Where can I find the best marketing advice? You could start by reading this unbiased report and by having a listen to Steve’s video below about how best to find the best marketing advice for your business. The truth is it’s not easy.

Let’s firstly look at the questions you should ask. 1. Should I trust a marketing company at all? To answer this question, let’s take a little look at why people start off in business? There are clearly many reasons, but the overriding ones are:

a) They are good at what they do and they want to do it for themselves b) They want to become wealthy c) They want to reduce their working hours d) They want to get rid of the idiot they are working for e) They enjoy doing what they do and they want to do it even more (usually this involves turning a hobby into a business) The mistake many business owners make is that they believe that because they are good at doing the work ‘of the business’ that means they can run a business that does that work and it simply is not true!

So the business owner hires an accountant because they know that they cannot do their own accounts and they start off in business, undertaking the operational and marketing side of the company themselves. Anything from six months down the road onwards they realise that their marketing is NOT WORKING! Then one of two things happens;

1. They either go bust/cease trading (76% of all companies started 5 years ago are no longer trading), or…

2. They have built a venture that relies solely upon referral for their business and that earns them just enough profit to keep the wolves from the door.

The question is, are you happy with your current profit? The second question is, are you happy leaving your marketing to someone who is not an expert in this field and/or someone who does not have the time to do it anyway?

So having identified that you are not happy with the current success of your business and you want to do better and you are not the best person to do this work, let’s look at the options:

a) You can employ a full/or part time person to do the work b) You can externalise this work to a marketing company The problem with (a) is that you still don’t have a marketing system and unless you pay ‘top dollar’ you are going to get someone with lots of ideas regarding how that can spend your heard earned cash!!!

I remember Sir John Harvey Jones saying that when he took over as CEO of ICI one of the first things he did was to recognise that ICI where wasting about 50% of their marketing budget. The problem is that they did not know which 50% this was!

One thing for certain is that a vast amount of money is wasted on marketing. So the first tip would be to find a company who is not going to waste your money and if they do waste any money at all, it will be wasted on a small conservative test, before any significant money is invested!

So if you do decide to hire a marketing company here are some thoughts. Get it right and you can look forward to huge success. Get it wrong and you could be seeing the end of your business.

So what’s the problem, aren’t all marketing companies great?

Well to be honest no, and we are not wishing to decry our industry, but anyone can set up a marketing company tomorrow and start trading the day after.

*There are two essential things you want from a marketing consultant:

  1. A measurable improvement in profitability (the ‘bottom-line’) 2. Continuation of that improvement Having established what you want – let’s see how to achieve it. First of all, let’s look at some questions for us to ask a potential marketing company, as well as how much do you charge!*

Do you have an understanding of our industry? This one is useful, but not essential, it enables the marketing company to get started quicker, but don’t dismiss a great company just because they have not worked in your industry. Also beware the specialist who only works in your industry. There is a chance you will end up doing exactly the same as everyone else?

Do they employ specialists? The company may need to employ people with specialists skills in things like internet optimisation, advertising, PR, etc.

If you want to talk about – Where I can find the best marketing advice and you would you like to discuss your business marketing needs with Steve? Book a free, no obligation 1-2-1 through the calendar HERE.

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Steve Mills