Pros and Cons of Marketing

Many of my friends and relatives can attest to this fact: I hate making decisions…especially the difficult kind.  Who does, though?  Really?  To cope with this hatred, I have been known to make many a “pros and cons” list – from my college choice to who I’d be taking to prom…yes, even the petty things got a list. 🙂  I’ve talked to many small business owners since starting Lindsay Plathe Marketing Consulting in September, and I still find it difficult to explain to them what marketing will do for their business.  I have a degree in Marketing, so it was never really a question of whether it was important. Ha!  But now, as a business owner, myself, I have a better understanding of how to make smart decisions in business.  With that said, I decided to share with all of you a page from my “pros and cons” book (yup, the collection of them all is the size of a book…don’t judge me).

Advantages

Disadvantages

Promotion of your business

The most obvious advantage and reason any business markets is to get the recognition and attention of its target market.

Cost

Some marketing mediums are very costly – putting an ad in the newspaper or a commercial on TV is simply out of the price range for many small businesses.  The good news is that with the proper research to back it up, you can keep your marketing costs to a minimum!  For example, the Internet is a highly inexpensive way to promote a business.  Advertising and marketing costs money.

Enhanced brand recognition

This is the point I was trying to get across in my post “A search for my fellow marketing nerds“.  Over time, people begin to associate your logo with your business and all that comes along with it (i.e. customer service, product quality, timeliness, etc).

Investment of time

Researching the right marketing strategy, designing and writing, and tracking how successful your marketing is are only a few things involved in proper promotion of your business.  By doing marketing yourself, you run the risk of waiting time on an unsuccessful campaign, and let’s be honest, our time is valuable.

Improves the businesses profits

(aka: you make more $$$)

Every business needs to spend money to make money, and investing in marketing will do just that if done correctly. 

Ongoing

Research shows that people have to see a piece of information between 3 and 30 times before it sinks in.  So clearly a disadvantage of marketing is the fact that your marketing campaign needs to be ongoing and consistent which increases the time and money spent on it. 

I can say that this method of weighing my decisions has been successful for me in the past…I mean, prom was a blast 🙂  Let’s take a look…(just for kicks and giggles)

233_24980922608_5465_nWhat are you doing for your marketing strategy?  Do you have a plan for 2013?  Weigh out the pros and cons of having some solid marketing behind your business, and let’s make it one successful year!

BitterSweet Bakery “I love you like a fat kid loves cake.”

Today’s post is inspired by a couple gentlemen that I recently met at my evening place of employment – Fireside Restaurant…don’t worry, there will be more about Fireside and their epic food in posts to come. 🙂  Anywho…there are a couple things that drove me to writing this post:

1. I LOVE small businesses…especially the “mom and pop” shops and thoroughly enjoy giving shout-outs to new ones that I discover.

2. I wanted to teach you all something new…well, it may be old news to you, but I learned something new…obviously I want to share it all with you!

3. You see, these particular guys have my business card and claimed that they would visit my website soon…well I should’ve  made that a bet and put some money down.  Hopefully they found it and are currently reading this. 🙂

Now, ladies and gentlemen, I would like to present…BitterSweet Bakery

“BitterSweet Bakery is a totally gluten-free bakery, specializing in fresh baked goods. BitterSweet prides itself that everything we offer will be fresh baked. Our unique bakery offers gluten free and dairy free products made fresh daily.  We are confident that our food tastes delicious! You don’t have to eat grainy, dry and tasteless gluten free food anymore.  There’s something for everyone. Even if you’re not gluten free you will enjoy our products. Stop in and see our new sitting area and enjoy a cup of coffee and a treat.”

Well, you don’t have to tell me twice to go anywhere for coffee and a treat…and did I mention the pictures on their website?…I need to get my buns there ASAP!…no bun pun intended 🙂

Alright, so I first heard about BitterSweet Bakery at Fireside as they are the providers of all our gluten-free pizza dough and buns.  The next time I heard about them is when I met one of the owners (**reference guy-with-my-business-card mentioned above).

Now, the moment you’ve all been waiting for…Lindsay’s Lesson of the Day! (I literally just made that up…pretty nice ring to it, I think)  So this gluten-free thing…what is it all about?  I’ll be honest, I knew very very little about any details related to it…until writing this post, that is. 🙂

The FDA answered some of my basic questions:

1. What is gluten?

The term “gluten” technically refers to a specific complex of proteins that forms when wheat flour is mixed with a liquid and physically manipulated, such as in the kneading of bread.

2. How is the term “gluten” used in the context of celiac disease?

In the context of celiac disease, the term “gluten” is used to collectively refer to gluten in wheat, and to the proteins in other grains that have been demonstrated to cause harmful health effects in individuals who have celiac disease. These grains are wheat (including different varieties such as spelt and kamut), rye, barley, cross-bred hybrids (e.g., triticale, which is a cross between wheat and rye), and possibly oats.

3. What is celiac disease?

Celiac disease is a chronic inflammatory disorder of the small intestine in genetically susceptible individuals. It is triggered by ingesting certain proteins, commonly referred to as “gluten” which is naturally present in some cereal grains.

4. What is the estimated prevalence of celiac disease in the U.S.?

Experts estimate that the percentage of the general population in the United States who has celiac disease is as high as 1%.

5. Can celiac disease be cured?

No, but health care professionals advise that it can be managed with diet. Typically, individuals who have this disease are advised to avoid all sources of gluten in their diet. Over time, strictly avoiding consumption of all gluten sources can improve the symptoms and reduce the associated health risks of celiac disease.

Gluten-Free for Dummies.com gives more reasons to go gluten-free which are also interesting if you have a chance to take a peek.

So now that you’ve learned something new today, are you ready to try something new?  If you need a little more convincing to try something new, take a look at what BitterSweets regulars have to say: Testimonials.

Check out BitterSweet Bakery on the web and on Facebook!

Freakishly Fun Fact

According to Nielsen research, 92% of consumers worldwide trust recommendations from friends and family more than any form of advertising.

ImageAs recommendations from peers become more prominent online, the influence they have on an individual business’ success continues to grow exponentially.  With that said, start asking your friends, family, and clients for recommendations on your business social media sites…the results could surprise you.  

If you like this post, feel free to share it with your friends and family via the social media buttons below. 🙂

Lighting a fire under your marketing

Hi friends,

It’s Thursday already!  This week is flying by!  I don’t know what the weather is like where you are (as a home-grown Minnesotan, I’m required to bring up the weather, right? :)) but it has been dreary and rainy here all week.  Because of that (and it being fall and all), I have been in urgent need of some coziness.  My ugly sweater/cardigan collection and coffee can only do so much, so I went on a search…

What is more cozy than a bonfire?!  Ok, probably quite a few things (ha) but I found a certain bonfire that will light a fire under your marketing…Small Business Bonfire.  I use this website as a way to communicate with other marketing professionals that are in similar business situations as myself.  A major downfall of working for myself (and by myself) is that there is nobody to bounce ideas around with…so this website is the perfect solution for me!

Now, if you are part of running a small business venture, you should take a peak at this site, as well.  I found an article just this morning that inspired some ideas for the marketing I am working on for a few clients.  Check it out for yourself: 7 Small Business Trick-or-Treat Marketing Tips

Hopefully this post brightened up your day…no matter what the weather is like where you are. 🙂

Until next time…

Fatherly Advice

Today’s post is inspired by a great man in my life…my dad.

As I mentioned before, both of my parents are entrepreneurs, so I think it’s actually in my DNA. 🙂  My mom owns her own hair salon in my tiny little hometown (and runs the Plathe Pumpkin Patch like a pro…see previous post). My dad farms, and he called me up to chat yesterday while he was out in the field…

A little background:  My dad and I are thinkers…we think and think and think until we are 85 steps ahead of the rest of the world.  I would also describe my dad as a dreamer in that he comes up with ideas for new inventions and businesses literally everyday.  Not only does he come up with the ideas, but he also thinks through all the little details about how they could work…then he gets incredibly excited.  Therefore, when he’s got about a half a pot of coffee in him in the morning, he calls me and tells me all about his latest idea.  Anyway, I love those conversations with my pops, because he always gets me excited about the possibilities of the future AND there is ALWAYS a bit of advice attached…

“Not taking a risk is a risk, too.”  ~Dad

As a farmer, this man knows what risk is arguably better than anyone else, so after I hung up the phone, I spent some time reflecting on those words…

In life, if we don’t take a risk and continue to remain in our comfort zone, we risk the chance of not experiencing something truly wonderful.  For example, my Junior year of college, I was contemplating studying abroad for either four weeks or four months.  I took a leap of faith and decided to go for a whole semester (4 months) which was 150% outside of my comfort zone and highly unlike me to do.  Well, I can safely say that those were the best four months of my life…I met incredible people, saw oodles of amazing things, ate great food, and most importantly, learned things about myself I otherwise would not have. (If you’d like more details on my adventure, I have a blog about it: Lindsay’s London Adventure)

Well, professionally-speaking, taking a risk is just as frightening.  However, not taking a risk and continuing to do things like you always have won’t get you very far in this ever-changing world.  None of us want to become stale in our business endeavors…we want to always be thinking BIG for the future.

Now, after reading this, take a look at your business…is there more you could be doing to stay fresh and up-to-date?  How about your marketing?  When was the last time you updated the content of your website or business card?  You may be thinking, “I’m doing fine…business is good.”  To that, let me ask you this: “Don’t you want your business to be GREAT?!”

Ok, I just had a conversation with myself, so I think it’s about time to wrap this up… 🙂

I was always taught that the key to success in business (great business) is to hire people that are smarter than you…aka: experts in their field.  So, if your marketing is getting stale, take a chance and hire me to help!  Remember, “not taking a risk is a risk, too.”

Email me today!  lgplathe08@ole.augie.edu

Reading this quote made me smile this morning…

“Your time is limited, so don’t waste it living someone else’s life. Don’t be trapped by dogma — which is living with the results of other people’s thinking. Don’t let the noise of others’ opinions drown out your own inner voice; and most important, have the courage to follow your heart and intuition. They somehow already know what you truly want to become. Everything else is secondary.” – Steve Jobs

I have always known that I wanted to own my own business…in what?  I couldn’t have told you 2 months ago.  One might say that being an entrepreneur is in my blood as both my parents run their own successful businesses.  So as graduation was quickly approaching this past spring, I spoke with many professors, friends, and relatives to see what my options were…starting my own business wasn’t at the top of the list.

After 6 months of sending resumes, interviewing, waiting…, and even a couple job offers, I re-evaluated.  I know it’s crazy to turn down a job in this economy, and I seriously considered taking one of them with the thought “This would be great experience overall, but I know that I wouldn’t want to get out of bed everyday to do this…I would be miserable.”

Lindsay Plathe Marketing Consulting was born within hours of saying those exact words during a conversation with my dad.  Like I said before, I always knew I wanted to own my own business…I just never knew what it would be.  Well, my heart and intuition lead me to a path that I plan to follow with them as my guides…they know what I truly want to become. 🙂

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