Allan Starr of Marketing Partners, AZ (http://www.marketingpartnersaz.com) in Phoenix is a long time marketing expert who knows how to simplify tips on how to move a business to the next level and keep it moving into new growth areas. In a recent blog item, Starr offered up a “Top 40” list of ways to get on track toward success.
· Look at your business motives to make sure whether they are fact or ego driven.
· Trust your instincts.
· Conduct a background and capabilities self-exam.
· Measure existing versus required financial and human resources.
· Examine the impact of expansion into new markets on key personal and business relationships.
· Consider vendor relationships.
· Understand that smart growth takes time, so go slowly.
· Utilize research like the type of expansion, timing, and market suitability.
· Look into economic and consumer conditions and trends in the targeted markets.
· Use focus groups.
· Examine relevant case histories.
· Decide if new skills, techniques and business methods will be required.
· Seek expert counsel from a legal basis, accounting and marketing.
· Things that are the hardest to change should be left until the last items.
· Look at your bottom line profit to insure you have shown steady growth over the past few years.
· Do a thorough evaluation of your administrative systems and management team.
· See if staff reorganization is necessary.
· Examine how your staff will have to adapt to the changes you are contemplating.
· Avoid the Peter Principle.
· Go about selecting vendors, employees, partners and alliances.
· Create a business plan.
· Create a marketing plan.
· Include a SWOT analysis.
· Develop entry and long term strategies.
· Set clear campaign objectives.
· Set up goals and budgeting.
· Look into adjustments to product and price adjustments.
· Consider new products for the new markets.
· Look into capitalization.
· Balance guts against apprehension.
· Set up initial startup and progress benchmarks.
· Make up a “why I should list.”
· Make up a “why I shouldn’t list.”
· Keep meticulous notes and records.
· Develop qualified sales and marketing leads.
· Target consumer assessment.
· Assess demand for your products or services.
· Look into in-house and/or sales marketing teams.
· Look at your internal sales and marketing capabilities.
· Assess traditional versus unconventional marketing.
· Look at cross marketing.
· Do some market research.
· Look at creating product or brand awareness.
· Create some “buzz”.
· Develop plenty of competitive intelligence.
· Interview prospects, employees and customers.
· Secure the long-term future of your enterprise.