Know what problem you are solving
“As business owners what we are really about is solving problems. It’s that simple really. If people have a problem they are willing to pay for someone to solve and you have that solution – then you have a business.

Create a “Target”
“A ‘target’ is an imaginary person. Not any imaginary person. They are a composite of your ideal customer. This is the person you imagine you are writing to when you create any marketing messages. Describe them to detail and even give them a name.

Concentrate on list building first
“The most valuable asset in your business is a highly targeted, permission based mailing list. If your business burns to the ground, you can still continue to let your potential customers know of your ‘fire sale’ if you can email, phone or mail them your marketing message. So how do you develop a targeted list?

Know your numbers
“Numbers aren’t sexy but a healthy bank balance sure is. When designing any marketing campaign always plan how you will measure its effectiveness. For example, if you are advertising in two different magazines you can use two different ‘codes’ the readers need to mention to get their gift or discount. That way you can track which magazine sent you the most customers.

Many small businesses put marketing in the “too hard” basket. Or they adopt a “spray and pray” approach without any strategic thinking behind what they are doing. With 6 months left of the year and a new financial year upon us, you should make some time to reflect on what you’re going to do in 2014.

Plan the first six months of the year and detail every you are going to do from a marketing perspective. This is much better than being reactive and placing advertisements in the local paper when you are panicking that sales aren’t reaching target. So plan your ideas carefully but, most importantly, ensure you implement them!

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