Seeding is on my mind. As I was sowing carrot seed into my allotment at the weekend, I was reminded about a marketing seminar I attended years ago. Seeding is a thing that marketers do and that all small business owners ought to do as well. You need to sow the seed of your business.

Sowing seeds

These tiny little seeds will bring a harvest. Tending to your business and working hard on your marketing will bring results.

 

Seeding is on my mind. As I was sowing carrot seed into my allotment at the weekend, I was reminded about a marketing seminar I attended years ago.  Seeding is a thing that marketers do and that all small business owners ought to do as well. You need to sow the seed of your business. Get yourself out there and spread the word. It sounds so simple, but what if you start sowing into the wrong ground? My thoughts turn to the parable of the sower. Why would I waste my time sowing seed into the wrong type of soil or soil that I had not prepared properly? Why would I waste such good quality seed on stony ground? And of course, I would remove the thistles before I put the seed into my allotment. It's the same with business – don't waste your resources telling the wrong people about what you do. Do your market research, identify your customers and make sure you target the seed of your business into the right place. Make it spot-on.

 

Can you describe your customer? Where do they live? How old are they? What media do they read and listen to? How do they engage online - are some of them on Face Book or do they Twitter? This way, you can put the right seed into a perfectly-matched soil and everyone is happy.

 

Make sure you look back and analyse where your customers have come from. Which sales methods work for you: face-to-face, referral and recommendations, networking, advertising, telesales, PR, online, exhibitions and events, letters or emails?

 

Once the seed is in the land and beginning to germinate, it needs to be watered, nourished and looked after. How do you look after your customers? Do you have a good loyalty scheme? Don't forget the 80/20 principle – 20% of your customers generate 80% of profit and you need to be looking after those top customers.

 

You want the perfect match and then you need to look after those tender shoots so that these new customers can really put their roots down as they begin to trust you. We are not talking about a 'hard sell' - just be yourself and let others see who you are and understand about what you do.

 

Cotswold Open Studios is in its infancy. Each creative person taking part is beginning to spread the word. We are seeking out all the art lovers in and around Cirencester, looking for key influencers and trying to get their attention. We know that art buyers are often in the creative, caring or media professions.  They are often educated to degree level, sometimes with unconventional attitudes.  They like to be known as fashion leaders.  The first round of PR is underway with features lined up in Cotswold Life, Cotswold Preview and BBC Homes and Antiques. We are cranking up the publicity. It is hard work but we are determined to make the event a success. Soon I will be getting in touch with all the local newspapers, spreading the seed and getting the event promoted. Each artist, designer and crafts person is doing their own individual campaign as well – they will be telling their local village newsletters all about their open weekend. This is seeding – we are all looking forward to seeing the tender shoots of business shoot up soon.

 

© Tessa Webb, April 2011

www.creativesintobusiness.com