How Insight Increased Cash Flow over the New Year
I used to love the holidays. The temperamental but gradually warming weather, long days at hidden beaches, people in Auckland smiling that little bit more…
Then I had to run off and start a business didn’t I?
Now the summer holidays also mean falling sales, longer lead times and…cash flow? Bloody hell, cash flow runs out the door like a man with his hair on fire.
But this year we did something a little different. This year, I had the tremendous fortune of welcoming on board my good friend and marketing genius, Corrie. She suggested something to me so gosh darn crazy it just might work.
“Why don’t we just run a marketing campaign?”
“We should run a summer marketing campaign targeting our clients.”
“You mean, we, a marketing agency, should run some marketing to drum up more business?”
“Stands to reason dunnit?”
Okay, so it’s likely obvious to all you veteran business owners, but I’ve only been in the game four years so cut me a little slack! I’ve found that it’s often difficult to do for myself what we do for our clients so readily. Corrie’s idea was golden.
We decided to focus on things that would require little oversight, those tasks our clients had on the to-do list but always kept getting pushed to the bottom. Things like:
- Writing up case studies
- Analysing your website analytics
- Getting some blog posts written up
Our target market was our own client list and businesses that we knew that we thought might benefit from the services on offer. Our tagline was:
Marketing Minions, working all summer so you don’t have to
We asked a few of our partner companies to see if they were interested in participating, and sure enough, a lot of them faced the same issues and were all for it! The idea was that they could add in their own service and they would contribute their client list to the campaign.
Did it work? Thankfully…yes! It brought in some of the extra dollars we needed over December and we’re following up on a few leads in January. And that’s exactly what we needed.
On another level, it also started a lot of good conversations that I’ll be following up on this month. Momentum (defined as having something, anything in the pipeline) is so important when you’re in business development and getting that momentum started can be a real bit…ahem, son of a gun.
But with the summer campaign out there, it provided a great conversation starter and allowed us to build momentum early. We’re still in the midst of the campaign period but we’ve already accomplished our objectives.
As a business owner, it also makes a huge difference mentally when you feel like you have some semblance of control over your sales. Small things like this gave me a big boost psychologically.
Will we do it again next year? Heck yes. In fact, we’re even doing another marketing campaign early this year. Crazy right?
Things we’re going to remember for the next one:
- Start the planning early (We were a little late with execution which affected results)
- Get your partners involved (Create a win-win situation for everyone)
- Empathy – practice it. That’s how Corrie came up with the idea. Figuring out what problems our clients had and how we could help.
- Ask for feedback to improve next time