On Monday, I had a set-back. One could expect that from time to time this happens but this one was more personal.
It's the difficulty we face when at times we mix personal life with our professional life. Every person you touch whether they are a friend, colleague, acquaintance or client, has an opinion on you whether they like it or not.
I am incredibly fortunate to have many people around me that care about my future happiness. I share many of my stories on this blog and on another blog that will be launched on my birthday on 28th August, 2012 on www.mellissah.com.
As many avid readers of this blog will know, Marketing Eye is expanding into the US. We have been working on this for 7 months and are currently in a capital raise phase. While we don't need to raise capital to expand per se, we do need to do this if we want to build a more significant business, that is globally scalable and able to create a greater community of small businesses that all have a 'marketing eye'.
Our dream is to build a company that provides small businesses with a marketing manager, education, media and networking. It's a holistic approach to marketing and encourages clients to participate in sharing resources and collaborating in joint ventures, sharing of ideas and providing introductions to other businesses within the network.
We believe that small businesses need more than just a marketing manager backed by a team of creatives, online specialists, web developers and publicists. In today's very difficult market, most businesses have cut their marketing spend - but all businesses know that to survive and prosper, they need marketing. An investment of $500 per week for a subscription base model for small businesses with no added investment (all graphic design, web and pr is inclusive), is a way in which small businesses can continue to market their products and services in an affordable manner.
The US market isn't doing too well right now. You don't need to be a rocket scientist to work that one out. Australia is fairing much better. Our business is well known in Australia and there is still plenty of room for growth. We have a very strong management team and the best marketing managers that we have ever had in our 8 year history. They all believe in the brand wholeheartedly.
The US market on the other hand, is a very large market. 27 times larger than the Australian market. We have conducted research and believe that our model will work very well in the US market and already have clients lining up at the door.
The problem is, a mentor of mine and someone whose opinion I value immensely, doesn't believe that the US is the answer. In fact, they believe that our business should focus on growth in Australia because it won't cost us any more for setup of the business and infrastructure if we were to do this. To expand into the US, there are a lot of costs involved.
To fulfil our business plan, other than setup costs, the investment is very similar however.
In today's market, you cannot ignore the advice of one of the most successful business leaders in Australia - yet do you put aside your goal of expansion or put it on hold based on this advice? What do you think?
After thinking about it for 24 hours, I am still of the belief that due to the current economic climate and the receptance to a concept like Marketing Eye in the US - we should continue our plans for expansion but perhaps downsize the concept for stage one and to get 'proof of concept' underway. I am very interested in your thoughts and experiences.
Mellissah Smith is a marketing expert with more than 20 years experience. Having founded and built two successful marketing companies internationally, she is well recognized as a industry thought leader and innovator. Mellissah started her career working with technology and professional services firms, primarily in marketing, public relations and investor relations, positioning a number of successful companies to list on the various Stock Exchanges around the world. She is a writer, technology developer and entrepreneur who shares her thoughts and experiences through blogs and written articles published in various media outlets. Brag sheet: #2 marketer to follow on Twitter (2003), Top 150 Marketers to Follow (2015), Top 10 innovative marketers (2014), 60K+ followers on Twitter with 97% authentic.
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