It’s not uncommon for business owners to lose sleep at night, especially those who run manufacturing companies. They’re juggling a hundred balls at once, and the omnipresent fear that they’ll inadvertently drop one can result in a lot of late-night anxiety.
Some business owners push business development to the back burner while they address everything else they’re managing, like supply chain backlogs, staffing shortages, equipment failures, etc. This is especially true for smaller manufacturers with limited resources, and it’s a problem they can’t afford to ignore.
A manufacturer in Trumbull, CT made this mistake early on in her business. To respect her privacy, we’ll call her “Kim.” Kim’s outgoing personality helped her build a successful business from the ground up, and with just a few steady clients she quickly had more work than she could handle. She ramped up production, which meant hiring new people.
While she struggled to meet demand, she turned her attention away from business development. However, when her biggest client suffered an unexpected financial setback and abruptly stopped placing orders, Kim’s business collapsed. Her remaining customers couldn’t sustain the company and she had no prospects in her pipeline. She had to drastically downsize her warehouse and lay off most of her employees. She eventually rehired them, but it took several years to fully rebuild the company. Today she has hundreds of customers because she routinely focuses on business development.
Like most manufacturers, Kim built her business on Word-of-Mouth Marketing (WoMM). This is one of her most powerful tools and she continues to use it to her advantage. According to the fact checking website Review 42, WoMM is the most trusted form of marketing, and it influences 99% of all B2B purchases. However, Kim also knows that WoMM is not the only tool she needs to incorporate into her business development plan.
What tools does your business development plan include? Are you working with your marketing team regularly to engage with your customers on social media? Are you keeping your business at the top of your customers’ minds with newsletters, blogs, and periodic emails?
If you don’t have a strong business development plan, it might be time for a Needs Assessment. The Connecticut Manufacturers Resource Group (CTmrg.com) has a long history of conducting Needs Assessments and can ensure your business development plan includes all the marketing strategies necessary for growing your business.
Contact Us for more information. You’ll sleep better.