Sales and marketing can be a daunting task for professional business owners.
I have known many employees who left senior positions in government and the private sector for business only to get stuck when it came to marketing their offerings.
They believed that sales and marketing, especially door to door promotions, pursuing leads and chasing orders was demeaning and should be left to junior staff.
As a result, they sit in air- conditioned offices and prevail upon ill-trained sales people to bring in revenue. When they fail to realise the anticipated sales, they blame the economy, unhealthy competition, cartels and anything else but themselves.
The foundation of any enterprise is marketing and no one is in a better position to market a business than its owner. I often tell business owners that marketing is too important to be wholly delegated. Marketing is the hub of the business wheel. To run a business effectively you must be on the wheel; you must be the marker number one.
It is not uncommon to find entrepreneurs or business owners who believe they are not marketers and prefer concentrating on what they consider to be their core areas of expertise and leave marketing to marketers.
This is perhaps one of the greatest misconceptions and blatant failure to understand the marketing concept. Essentially, marketing is about understanding your prospects and customers and providing what they need in the way they need it. Sometimes it is about anticipating what customers want even before they know it themselves and providing it.
If marketing is done well selling becomes very easy. It is reduced to informing prospects and customers about the availability of products in the market and inviting them to buy and use to solve their needs. This understanding can only come if the business owner interacts with prospects closely to get first hand information.
Unfortunately, most business owners get busy in the office with administrative, accounting and production roles and forget they ought to be in the field where real action is.
In small businesses the founder or business owner is the face of the venture. They must get out of the office and meet their clients and prospects.
They must be seen promoting and defending their products to customers regardless of their status.
Quite remarkably most business failure springs from owners’ ignorant of market needs because they are out of touch. Go in the field and interact with customers to get first hand information regarding challenges and opportunities to help you make informed decisions.