THE Wonthaggi Business and Tourism Association had a highly successful networking night last Tuesday night, February 25.
President of the association Graham Fitton led the discussion, speaking about the ideal business model with targeted marketing and promotion one of the most important messages he stressed.
“How well do you know your market? How well do you know your customers? Do you know who your A Grade customers are, and make sure you direct your scarce marketing dollars to those people, many of whom are also going to generate your referral business.”
Graham posed a few questions to kick the session off:
Are you getting enough out of your business, enough revenue, enough freedom to do the things you want to do? How close to ideal is your business?
Some of it comes back to how effective your marketing is, he said.
He also stressed how important the firm’s people are and how you want to position yourself in the market.
“What’s the most important message you want to give to your customers? Hone in on that, and work out the best way to deliver that message.”
Graham said that only about 3 per cent of people who got your message were ready to buy when you did your promotions.
“You can’t expect people to see one advert and respond to that. You have to be out there with your message all the time,” he said.
“If you are going to do marketing, do it regularly, do it often, but only direct it at your main target group.”
Graham also stressed that business owners need to analyse where they are making their sales, and why.
“You’ve got to understand your sales conversion rate and try to improve on it.”
Graham said that he knows “trust” is a hugely important part of his own business and attracting new clients which is why he offers an initial free service to business so that they got to know him first, got to know they could trust him and what he would be able to do for them.
There are three things you can work on in sales, he said, one of them is your price but he said he was very wary of using discounts to try to attract customers. Better to talk about value.
He also acknowledged one of the obvious ones was constantly working on getting your costs down and the other was constantly working on cash flow.
“You’ve got to constantly work on your margins,” he said.
Other issues he covered was getting time away from the business and the culture you develop in the business, starting at the top.
“How present are you in the business? Are you on your A game every time you walk in? If you walk into your business half-baked, not enthusiastic or interested, everyone will pick up on that.”
And start doing something about improving your business today, with one step at a time, you’ll have a better business by the end of the year.
But is wasn’t all about hard-nosed business messages. There was a lot of good networking as well among the 25 to 30 people who turned out at the Wonthaggi Workmen’s Club.
And the food? Superb!
Look out for the next Wonthaggi Business and Tourism Association networking night. You’re bound to get plenty out of it, even if it’s just to reinforce the things you should be doing in your business.

Coming up
The next event is a breakfast meeting on Friday, April 3 with guest speaker John Anderson, the former Deputy Prime Minister, at the Wonthaggi Golf Club. John will be talking about regional towns going through rapid growth like Wonthaggi is at the moment. Don’t miss it.