The vast majority of the posts Bath Marketing Consultancy writes contain marketing tips, advice and help on how to achieve the best results from certain marketing initiatives. But before I go down that route, I think every now and again it does a business good to stop, take stock and reflect on things.
With this in mind, I launched Bath Marketing Consultancy exactly 3 years ago in ridiculously hard economic times, without any clients and without any real financial support to fall back on. Why? Well, to be honest, I really believed in what I wanted to launch and was fortunate to find that there was not only space for a full service pay as you go marketing company in and around Bath, but it seemed like one was actually needed.
Leaving a good, established “agency” in Bristol with a regular income + perks to venture into the unknown on my own was, in retrospect, complete madness (my wife and I also had 2 babies at the time to add even more pressure!), but, I think I would’ve continued kicking myself if I hadn’t at the very least given it a go.
So….what did I do? What advice can I impart to help people who might be in a similar position to mine back in 2009?
Well………one of the most important aspects of launching a new business is patience! Yes, always research your market and do the very best to start with at least one client, but patience is such an understated attribute when starting from scratch as nothing will happen overnight. In fact, nothing might happen for months. But stick with it and things will happen.
I was asked recently by a company I am involved with what I would do if I had my time again. I didn’t really have an answer. Yes, business is going well, but I have made some mistakes and yes, not every person I have worked with has walked away singing my praises, but, these negative aspects of running a business have actually given me the most to learn from. For those of you who follow Bath Marketing on Twitter or like Bath Marketing on Facebook, you will know that the recent events involving a small claims court vs a non paying client have been also hard, but again, I have learned a great deal…..and I won the case!
When it comes to the dreaded subject of marketing, please, please, please see it as in investment and not a cost. Do not try and pull in every favour from every person you know who “knows IT” to do your website and then screw a designer for every penny or design a logo yourself online. If you cannot afford to give your business a professional identity and a decent online shop window, then my advice would be to wait until you can. Yes, I would like to think that Bath Marketing Consultancy provides the best one stop shop for all SMEs, but there are plenty of (lesser!!) companies out there who could help you.
Once you have a logo, a website, business cards etc, go out and meet people. Share ideas. Swap stories and maybe even join a networking group. One of the worse things for a one man band is to sit staring at a computer screen for hours and hours doing nothing or sitting by a phone waiting for it to ring and networking allows you to at the very least, meet like minded people……….and possibly get work.
Yes, I have written many articles on marketing and what to expect and what to do, but ultimately, if you are an SME or someone just starting out, effective marketing could be decisive in whether you succeed or fail so don’t ignore it!