Wednesday, May 19, 2010

The Importance of being Market Savvy with Megan Walker

Today I was lucky enough to attend a Business Luncheon held by the Wynnum and Districts Chamber of Commerce. It was during this luncheon that I listened to Megan Walker, from Market Savvy, wrap up in just 30 minutes, the ten very important steps one must consider when starting a new business.

Now, call me biased, but Megan was very quick to point out the importance of consulting qualified accountants during the Business Planning phase (step 1)(thanks for the plug Megan!). She expressed how crucial it is for a new business to get the right professional help about various aspects of finance, and to have it all set up correctly right from the START.

Now this wasn't the only thing I picked up from Megans speech. Megan ran through nine other steps, viz;

  1. Business Planning (mentioned above)
  2. Research - is your product desired by a market?
  3. Goals - who is your target market...not everyone, we are not MacDonalds!
  4. Strategies - how do we attract our market
  5. Skills - do we have the skills to get the market? If not, get them (eg outsource).
  6. Branding - what you want to be known for
  7. Key Messages - words of value for your customers (not what you think is valuable)
  8. Marketing Materials - what type? what is relevant to your business?
  9. Promotional Activities
  10. Sales - this is last!!

She also said to "Resinate" (the desire for your product), "Differentiate" (what's unique about your product/service, what makes it the best), and "Substantiate" (generate a trust in your product).

I found today's luncheon particularly worthwhile, and with the tools Megan provided us with today, I am sure we can all become more "Market Savvy!".

Thanks Megan!

~Me (Samantha Monahan) pictured with Megan Walker from Market Savvy~

Are you sabotaging yourself?

This was the question raised to the group last week at The Kitchen Table Network by Mark Edmonstone, former professional Rugby League Player, and motivational business speaker from Edmonstone Dynamics.

Mark's Mantra "Feel the fear, but do it anyway" is what made him a both a highly successful rugby league player (he represented Britan), and businessman, and it lead into him discussing with the group "Real Fear vs Imaginary Fear".

Real fear being something that you know could actually happen (he used his example of the very real possibility of being seriously hurt while playing rugby); and we have two basic choices when it comes to Real Fear: Fight or Flight. That is, either prepare yourself; become stronger, fitter, or smarter and fight; or high-tail it out of there!

On other hand, Imaginary Fear are those fears we "think could happen", often due to past experience. It is not a real is something that might happen...a classic example is a fear of rejection (in business or in personal relationships). It is these fears that will, it we let them, lead us to "sabotaging ourselves". A classic example is ones fear of providing a quote to a potential client; "what if they think it's too high?".

So how do these fears even evolve? Mark suggests that it is a learned behaviour which stems from the Schooling system and the home (yes, us parents might just be teaching our children to "fear the imaginary"). So he is determined to help us "unlearn the biological behavior".

Mark urged us to challenge these "imaginary fears"...."feel the fear and do it anyway".

Mark Edmonstone is living proof that by facing our fears, both real and imaginary, we can be successful in both life and business; because after a while these fears fade away. This is not to say we will never be fearful again....fears are a natural part of life! But rather than sabotaging ourselves in the first instance, how about we challenge them, or even better, turn them around and make them work for us!

~Mark Edomonstone pictured with Jackie Price and Kerry Stewart-Haynes from the Kitchen Table Network~