It was a real pleasure to be part of a panel at Simpson College of Indianola visiting with and speaking to emerging business people. I was joined by Amy Kolin, Justin Brady, Daniel Shipton, Ben Milne, Rich Drake and Michelle Fetters Steen. Renda Lutz, the "Networking Queen" with Iowans for Social & Economic Development is the business adviser who set the panel.
We were asked to interact with the students and share with them, "Five Things Business People Should Know...But May Not". Each person had different suggestions and their input kept the discussion lively and interesting. I thought I'd share with you the 5 things I brought to the table:
- Know that you know nothing about advertising and marketing - Most business owners "think" they know something about advertising mostly because they have been hit with thousands of ad impressions each week. It is an "experience" but it falls short of understanding why one ad works for one company but will not for another. Understanding the prime consumer for the product is the first step in knowing advertising and sadly, most business people....don't or they are pegging the wrong people for future growth.
- Buy the very best of "everything" you can afford - There is VALUE in QUALITY. From your business cards to hardware to the way you dress...when you buy the best not only is the image priceless but the stuff...lasts. Yes, these shoes are really 20 years old.
- Be transparent to customers and employees - In this world of instant information and with social media being the new "word of mouth" it is critical that the new business person have no "hidden agenda". Building a business is so much easier when everybody knows the 'end game' and how you intend to get there.
- In tough economic times spend more money on marketing and R&D- I have beat this for years and the clients we have, who listened (and most have), saw double digit sales figures in 2009. The market does not like a vacuum and when somebody pulls out of the market somebody else comes along and fills the void. You be the company that is always there...
- Hire professionals because it will save you money in the end - When people enter into a business the common thought is they need a lawyer and an accountant. We go a step further. Hire a professional advertising and marketing person even if for only a complete consultation. You will be amazed at what we know...because it is what we do.
Never believe everything a media sales person tells you - Thousands and thousands of dollars have been wasted in media buys that do not match the key consumer group a company wishes to reach. Business people who buy media from an outlet that does not speak to the correct market...can be a huge waste of time...and money.
Let's connect on Twitter: @MichaelLibbie or @InsightADVand here is a reminder to catch our daily (Monday - Thursday) news/webcast about advertising, marketing and consumer trends. Insight on Business with Michael Libbie Noon Central only on WebcastOne LIVE!
Thanks for coming by!