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4 things my dad taught me about marketing

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Father’s Day is fast approaching and, of course, thoughts turn to what I could buy my dad. But it also got me thinking about all the things he’s given me as a business owner.

My dad has turned his hand to many jobs; he started working when he was 15. His career was varied and full of hard work. He learned many lessons on the way, and he passed those lessons on to me, making me the business person I am today. Here are four important things I learned from him and how they can be applied to marketing.

  1. Never miss an opportunity

If you know me well, you’ll know I’m a planner. I have to have a plan for every eventuality – with a list attached! Having a marketing plan and budget for your business is important, but you have to remember one equally important thing.

Be flexible!

You just can’t plan for some things, and having flexibility in your plan and your budget will help you accept opportunities you didn’t know were going to come along.

Being flexible doesn’t just mean changing your plan or allocating your budget differently. It also means looking at all opportunities that come your way, even if, at first, they don’t seem relevant to your business objectives.

  1. The final price is never the final price

You want to advertise, exhibit, insert any marketing activity you like. You’re talking to the supplier and the price they’re quoting is just too high.

Let me tell you now that it’s not the final price. All suppliers have room to manoeuvre. So brush up on your negotiation skills. It could be as simple as making the ask: “I’d love to take you up on your offer, but my budget just won’t stretch that far. Is there anything you can do?” You’ll be surprised how willing suppliers are to negotiate.

Alternatively, offer them something in return. If you have a large social following, offer to share something from the supplier with them. If you have a great blog, offer to write some posts for them.

Be bold – I can’t tell you the number of times I’ve seen my dad get the deal he wanted.

  1. Have a system

Running your business is tough. You have conflicting priorities and customers to keep happy. Having a system will help you run your business more effectively, and more efficiently.

Setting up processes, especially if you have a team, is a great way to make you more efficient. It makes doing a repetitive take easier to do – you don’t have to think about how you do it, you just get it done.

As your business grows, you’ll need help. That’s the simple truth – you just won’t be able to manage everything. Having a system, preferably documented will help you to outsource certain aspects of the running of your business. For example, if you have guest writers for your blog, as it grows you’ll need help managing them.

Having a system frees up your time and helps you work smarter. It’s as simple as that.

  1. A sense of humour goes a long way

I always saw my dad having a laugh and a joke with his customers. His humour helped build a great relationship with them.

It’s no different with your business. A sense of humour lightens any situation and helps you build strong relationships with not only your customers but your suppliers too.

A winning smile and taking the time to get to know and laugh with your customers will pay dividends for your business. And let’s face it when has word of mouth never worked for your business? Those relationships you build will help you get more business.

I’ve learned a lot from my dad over the years. I hope these four tips from him help you with your business. Oh, and Happy Father’s Day to all the dads out there!

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