Marketing Strategy is a MASSIVE topic. So I'll start by defining the term thoroughly.
Marketing is defined as the entire process of promoting and selling a product or service, including market research.
Strategy is the art of achieving a goal or aim utilizing a plan that maximizes the use of your strength, minimizes any weaknesses, and allows you to overcome obstacles in order to achieve your stated goal.
So when we combine these two definitions, it's the art and science of achieving a set goal of promoting and selling a product or service utilizing your strengths against others' weaknesses, while minimizing your weaknesses to achieve your stated goal.
Simple vs Complicated
My intention in this article is to give you as simple of a path to 500k in revenues as possible. I'll be writing a separate article (or it might wind up being a book) that goes way more in-depth on each of the steps below but this will guide you in the right direction.
Let us start with setting a goal. As a marketing strategy is so broad, this article will specifically focus on small businesses that are generating less than 500k a year. This encompasses about 25 million small businesses around the United States that only have a single employee.
For the purposes of this blog, we'll set the target to grow and scale your business. Whether that's because you want to drive a bigger impact, have more money personally, or you want to scale to exit these 4 strategies below will guide you on your way. Below I've set a priority list of strategies that your business will need to implement:
0. Your Value/Your Vehicle - One of the greatest mistakes you can make is choosing the wrong vehicle.
1. Revenue Generation - If you're not making any money, step 1 is to start generating revenue so that you can pay your bills.
2. Profit Generation - If you're generating revenue but you're either not generating enough to generate a profit or you're losing revenue for every sale you make this will be the second strategy to implement.
3. Pricing/Inventory - If you're generating revenue and it's enough to cover the bills and it's doing it profitably then it's time to set a pricing/inventory strategy together.
4. Creating and Scaling processes - Once the above 4 are in place you should be able to move your business to 500k in revenues that are generating profits while expanding your business.
Strategy 0: Choosing the right vehicle & Determining your Value
Ideally, before you go into business you figure out how much money you can make from that business. Some businesses are not businesses to make money and that's perfectly good. If you think of Charities, you'll likely not get rich on these ventures.
This can require a massive mindset shift, however, the biggest change most Entrepreneurs will need to undertake is to change from an Hourly value to what is the result worth. For example, a plumber may have been paid $50/Hr as an employee but to a homeowner that has had 3 plumbers out who couldn't fix some sewage problem and you can fix it in 10 minutes due to your knowledge, is that worth $10 for your time, or is it worth $1000 because that homeowner can now go back to work, live their life, and get back to normal?
The best way to make this shift is to either read books or listen to successful Entrepreneurs that have achieved great success. Listen to Jeff Bezos, Elon Musk, Bill Gates, or other inspirational leaders such as Grant Cardone, Gary V etc. The key is to surround yourself with people who have either achieved what you're dreaming of or have achieved much more than that.
One of the biggest advantages that I've seen with businesses that do well is recurring revenue. It's much easier to grow your business consistently with recurring revenue. If there's some way for you to generate revenue monthly this is something that will drastically increase your chance of success.
Strategy 1: Revenue Generation
Making money. Closing Deals. Selling. Promoting. All of these are about expanding your business by expanding the top line of your business. When you're just starting out, your biggest concern should be how to sell and promote your services. I've seen business owners who were so focused on making the product that they didn't even get around to selling it.
You must start with promoting and selling the idea of what you want to sell. Even if the "sale" is to get onto a waiting list to get updates, you need to get feedback from real people on what they'd be willing to pay for, what they'd give you their contact information for etc.
Ways to market, especially at this stage, will often be more time-intensive but will cost you less in dollars until you start generating revenue.
- Write relevant & helpful content
- Post on your personal social media
- Join relevant Facebook groups
- Post in those groups.
- Join relevant LinkedIn Groups & post there
- After the above, shoot a video that gives value with a call to action to connect with you in some way. Run that as a Facebook video ad or Youtube ad. Spend as little as $5/Day
Almost any business should be able to do the above. There's a lot to writing or shooting great content and I'll probably write a lot more on that separately, but to keep it simple, think of questions you or your customers have on the topic of your services or products and answer those questions.
The above, acted upon strongly enough should be able to generate you some revenue.
Strategy 2. Profit Generation
Never sell a product for less than it costs you. That's how you generate a profit in the product arena. It's simple.
If you're selling a service, make sure it's actually worth your time. This goes back to choosing the right vehicle. Also, make sure you're getting paid upfront as much as possible as having to spend time on collections wastes valuable time that could be spent generating more revenue.
Generating profit should be simple at this point.
Strategy 3. Pricing/Inventory
Now that you've started selling and closing deals, making money and generating a profit it's time to see what else you can sell to your existing clients. Making a second or third or fourth sales (etc.) is much, much, much! easier than getting a brand new first client.
For an inventory, the ideal scene is that you have what your client is going to buy anyways. So if you're selling lawn care, if you can also offer pest control or pressure washing etc.
For us when someone starts with Facebook Advertising, we also offer Google ads, content creation, setting up a CRM, and other services that our clients often need.
Here are the steps to implementing this:
- Find out what else your customers are buying
- Either offer it yourself or create an affiliate relationship with someone that does that job extraordinarily well
This will help you to increase your revenues and will put you well on the path towards generating 500k a year which is only $41,666 a month.
Strategy 4. Creating Processes and Scaling your Team
Lastly, if you haven't yet hit the target of 500k in revenues, then your last step is to document the processes that you used to get this far. You should be generating at least 15k a month (depending on your industry) and you now need to figure out some functions that you can pass onto another person.
While this doesn't necessarily fall into the Marketing & Sales arena, you will need to build a team to help you scale your business.