I never thought that I would be writing a blog about how to overcome the 7 year itch in business. But March 2022 marks the 7th year of business for The Marketing Associates, it also marks my first experience of the business 7 year itch. Until a few weeks ago I didn’t know businesses experienced this, but I guess like any good relationship, things need to be kept fresh to strive. Having been through this itching experience, a bit like a phoenix rising from the flames. I am now stronger and fitter, so thought I would share my learnings for other business owners to use.
Review Your Business Offering
If the 7 year itch is kicking in to your business then this is an ideal time to review your products, services and the pricing and positioning. Is what you sell still relevant? Are you saying the right things about what you sell? Have you increased your prices in the last few years or reviewed what your competitors are doing? Have you got any customer insight to refer to? Ensure you look into each of these areas as things may have moved on since you started the business.
Refresh Branding & Messaging
Try and see your branding and marketing activity through the eyes of a customer. This is really hard to do, but as much as you may like your brand and think your marketing is OK, it needs to be able to stand out and gain positive attention. There is nothing worse than a dated looking brand or a lacklustre marketing campaign. A brand refresh should be done ever 5-10 years to move with the market. This doesn’t mean a complete redesign but maybe an icon refresh, colour change or font swap. Any marketing activity should be constantly reviewed and refreshed to stay relevant and rewarding, for example are your social media accounts getting you business?
Streamlining, Efficiency & Accountability
This is an area that can really revitalise a business. As important as processes and systems are, getting stuck in certain ways can be even more damaging. Review, renew and reorganise any areas of business that aren’t working as well or as hard as they should. This can be anything from the new business pipeline to billing process. Look to outsource or recruit in the areas that need fresh support. A business needs to stay agile and alert in order to move and grow. A business coach or marketing strategist is a great source of new ideas and place to gain well thought out strategies and new efficient processes. Working with an outsourced professional can also give some accountability to seeing through required changes.
This is an area that I have personally had to work on. Since the birth of my 3rd daughter during the pandemic I hadn’t been networking (on or offline). This is a big area for me as a lot of my connections feed into my new business pipeline. Now is the time to polish up your LinkedIn profile, get back out to business events and networking sessions. Re-engage with memberships and clubs where you can reconnect with contacts, collaborations and perspective customers.
None of the above points will make any difference to a business if the owner, CEO, boss etc. is lacking enthusiasm. To make any business work, or any relationship for that matter, there has to be mutual enthusiasm, love, effort, fun and good times. Business, like any relationship, has its highs and lows. Enthusiasm to succeed, effort to change and desire to grow comes from the top and flows down to all employees. This alone will make those objectives and goals achievable and the 7 year itch fade away.
If you would like to discuss your businesses marketing requirements with a professional freelance marketing consultant then please do not hesitate to contact firstname.lastname@example.org or call 01233 720379