Customers buy for their reasons, not yours. - Orvel Ray Wilson

Strategy and timing are the Himalayas of marketing. Everything else is the Catskills.- Al Ries

In marketing I've seen only one strategy that can't miss - and that is to market to your best customers first, your best prospects second and the rest of the world last. - John Romero

The key to a successful business is the ability to market your services effectively. We've long known that most small business owners aren't very comfortable marketing their skills. Unfortunately, what they don't know hurts them. A little marketing expertise will take your business to the next level of profitability.

There are 5 elements of marketing that every small business owner should know about. Knowledge is power, and having a knowledge of these five elements and how they interact will improve your business. So here, for your reading pleasure, are the 5 P's that comprise basic marketing theory:

Product is, of course, the thing you're trying to sell to your clients. You should constantly evaluate your services from your clients' perspective. Is there something you could do differently that would improve their experience with your business? Are there services you could add that would enhance your value? Your ability to assess your "product" is key.

Simply put, positioning is the way your target market views you in relation to your competitors. If well positioned, they will view your services as being more valuable than other accountants in the area. To improve your position you must consider what makes your business unique and how potential clients might consider that uniqueness beneficial to their business.

Also called the distribution channel, place is the means through which you make your services available. Your distribution channels should accomplish the following: promote services, communicate with prospective clients, and negotiate terms of agreement.

Obviously you must charge a price for your services in order to run a successful business. But to set a reasonable fee, you must know your position because the more valuable your target market perceives your services, the more you can charge for them.

Once you've evaluated the other four elements of your business you can best determine how to promote it. With a better understanding of your position, the advantages of your services, and the channels through which you deliver them, you can determine which promotional activities will best serve your business.

If your business isn’t growing, it’s either idling or dwindling. You can change that by boosting your marketing efforts today. And if you’re interested in starting your own accounting practice, we can help you acquire the necessary small business accounting expertise and the marketing know-how. Visit Universal Accounting Center today.

Author's Bio: 

Allen B. Bostrom, CPA, is President and CEO of Universal Accounting Center based in Salt Lake City, UT. He has over 30 years experience with businesses of all sizes and has taught over 25,000 people different aspects of Accounting and Business Management. He has authored countless business management articles for publication and distribution. His weekly e-zine goes to 20,000 readers.