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Advice from Outside the Square

Category Archives: Marketing

4 Keys To A Successful Direct Marketing Campaign

In tight economic times, small business owners can be tempted to retreat into their shell. To get through tough times, small business owners look at cost savings, financial controls and cutting expenditure. However if this is done in isolation, that is, if you rush to control costs without also looking at the top line, your bottom line will shrink anyway! Counter-intuitive as it is for small business owners in a period of financial slow-down, small businesses must continue marketing efforts and not look to cut these as if they were discretionary costs. “Marketing” is not just “advertising” which is what small business owners think when they think of marketing. In fact, advertising may be your least effective marketing cost in a shrinking economy. The important thing is to get a good rate of return for your marketing dollar and you get this by implementing effective marketing techniques. Effective marketing is the type of marketing that gets your name out there with its “brand” attached in the most cost-effective way. This can be added-value service, it can be increased contact with customers – this type of marketing can include less-cost or no-cost vehicles. Direct marketing is not necessarily no-cost but a large part of the effort can be...
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The Value Of An Ethical Business

So, this is going to be a controversial posting. I wonder what you think about the morality of your behaviour when you choose to change professional advisors? I don't mean the professional ethical rules, but the morals of how you do it. And how should the professional advisor react? Here is a story of how a client of mine decided they wanted to change accountants. Read through the circumstances, and then tell me what you would have done. (more…)...
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How To Create A “Brand” For Your Small Business

"Your brand" is talked a lot about these days, but what is your "brand"? Your brand is not your logo. Coca-Cola is not about the logo or even the shape of the bottle. It includes all you feel when you think about Coke - fun, young, outdoors. Apple is not about the backlit macintosh apple with a bite out of it, it is all that it entails - design quality, Steve Jobs, the whole ecosphere of physical and software design surrounding tech. Everything about your business must align with the brand - the way you and your team behave, how you appear to customers, the business' values, the business' model, the messages it gives out and even the look and feel of marketing and ads. And yes, at the end, your logo needs to reflect and represent all that. (more…)...
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Four Steps To Simplify Your Message

Do you want to explain difficult facts to clients? Do you want to get a sales message across? The first few seconds of any interaction is critical, whether you know the other person or not. This is particularly important in any business interaction today where people's time seem so limited, people seem so aware of "that sales pitch" coming and are ready to tune off. Today's SMS and social media world seem to do nothing but ready for us to listen to tweets. If you want to put your business message across, whether it is advice, technical information or a sales pitch you need to tune yourself and your communication to that frequency which is most clear. I have found that the best way to do this is to use four simple steps in any business communication. First, meet people where they are, in order to take people to where you want them to go. If you want someone to understand your message, you need to understand what they care about. They may care about cost, or they may care about ease of use, or indeed they may care about something human like not being embarrassed. Understand their hot buttons, and acknowledge it before you go...
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