Recently I was asked a really great question. If I only had $500 to spend a month on marketing my business, how would I spend it? What would be your answer? Think about it before you read my thoughts. Let’s see if we agree.
To me the answer is crystal clear. It applies to every business, from one person start-ups to the heads of Fortune 100 corporations. It applies equally well to accelerating a personal career as it does to driving an organization’s profitable growth.
I would spend (“invest” is a better concept) the $500/week by having a business development & career development networking breakfast meeting 5 mornings a week. Actually, I typically do 6 or 7 a week.
The ROI would be incredible.
Assume each breakfast, including tip, costs $25 then you will spend $125 per week or $500 per month. Occasionally, however, the other person will split or pick up the tab which will leave you with a few extra bucks to spend at the end of the month having some fun!
5 Reasons to Meet Over Breakfast
* Almost everyone will say yes. They can still get to work on time, particularly if you are both early risers.
* These discussions tend to be focused and on point so the meetings typically last under an hour.
* They take less time and cost less than a lunch or dinner meeting. Networking over dinner also cuts into your quality family time, always a bad idea.
* You are meeting on neutral grounds so interruptions are fewer.
* Your day is not disrupted. Both of you can be back in the office by 8:30 or 9:00.
Who Should You Meet With?
Meet with your various key business related contacts which means with:
* Existing customers. Most of the time you will find ways to do even more business with them.
* Potential new customers you have met previously or been referred to by others in your network.
* Current and potential suppliers. They can almost always add value to your efforts to grow your business.
* Industry experts that you meet at various events, are referred to or read about in the media
* Media covering your industry. They are loaded with contacts that can help your business development efforts.
* Your professionals advisors including accountant, lawyer, insurance agent and board members
* Current and potential strategic alliance partners. If you are not developing these alliances you are missing the boat.
* Employees at all levels in your organization plus job applicants wanting to join your team.
* Business brokers who know your industry and may be a resource when you want to sell your business or make an acquisition.
* Leaders in your community and members of your various clubs or the charities you support.
If the concept of possibly having over 250 unique business development business breakfast meetings seems daunting then you have a problem, that you should work on, with the size and scope of your network of relevant connections.
What Will You Get Out of These Meetings?
* Identify unmet needs that your organization can meet with your current customers
* Be referred to other potential new customers
* Trigger your own thinking about new products and services your organization might develop.
* Zero in on new vertical or geographical markets your company can pursue
* Find new strategic alliance partners, a critically important factor in leveraging the growth of your company.
* Recruit new talent to your organization.
* Strengthen relationships with your current suppliers and advisors. They will generate new cost reduction and design change ideas to consider.
* Spot potential new opportunities of all kinds
* A feeling of satisfaction when you find ways to add value to the lives and careers of the people your are meeting. As you know, life is two way.
* Plus, just think about all the great things you will learn that will benefit you professionally, personally and benefit your family. From these discussions you will learn about new wines, recipes and restaurants to try, books to read, movies and plays to see, places to go for long week-ends or vacations, clubs to join, school, tutors and coaches for your kids, unique charities you might like to help. And the list goes on.
Can you think of any better way to spend $500 a month marketing your business and developing your career? I can’t.
Shouldn’t every business leader think about this cost effective approach to marketing?
We all have something to eat in the morning. Why not do it with another quality person?