Marketing Strategy Equals Strategy

Marketing strategy howard litwak

Perhaps the most important part of small business strategy is marketing.  After all, if you don’t have customers, you don’t have a business.

Marketing strategy is what gets you in front of prospects.  Then sales strategy takes over.  Because the funnel needs to be full in order to thrive.  Period.

Hence, if you want to increase your volume, marketing strategy is the key.

The Strategic and the Tactical

Marketing strategy has two parts: strategic and tactical.

The strategic hones in on your market and your messaging.  It clarifies who your ideal client(s) are and where they are. (Demographics)  Also why they buy. (Psychographics)   Effective messaging can be created only after these are defined.  Messaging is what makes you attractive to your prospects.

For this reason, you’ve got to get your demographics and psychographics right in order to have an effective message.

A deep understanding of your market allows you to tailor your marketing to the needs and wants of those specific segments.  With this in mind, it positions you to compete effectively.  And to work towards dominating your space.

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Values Are Integral To Strategic Planning

Business Values

Your Values Need to be “On Purpose.”

Every business has Values. They just might not be clearly defined. Or “On Purpose.” They can play a critical role in creating and maintaining the culture that you want.  So long as you make an effort to do so.

I’ve heard it said that managing a business is similar to parenting.  In both you need to:

  • Have a few non-negotiable rules.
  • Repeat those rules often.
  • Make sure you follow the rules yourself.

Core Values provide those rules.  They define the rules and boundaries of the company’s culture and personality.   Values are simply basic principles.  Principles which guide actions and drive desired behaviors.  With this in mind, choose well as they define what you intend for your culture to be.

Values make it make it clear to customers and vendors how they can expect to be treated.

They provide a final “Should/Shouldn’t” test for all behaviors and decisions by everyone in the organization.  Values serve as important guidelines for everyday behaviors and decisions.

They represent your philosophy for achieving success.

Core values define beliefs, standards, and acceptable behaviors.  Consequently, when communicated throughout the organization, they guide and govern the decisions and actions of everyone.

Do you need any more reasons to be “on purpose” with your values?


Not sure where to start your Values statement?

Here are some powerful Values every organization should consider living:

  • Positive Attitude.  We always look for ways it CAN be done.  Not how it can’t.
  • Customer First.  Everything we do is to best serve our customer.
  • Continuous Learning.  We are always looking to learn and improve.
  • Continuous Improvement.  We are always looking for ways to do what we do better.
  • Employees.  They are our greatest asset.  Therefore, they are always treated with dignity and respect.
  • Teamwork.  Everyone is a team player.

It’s been my experience that few companies even think about identifying Values which govern behavior.  Even fewer have brought them to life within their organization.  By doing so, you can’t help but create a higher level of profitability, sustainability, and success.

Establish your Values and bring them to life. This will provide the foundation for building a culture where your employees will grow and thrive.  To be sure, the organization will thrive when the employees do.  As such, Values are an integral part of your strategic planning.

Before You Jump Into 2017, Close 2016 First


In order to really hit the ground running in 2017, you need to close out 2016.  Not just close out the year but also feel good about it.  Indeed, if you follow the method below, you are more likely to achieve the results  you want this year.

To explain, you have where you started the year.  Specifically, all of your goals together with your hopes and dreams.

Then, you have what was actually accomplished.  In particular, how close your results match with your goals.

Here is what is most important: Don’t look at the gap between what you wanted to accomplish and what you set out to accomplish.  Look at what you actually did accomplish.  Overall, the progress you made during the year.

All things considered, you may have more successes than you thought!

Following are 23 different areas to look for accomplishments.  Invest some time here.  I am confident you will find it will be well spent in terms of the personal satisfaction gained!

Evaluate yourself on the following:

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Some Tips For ‘Testing’ Your Strategic Plan

Strategic planning


The strategic planning process is a critical resource for managing the growth and development of your business. It defines the company’s future direction and provides a focus for everyone’s efforts. At the very least, planning should include goals, objectives, and action steps to achieve goals.

Here are the elements of an effective plan. And some tips for testing whether you have got each element right:


Do you have an emotional attachment to your vision? It should represent what you really want. Or is it primarily a collection of nice words for others to read? Does it inspire and energize you to get up every day and work at your business?
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Death Wish Coffee- Planning Can Lead to REAL Business Results

Strategic Thinking Helps Death Wish Coffee Continue to SucceedDeath Wish Coffee is a global coffee brand that bills itself as “the world’s strongest coffee” but knew early on they didn’t have the world’s strongest processes.

Death Wish started in 2012 in Round Lake, New York.  They employed six people at the beginning of 2015. Death Wish was an emerging new global brand with amazing products.  They were growing significantly despite some common internal business challenges. The CEO was beginning to notice some growing challenges with his staff, communication, and efficiency.  He recognized that the company was outgrowing his management style.  That it was in need of a more professional management style, among other things. The solution, he thought, was to bring in a full-time manager.

That wasn’t the answer. He realized that by hiring a business coach there were more effective options.




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Independence Day and Lessons in Achievement Entrepreneurs Today Can Use


achievementAmerica’s independence is a widely celebrated  achievement across our country.  On examination of the events leading to our revolution, it’s not hard to find significant lessons for entrepreneurs.  If these lessons are applied to business, your business, it can lead to achievement on the same scale of our founding fathers!

This article  is a great refresher of the events which led to the founding of the United States.  It highlights the success principles mastered and implemented by our founding fathers.

On July 4th, 1776  Thomas Jefferson stood before the newly formed assembly.  He fearlessly read the most momentous decision ever placed on paper:

“When in the course of human events, it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with one another, and to assume among the powers of the earth the separate and equal station to which the laws of natures God entitle them…”

Analyzing the events which led to the Declaration of Independence shows principles that must be used by every individual and organization to really succeed.  They are listed below. The power which gave this nation it’s freedom is the power made up by these principles. Note also (with great personal benefit) that these principles and the power are available to everyone. And yet I find many people don’t take full advantage of them.  How many do you faithfully practice?

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How to Motivate Your Workforce


Motivation is: the art of engaging with members of your team in such a way that they give their very best performance.

Therefore, the answer to the question of ‘What do people really want from their jobs?” is the root of motivating your workforce.

Psychologist Fredrick Herzberg addresses this in his article “One more time: How do you motivate employees.”   His conclusions form the basis of sound, practical, motivational theory.  To be sure,  just about anyone can implement this theory.  As long as they are paying attention.

In fact, his research showed that certain characteristics of a job are constantly associated with job satisfaction while different factors are related to job dissatisfaction.  These are: Continue reading

The Science of Success and Being a High Achiever

Science of Success

The Science Behind Success and Achievement

Success, the accomplishment of one’s goals, is an absolute science.  It’s not luck, chance, or hard work. (Although they help…)


A branch of knowledge or study dealing with a body of facts or truths systematically arranged and showing the operation of general laws

There are mathematical and physical sciences. Achievement of success is a science as well.

There are exact principles of thought and action that high achievers universally exhibit.  You can make a conscious choice to act on these principles right now and by the laws of science, you will accomplish more.  Simple.  But not always easy.

Here they are, why they work, and how to apply them: Continue reading

Great News Regarding Your Business Growth!

Are you expecting growth, experiencing growth, or do you just want growth?  (Note: Growth isn’t always getting bigger. Growth can be getting better.)

If the answer is YES! to any of the above, there is some great news for you.

I know a NY State organization which funds growth for small and medium sized businesses.   Pretty cool.


Their purpose is to:

-Help businesses become and stay successful

-Help businesses grow by investing in the workforce

-Move individuals up the corporate ladder by learning new skills which could lead to overall business expansion


There are core competencies associated with every role in your business.  Training on them usually results in a more efficient and well-run company leading to higher customer satisfaction, and revenue growth.  Training supports their purpose.  And so they consider working with businesses which want to train and develop their people.

Do you want to invest in your people by:

-Preparing the next level of leaders?

-Creating a management staff ready to better manage and grow the business?

-Increasing effective communication?

-Providing skills to sellers to ensure successful attainment of sales goals?

Don’t overlook the process side of your business. It’s good strategy to help your company obtain a better understanding of current operations and identify areas of improvement. Streamlining of processes is proven to lead to reduced waste, increased efficiencies, reduced duplications, and to position the business for growth. Continue reading