Dear M & M:
People keep asking me to target my market. What are they talking about?
The best way to illustrate how one would target a specific market would be to give you an example using tooth paste. In the old days one tube seemed to fit everyone. There were very few brands to choose from and all products seemed to be the same. Today we have kid’s toothpaste, whitening tooth paste, sensitive teeth tooth paste, fluoride tooth paste, tooth paste with different flavors and some tooth paste claiming they are using all natural ingredients. Don’t try to be all things to all customers. Refine your efforts. Focus on the market that you can serve best. Segmented markets produce the greatest sales potential. Knowing your audience will enable you to segment your market. Think about who your customers are and what ways they use your products and services. Talking to your existing customers will enable you to gain insight into the best way to target new customers. Find out what existing customers like, what do they want and need. Subway Sandwich was one of the first fast food franchises to position their restaurants as the healthy choice. Marketing was focused to position the company to operate in a specific market (those wanting a healthier choice). Since then many other fast food franchises are now offering alternative choices on their menu to fulfill consumer needs looking for the healthy choice.
Dear M & M:
I am looking for some alternative ways to reward employees. Do you have any ideas?
Most research shows that recognition for a job well done if the top motivator in improving and maintaining employee performance. While money is important to employees, what tends to motivate them to perform at high levels is thoughtful, personal recognition that truly recognizes real appreciation of a job well done. There are 3 goals an employer should try to do when creating an incentive plan.
1) Match the rewards to the person. Make sure you actions are as effective as they can be. What are some preferred ways or reinforces that the specific person being rewarded would like?
2) Match the reward to the achievement. Someone that successfully completed a two year project should be rewarded in a more substantial way than someone who went out of their way to do a one-time weekend event.
3) Be timely and specific. Effective awards need to be received as soon as possible after the desired behavior or achievement was accomplished. Some of these can be as simple as an email acknowledgment or an opportunity for an individual to represent the company on an overseas industry event. Another lost cost way to reward an exceptional employee would be to issue a certificate allowing them to have a free day off whenever they presented the certificate to the boss.
At a minimum every company should have outstanding employee rewards. The award is always more meaningful if it involves the selection by one’s peers, not just management. Productivity, quality, customer service, and other performance awards work well. 89 per cent of American workers believe their companies would perform better if employees were given meaningful incentives to improve quality and productivity. Attendance and safety awards are another area most companies can recognize achievement. With so many ways to reward people. The simplest way to decide how to reward people that work in your company is to simply ask them.
To ask your questions: Call the Small Business Development Center(SBDC) at Cochise College (520)-515-5478 or email firstname.lastname@example.org or contact the Sierra Vista Economic Development Foundation(EDF) at 520-458-6948 or email email@example.com