Maria Marsala is the founder of Elevating Your Business, a business management company that focuses on helping independent financial and service industry professionals. When you want to know more, dig deeper, and solve problems; you want to talk to someone who has not only a history but also walks the talk in the here and now.
Maria Marsala created a step-by-step program called "Corporate Secrets Marketing"TM. Her concepts have been quoted regularly in prestigious media outlets including "Money" magazine, Jim Cramer's "The Street," and others.
Maria is a good person to reach out to. So here we ask Maria how one can critique a business, improve profits, and keep confidence high during good times or bad.
Question: What can a business owner do today to grow business faster?
Maria Marsala: I'd love to have just one answer, but of course I don't. The "what" is different for each person who hires me because they are running their business differently than someone else. What I can tell you is that when you are not winning in the way you would like to be, there are tried and true methods which can help. You're not going to like the answer, so I'll hold off on telling you for a little bit longer.
Question: What is the minimum amount of time to spend on marketing a business as an entrepreneur?
Maria Marsala: Even if you love the work you're doing -- and I hope you are in a business you love -- like accounting or selling mortgages or being a financial planner, it is imperative that you take at least 1 day a week and be the boss of you and at least one day a week to be the marketing director! Even if you're an independent professional or an agent working for a BIG company, you need to take time out to be the boss and marketer.
Question: What is it that a boss does that takes such a large chunk of time?
Maria Marsala: In smaller companies, they manage the functions of the company so that everything is running smoothly. They review the performance of employees (even if they're the only employee)! They do the hiring and firing -- of consultants and clients, alike. They make sure that accounting, purchasing, and HR functions are running without a hitch. They have a team of other business owners that they confide in, and at the very least they’ve hired a business coach to keep their ass in gear.
Question: What would you say that most small business owners look back and regret?
Maria Marsala: You may not want to hear the answer. A new small business owner has a daily plan in place that they use as a guide to monitor performance. For experienced business owners, the day comes when they realized that the only thing they hadn't yet done which they "knew" they needed to do, was create a plan. They came to this realization when they became sick and tired of putting out fires all the time or they became sick and tired of knowing that they could be earning more or working less. Try as they did, something was always in the way of their continued growth and they regret not creating a plan.
Question: Not having a plan is their regret. Seems like a lot of time and work. Right?
Maria Marsala: 50,000 organizations have benefited from bringing The One Page Business Plan® System into their companies. And 30 universities use the system as part of their business curriculum. Business Planning doesn’t have to be as difficult as "we" (and I was included in that "we" years ago) make it.
Question: Is there a way to know if The One Page Business Plan® System would be helpful?
Maria Marsala: If you can't answer all 28 questions below confidently, it's time to put the pedal to the metal and create a business and marketing plan. You have nothing to lose and everything to gain!
28 Questions To Help You Critique Your Business, Boost Your Confidence & Profits from Maria Marsala
- Is the legal structure of your business protecting you personally? (Like an LLC, S or C Corp)
- What services and/or products do you offer?
- What is your experience with this market?
- What are the risks involved with this business?
- What are the risks you have in regards to growing your business?
- What are your business strengths?
- What business are you building? (VISION) *
- What problems does your company solve?
- Who is struggling with the problem your company solves?
- Who is your ideal client?
- How large is the market share for that "ideal client"?
- Where do you find most of your clients?
- What is the best way for them to learn about the services or products your company offers?
- Who is your competition?
- How do the problems your company solves differ from existing or competing businesses?
- How does your company differ from your competition?
- How will your product/service help your prospects have better lives/businesses? (MISSION) *
- How are you going to make money?
- What amount of money do you think you need to have an enjoyable life?
- What are the core values of your company?
- What 10 BIG ways are you planning to market or build your company? (STRATEGIES) *
- How will you monitor the results of your marketing efforts? (OBJECTIVES)*
- How are you pricing your services or products?
- What does your marketing funnel look like?
- Who is on your management team and what is their experience?
- Who is on your board of advisors and what is their experience?
- What are the BIG steps that you must take to achieve your dreams? (ACTION STEPS) *
- Do you have a website that is capturing prospects?
* These 5 concepts are from The One Page Business Plan® program.
Thank you, Maria Marsala! Time to dust off the printer and print this one out. Looks like there will be few more business owners who will be having less regrets in the years to come as a result of your business planning tips.
By the way, did you know that in 10 minutes you can learn which areas of your business scream for immediate attention and which areas deserve a hurrah!
Take the Business Checkup today.
Coach Maria's Bio
(c) 2008 Maria Marsala, founder of Elevating Your Business, a business management company that focuses on helping financial and service industry independent professionals and small business owners get more. More money, more clients, more quality free time. Claim your copy of MORE Business at www.ElevatingYourBusiness.com/free/