-627-6512