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Leadership, Image and Marketing
By Glen Chapman  

At a recent local economic development meeting, there were a number of IT business discussing what was needed for them to expand the local industry. Part of this was looking at more clients from outside the area and in Sydney, Canberra and Brisbane. One of the participants said that on a few occasions when they had tendered for jobs they had lost the tender based on the fact that they were a small firm.

Discussing this after the meeting we came up with a few ideas that can be employed to remove this as a barrier in the market. Even if you are not dealing in tenders, but are the "new kid on the block" you need to deal with the image that your business takes to the market.

Many buyers will deal with the established companies just because they know them. Even if their price is higher. When you are dealing with other more established firms in the market, starting out and getting buyers to choose you over the established firm with a reputation can be a difficult one. By using some basic image building we overcame this barrier. And it shouldn't cost you a lot

By employing some simple things in how you think, feel and do business can have a large impact on your image in the market.

Have a business vision - you need to know what your business will look like in five and ten years time. Once you have this vision implanted in your mind and communicated to the rest of your organisation, act as if you are already there.

Think big about yourself and your business, but act on an individual basis to your customers. When you are talking about the business say "us" and "we" rather then "I" and "me".

Have a great business card - they don't cost very much but can have huge impact. Get it professionally designed and properly printed. Don't bang one up on Publisher and print it. If you can't afford a full professional design, go to the local university or TAFE and find the design students. Most of these have great skills and ideas and will do a job like this at a very competitive price.

Wear a name tag with the company logo and your name on it to every function, conference, workshop and meeting - this makes you stand out from the crowd. It puts your logo and business name out there.

When you meet people, get a business card from them by giving them yours, they have now seen your logo and name twice. When they get home they will see it again as they file the card, and then again when you write your follow-up note on a corporate letter head or card. That's four times they will have seen it.

Get involved with local business development. Organisations like the Chamber of Commerce, Micro Business Network and development organisations. By attending and being involved you will mix with the leaders and get to know them and what is happening business wise in the local area.

Leadership is the challenge to be something more than average - Jim Rohn - The Treasury of Quotes

So lets be leaders rather then followers.

(© 1995 – 2007 Glen Chapman)