What Is Your Business Opportunity and Market Demand?

It’s now quite easy to conduct any form of research and people owe it all to the internet. Aspiring and even full-pledged entrepreneurs get a lot of business opportunities online. If you’re looking for an entrepreneur business opportunity, make sure that youstart your hunt online.

Building a business requires some ideas. You may be planning to offer a certain product or even a service. But before anything else, you need to determine if the service or product that you plan to offer is marketable and in-demand.

When an entrepreneur introduces a new service or product to the market, there should always be a demand for it. Otherwise, you will not be able to make a sale. Even if you think that you’ve found the best business opportunity, probably the most innovative and useful service/product, it will mean nothing if you have no market or people willing to purchase them. You will not be able to earn huge profits without market demand.

Putting up a business may seem very easy to some people. Well, it is especially if you do it online. However, you do need to exert enough effort to make it a success. As mentioned a bit earlier, you first need to determine the demand for your business idea. How will you go about it? Read on and you will find out.

1. You must choose the appropriate market for your business idea. After that, you need to determine if your business idea, whether a service or a product, offers similar or the same benefits like those existing services/products.

2. If you plan to put up an online business, you have to make sure that your business idea can generate enough traffic. It should always be among the top searches in any given search engine.

3. Businesses, both online and offline are dealing with real people. In the case of online businesses, you will often find unethical practices or scams all throughout the net. Make sure that your business idea is not similar to them. Is your product/service easy, lazy, vanity, or trick-like? You must answer this question before you put your business plans into action.

4. Is your chosen market full of disposable income?

These are some things that you need to answer and discover to determine if your business opportunity can compete in the market. Putting up a business will require money and a lot of your time as an entrepreneur. So before you start anything, you must take a hard, good, and long look at your business ideas.

This is true to both products and services. As an entrepreneur, you only want to make money and as much as possible, you want to stay away from business loss. Sell only the things that the market demands.

Studying the market demand is very important in determining if your chosen entrepreneur business opportunity is viable or not. Choosing the right business opportunity will always come side by side with market demand analysis.

Entrepreneurs are well known risk takers in the field of business but before taking any risk, they calculate everything first and see if the risk is worth taking. Putting up a business is a serious undertaking and so even upon the start of choosing the entrepreneur business opportunity, one should already put his heart and mind to it.

 

To Your Success,

Steve
www.spnmarketing.com

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Steve Hurst has been working in sales and marketing for over 30 years. For 10 years he had his own computer business which included website building and consulting. The past 5 years he’s owned his own Business & Technology consulting business. Using his sales and marketing skills along with his knowledge of technology, he’s helping his clients increase their sales and profits by utilizing today’s technology.

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All writings here are copyrighted by Steve Hurst. You may not use them without written permission but you may link to the posts or give out a link to the posts.

Posted in Business, Marketing, Sales, Success | Leave a comment

How To Market Effectively With Email

Like any type of marketing, email marketing involves a great deal of time and effort to ensure the marketing campaign is effective. This is important because an ineffective marketing campaign of any type is a waste of money and resources.

Spending a great deal of time, energy and money into an email marketing campaign which is not reaching the members of the target audience and is not convincing recipients of the email to make a purchase or visit your website is not worthwhile. This article will discuss how to implement an effective email marketing strategy to ensure your business, financial and personal goals are being met.

One of the most important aspects of marketing effectively with email is to ensure your marketing efforts are reaching the members of your target audience. One way to do this is to ask former customers as well as potential customers to join your email distribution list.

This will help to ensure the majority of members on your email distribution list have an actual interest in your products or services. This is important because you are much more likely to generate sales when you are marketing to this type of an audience than you would if you were marketing to a much larger audience without an interest in your products.

Another aspect of marketing effectively is to hire an experienced professional writer to draft the content for your emails, e-newsletters, email courses or any other methods you are using to email your message to potential customers.

Having your content written can give you a significant edge over the competition if they are drafting their content themselves. The quality of your content is a reflection on your business and poorly written content with no substance will reflect poorly on your business.

Effective email marketing should also be written in a manner which will appeal to the target audience. If necessary you should conduct market research to determine demographical information for your target audience. This research may also determine preferences the target audience may have for receiving marketing information.

This may include the type of language used, the format of the emails, the layout of the emails and even aesthetic appearance of the emails. Paying attention to these details can make the email marketing campaign significantly more effective.

Finally, effective email marketing should not be viewed as spam. This is a difficult situation. In many cases an email marketing campaign will involve distributing mass emails but care should be taken in these endeavors to avoid having these emails construed as spam. This is important because many Internet service providers include spam filters which apply algorithms to each email account to determine which messages are spam and which ones are legitimate.

Emails which are deemed to be spam may never reach the intended recipients. Emails which may it through the spam filters may also be automatically deleted if the Internet user believes it looks like spam.

For this reason care should be taken to ensure all marketing emails provide quality content, advertise only subtly and ideally are only sent to email recipients who have specifically requested information about your products or services. This will give you the best opportunity possible to reach your target audience and have a positive impression on them and hopefully entice them to make a purchase or visit your website.

To Your Success,

Steve
www.spnmarketing.com

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Steve Hurst has been working in sales and marketing for over 30 years. For 10 years he had his own computer business which included website building and consulting. The past 5 years he’s owned his own Business & Technology consulting business. Using his sales and marketing skills along with his knowledge of technology, he’s helping his clients increase their sales and profits by utilizing today’s technology.

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All writings here are copyrighted by Steve Hurst. You may not use them without written permission but you may link to the posts or give out a link to the posts.

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When is Internet Marketing Worthwhile?

In general the answer to this question is always but the answer is much more involved. Sure Internet marketing is worthwhile but as with any type of marketing it is only worthwhile if it is done well.

For example you can spend thousands of dollars on a television marketing campaign but if no one sees your commercials or your commercials do not reach your target audience and generate sales, the advertising was not worthwhile. So perhaps a more appropriate answer to this question would be that Internet marketing is worthwhile when it works.

This is a rather vague statement but this article will investigate the issue further and explain how you can make Internet marketing work for your business.

One of the most basic principles of marketing is to make sure you reach your target audience. This is so important because your target audience is the people who are most likely going to be interested in purchasing your products or services. It is much easier to sell your products or services to those who already have an interest in the products and services you have to offer than it is to convince those who are not interested in your products or services at all.

As an example consider a business who sells fishing rods. You will want to market your products to those who enjoy fishing either competitively or as a leisure activity because among this audience you are likely to find people who may be interested in purchasing a new fishing rod. It would make sense to place an advertisement for your business on a website selling bait and tackle or a website which organizes fishing trips in exotic locations.

Conversely it would not make sense to place your advertisement on a website selling telescopes because you are not likely to reach a large target audience here. There may be some stargazers with an interest in fishing but your advertising dollars and efforts would be better spent placing advertisements with websites more closely related to your business.

Another factor to consider when purchasing advertising space on another Internet website is traffic the amount of traffic the other website receives. This is significant because you want to place your advertisement on a website which is closely related to your own and likely to attract a similar audience but you also want your advertisement to receive a large amount of attention.

For this reason it is important for your advertisement to appear on a website which receives a great amount of traffic each month. This will help to ensure your business is getting a great deal of exposure through this advertising.

When it comes to Internet advertising, there is a fine line between great advertising and spam. Some business owners get carried away trying to get as much exposure as possible and can sometimes go overboard and wind up being considered spam. Internet users who see your advertisement in a couple of key locations will likely notice the advertisement and may be compelled to visit your website immediately or may keep your website in mind for future use.

However, Internet users who see your advertisement everywhere they look are likely to view your advertisement as spam. This can be harmful because they are not likely to visit your website because they expect it to not be worthwhile.

In any Internet marketing campaign it is important to carefully monitor the results of your marketing efforts and make changes to your campaign as necessary. This is important because you want to make sure your marketing efforts are paying off and the best way to do this is to evaluate the results of your advertising carefully.

One way to do this is to place specially coding in each one of your advertisements so you will know which advertisements are generating business for you and which ones are not. You can use this information to decide whether you should modify the ineffective website or stop running these advertisements.

If you decide to modify them you will want to continue to monitor the results to determine whether or not the changes made the advertisements more effective.

To Your Success,

Steve
www.spnmarketing.com

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Steve Hurst has been working in sales and marketing for over 30 years. For 10 years he had his own computer business which included website building and consulting. The past 5 years he’s owned his own Business & Technology consulting business. Using his sales and marketing skills along with his knowledge of technology, he’s helping his clients increase their sales and profits by utilizing today’s technology.

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All writings here are copyrighted by Steve Hurst. You may not use them without written permission but you may link to the posts or give out a link to the posts.

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Discover How to be an Effective Entrepreneur Yourself

Success in the business industry was never too much for newcomers to stop the innovation. If people could understand their roles and specifics, they’ll discover the different paths our economy could offer despite its downfalls. Our entrepreneurs have played an essential role throwing a lifeline in this economic society. Aside from the profit, entrepreneurs are also recognized and awarded for their contributions and success.

To be one, you should act like one. Not just by making people believe that you are an entrepreneur, you should give them the benefit of recognizing your worth as someone who once dreamed and now conquered. Instincts must never be put to a shut as responsibilities come with a price.

These modern day businessmen and women have different roles to establish. A role in the market industry, a role for his people, a role to make a new discovery making the world perceive change amidst economic struggle, a role to his fellow laborers,. a role to his suppliers, a role to his competitors and a role to self-fulfillment.

The market industry has always been crowded with buyers and sellers. The thrill of discovering a new product would entice clients to want more than expected. Satisfaction should be guaranteed.

One of the most important roles of an aspiring entrepreneur is to always keep customer satisfaction at its highest point. They should understand the difference between the wants and needs of their consumers. Providing the available resources is not enough to satisfy a need because people are born to crave for more than the usual amount given.

An entrepreneur should always be on the lookout for new creations and new ideas, not missing a spot. If worse comes to worse, he could always revitalize his resources by trying special strategies to cope up with liabilities.

As an owner and a manager of his own company, an entrepreneur should also think about his employee’s welfare. It is not only important to achieve customer satisfaction but also a good employee-employer relationship. Now nobody wants people banging on their doors in the middle of the night just because of unfair salaries.

Where would you get materials, machineries and facilities needed for production? From suppliers. With the constant price hike, an honest negotiation would bring much advantage. An entrepreneur should be capable of assembling all the elements into one and at the same time treat each element equally. Dealers are like gasoline that fuel-up the industry with the appropriate raw materials, facilities and machineries.

Battling everyday disappointments and struggles can make a man fall to his knees and give up everything he has worked hard for. But on the end of the day there would still be hope to do better. This is a world where competition made history.

From hair accessories to foot wear, every brand has made its trademark. That’s why a businessman should always see to it that his fellow competitors would be compelled and would do anything to imitate what he has uniquely done. Catching their attention is mission accomplished.

At the end of the day, when you go home, you’d think about the tiring day that you had. Flashbacks of that multimillion deal you had with a business tycoon. That’s self-fulfillment. No, it wouldn’t be only for the money but also for respect and recognition.

 

To Your Success,

Steve
www.spnmarketing.com

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Steve Hurst has been working in sales and marketing for over 30 years. For 10 years he had his own computer business which included website building and consulting. The past 5 years he’s owned his own Business & Technology consulting business. Using his sales and marketing skills along with his knowledge of technology, he’s helping his clients increase their sales and profits by utilizing today’s technology.

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All writings here are copyrighted by Steve Hurst. You may not use them without written permission but you may link to the posts or give out a link to the posts.

Posted in Business, Marketing, Sales, Success | Leave a comment

The Benefits of Business Blogging

Businesses are now conducted both online and offline; however, more and more businesses have online sites so that they can reach the far corners of the world. Many internet businesses have become successful and profitable and one key is through blogging.

Business blogging is becoming a necessity nowadays especially for online businesses. If you can combine blogging with other keys to business success, your online business can keep up with the extreme competition online.

If you want your business enterprise to become successful in the future, you have to learn how to blog. You don’t need to hire the services of other bloggers because you can blog yourself. By being your business’ personal blogger, you can save money.

Instead of paying bloggers to blog about your business, you can do it yourself and use the saved money to finance other expenses of the business. Many business owners are into blogging because they can derive many benefits from business blogging. If others can do it, then why can’t you? Here are some of the benefits that your business can derive from blogging.

There are many kinds of businesses. If you want to establish your business’ name, you can use blogging. Aside from that, you can familiarize your prospective customers about your particular business enterprise. If your customers can connect with your business effectively, they will be more interested to do business with you.

The business industry is large and your emerging business is like a tiny dot. Through the use of effective business blogging, you can turn that tiny dot into a huge and marked one.

If you want your business to make some noise online, you must learn how to blog. Many people are now reading blogs everyday and so you can expect that your business’ website will have more traffic. Blog readers often pass links to their friends, relatives, and loved ones. If you post interesting blogs, your link can be passed on to others. You can gain more customers by having your link passed from one individual to another. Whenever you post business blogs, you have to catch the attention and interest of your readers and subscribers.

If you’re able to post effective blogs online, you can also improve your website’s ranking in search engines. If you’re among the best searches online, your business will have higher chances of success. Many individuals conduct researches online and if your business is among the top searches, more traffic will come to your site.

With more readers visiting and reading your business blogs, you can expect more customers to call you up and place orders or seek their needed services. So you see, your business will surely earn huge profits if you post blogs regularly.

If you’re planning to put up an online business, you should first learn how to blog. Blogging is not that difficult. You can find your needed blogging resources online by conducting a bit of research. Once you’ve gathered all your needed information, you can start posting blogs.

Your website should also be easy to use. Customers and readers must be able to maneuver effortlessly within your website. This way, more customers will visit your site repeatedly and they can even recommend your business’ website to other people they know.

For a successful and profitable online business, try business blogging. The benefits are endless, so why not try blogging?

 

To Your Success,

Steve
www.spnmarketing.com

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Steve Hurst has been working in sales and marketing for over 30 years. For 10 years he had his own computer business which included website building and consulting. The past 5 years he’s owned his own Business & Technology consulting business. Using his sales and marketing skills along with his knowledge of technology, he’s helping his clients increase their sales and profits by utilizing today’s technology.

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All writings here are copyrighted by Steve Hurst. You may not use them without written permission but you may link to the posts or give out a link to the posts.

Posted in Business, Success | Leave a comment

Learn the True Characteristics of an Entrepreneur

It is said that in order to become a successful individual in whatever endeavor you wish to take, you must have the right attitude and characteristics. This is also true with an entrepreneur. Not everyone can become an entrepreneur. But before anything else, what is an entrepreneur?

According to one definition, an entrepreneur is someone who finances or initiates a certain business undertaking. If you too would want to become a businessperson, you have to possess the characteristics of an entrepreneur.

What are the characteristics of an entrepreneur? Are they really important? Well, of course the characteristics are important because if you don’t possess them, you will have lower chances in terms of business success. The characteristics are as follows –

1. Risk taker – this is a very important characteristic of an entrepreneur. If you’re not willing to take any risk, then you will not succeed as a businessperson. In the everyday course of the business, you will encounter a lot of problems and challenges which you need to decide the soonest.

Some risks are worth taking after careful evaluation especially if it’s for the good of the business. If you’re not a risk taker, then you’re not an effective entrepreneur and you’re bound to fail in your business undertaking.

2. Smart – being smart is another characteristic of an entrepreneur. You have to be clever, keen, and witty in all your business dealings. You have to show mental alertness and intelligence so that you can win the respect and trust of customers and other clients.

3. A leader – leadership is a characteristic that is hard to find among individuals. Not many individuals have the nerve to take the lead. To become a good entrepreneur, you must be a leader. Some say that this is a born characteristic but if you don’t possess it, you can also learn to become a leader.

You’re quite lucky if you’re a born leader because you only have to develop your other qualities and use them when you choose to become an entrepreneur. As a leader, you should be able to guide, influence, and direct people. This way, you can handle all your business activities with ease and fewer worries.

4. Inner passion for business – another important characteristic is having the right passion for business. You have to maintain your enthusiasm and interest in the business. As long as you have the right drive and passion, you can run the business for a long time.

5. Honest and trustworthy – some say that eighty percent of an entrepreneur’s time is dedicated to pooling and attracting customers. This may be true because without the customers, the business will not exist. You have to be honest and trustworthy so that you can develop good will.

There are other characteristics that an entrepreneur should possess. These characteristics help him or her do all the business responsibilities and obligations that need to be done.

These are also the keys to business success. If you want to finance a certain business venture and run the business yourself, you should develop these characteristics. Without them, your business will soon fail and you will suffer the losses.

Be thankful if you already have the characteristics of an entrepreneur. All you need to do now is to study the market carefully, think of a good business venture, and provide for the capital and you’re all set.

 

To Your Success,

Steve
www.spnmarketing.com

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Steve Hurst has been working in sales and marketing for over 30 years. For 10 years he had his own computer business which included website building and consulting. The past 5 years he’s owned his own Business & Technology consulting business. Using his sales and marketing skills along with his knowledge of technology, he’s helping his clients increase their sales and profits by utilizing today’s technology.

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All writings here are copyrighted by Steve Hurst. You may not use them without written permission but you may link to the posts or give out a link to the posts.

Posted in Business, Marketing, Sales, Success | Leave a comment

How To Use Viral Marketing To Your Advantage

Viral marketing is a cool term for word of mouth on the Internet. It is where people hear about your website service or products through other people. Sending an email with an advertisement on the bottom is a good way to spread the word. Having a newsletter also increases your visibility online. And sending out videos is another great way to use viral marketing.

There are also forums that discuss products and services and rate them. Viral marketing’s referral technique works like the snowball effect, which increases exponentially the visibility of your business. Getting personal recommendations to try a product or service is a great way to build credibility and trust in the company. Repeating these referrals to other people makes the customer actively engage themselves and not passively hear about the products advantages.

Viral marketing is a great way to keep advertising costs way down. Passing along an article from an ezine keeps the message intact, is free and easy to pass along, and doesn’t cost anything, but offers a clear benefit to both parties involved.

Here are some ways to make your viral marketing message work. You can give away a free article with a pass it on link on the bottom, or a free demo version of your product, or offer a free trial of your service on your web site and include a share it with your friend button at the bottom of the page. You could also hold a contest and capture people’s contact information and each time their friends come to the site, they are entered into the contest again. Starting your own affiliate program, where affiliates generate traffic to your website with banner ads, text links, letters of referrels, etc. You pay for results only.

Viral marketing is the way to achieve high traffic cheaply and effectively on the web. Provide your customers with a compelling reason to pass on the message and you are well on your way to big time traffic.

To Your Success,

Steve
www.spnmarketing.com

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Steve Hurst has been working in sales and marketing for over 30 years. For 10 years he had his own computer business which included website building and consulting. The past 5 years he’s owned his own Business & Technology consulting business. Using his sales and marketing skills along with his knowledge of technology, he’s helping his clients increase their sales and profits by utilizing today’s technology.

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All writings here are copyrighted by Steve Hurst. You may not use them without written permission but you may link to the posts or give out a link to the posts.

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What Is Your "Opening?"

A lot of times we get wrapped up in our products. And why not? We’ve worked for months putting our business together and our products are what people want to buy. When it comes to putting together a sales letter we want to explain every little detail so our prospect can see exactly what they’re getting when they make their purchase.

Isn’t this the way it should be?

NO! The customer doesn’t care about the late nights you spent meticulously researching your product. The customer wants to know just ONE thing: What’s In It For Me? (WIIFM) If you can’t answer that one simple question, you’ll never be able to consistently sell your product or service.

In a sales letter or ad, you have less than two seconds to gain your prospect’s attention. The first major mistake most people make is to start out with a weak headline.

If your headline doesn’t grab attention, then whatever you say in the body copy is meaningless.

The next biggest mistake is starting any piece of copy with a “me” message. A “me” message is all about you and your company. To your prospect “me” messages are boring! To get your prospects attention you must talk about THEM, not you. You must talk to their pleasure, their wealth, their challenges, their fears, their problems, and their joys. Every prospect is tuned into the same radio station – WIIFM (as in “What’s In It For Me”).

One way of avoiding this after you have written your ad or sales copy is to reread it and circle all the “me” words. Words such as “I, me, we, and our” are “me” words. Rewrite the copy using “you” and “your” words, making it more interesting and exciting to your prospect.

Imagine how much fun it would be to see your profits go through the roof. To do this, you must clearly make your business stand out and apart from all your competition. You must convey your uniqueness without spending a fortune, and the secret is all in the sales copy.

You must create a Unique Selling Proposition (U.S.P.) What do you offer your prospects that your competitor doesn’t or can’t? Maybe it’s a better guarantee, better service, availability (reachable after 9 to 5), better location, or better customer treatment. Whatever you can do to set your business/services apart from your competition gives you the “edge”.

Something many business owners don’t realize or are mistaken about is the “length” of guarantee they offer. Giving your prospect a “2-Year, No Questions Asked Guarantee” is much better than a “90-day,
Money Back Guarantee.”

The longer the guarantee, the more credible you and your business are “perceived” by your prospect. Typically the majority of your customers will never make use of the “2-Year Guarantee.” Let’s face it, by that time they like using your product, and/or they’ve long ago lost the sales slip. BUT, when a prospect reads about the longer guarantee you’re offering, it raises their comfort level and makes them choose you over your competition.

Always remember that when you’re a small fish in a big pond – you must be different to stand out. Making use of good advertising copy filled with words that make prospects eager to satisfy their WIIFM is the answer.

To Your Success,

Steve
www.spnmarketing.com

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Steve Hurst has been working in sales and marketing for over 30 years. For 10 years he had his own computer business which included website building and consulting. The past 5 years he’s owned his own Business & Technology consulting business. Using his sales and marketing skills along with his knowledge of technology, he’s helping his clients increase their sales and profits by utilizing today’s technology.

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All writings here are copyrighted by Steve Hurst. You may not use them without written permission but you may link to the posts or give out a link to the posts.

Posted in Business, Marketing, Sales, Success | Leave a comment

Entrepreneurial Strong Leaders Are Lifetime Students

Entrepreneurial leaders do not have a mindset that adapts to failure. Things go wrong, of course, but entrepreneurs don’t call them “failures” they call them “glitches, mistakes, bungles, setbacks” – but not failing.

When one such entrepreneur was asked about the hardest decision he ever had to make, he answered that he didn’t know what a hard decision was. An entrepreneur will approach decision-making with the idea that there’s a strong likelihood that he/she will be wrong. This doesn’t dissuade them – to the contrary they just do the best they can and worry about handling obstacles as they arise.

Another way of looking at it is to realize that you will make mistakes, so make them as quickly as you can in order to learn from them. A good leader doesn’t view making mistakes as negative or irrevocable, he/she feels free to press on and try something new. There is the belief that something useful has been learned, and hopefully not at a high cost.

Let’s face it; if you’re going to live this life you’re going to make mistakes. Make use of them as learning tools and don’t make the same ones twice.

Entrepreneurs also know the value of “intuition”. While you shouldn’t act on the results of tossing a coin, there is something to be said about your “gut” feeling about the situation. Very often business people become so involved with systems and checks-and-balances that they forget about that “gut” instinct they had when they started.

While not strictly logical, intuition does draw on a combination of experience, knowledge, and analysis as well as a lot of “gut” information you may have forgotten that you have.

You become a strong leader in your business by “practicing” being a leader. It’s not a course you can take at a business college; it’s learned in the school of life as you’re doing business.

As a leader, you have to set standards and higher standards for your own behavior. You must do this because appearances are sometimes more important that facts.

Consider for a moment that as an entrepreneur with a small business you’re planning on approaching a bank for a loan. You know that you must present a well thought out and concise Business Plan, with all the projections for the use of the capital you’ll borrow and the repayment of the same. You learned that from all those seminars you attended when considering becoming an entrepreneur, but is there something that you weren’t taught in seminars? What about “presentation”?

I don’t mean the presentation of the Business Plan, we all know that must be well done and attractive. What I’m talking about is YOU! Do you maintain the appearance of leadership? Do you project a confident appearance of a successful entrepreneur? You may not have the faintest idea today how you’re going to pay for that advertising bill coming due on the 15th, but you’re not going to give that banker that information.

Presenting yourself as a confident entrepreneur, filled with the excitement of your business idea, and a strong leader of your team (whether it’s 1 or 10 employees) is what will make you a winner and add untold weight to your Business Plan. After all, you are your business to that banker so you’d better look good and confident.

To protect that faith that your people and your customers have in your organization, always ask yourself these two questions:

  1. Could this be interpreted by anyone in a way that would shake their faith in my leadership?
  2. Could this be misinterpreted and held against me or the company?

Strong leaders know that leadership is a lifelong learning experience, and when they make a mistake they simply continue to move forward. The ability to bounce back is a quality that every entrepreneur I’ve ever known has in abundance.

When you blunder, get up and try again quickly. As one high-tech executive I knew put it, “Our strategy is to fail forward fast.”

To Your Success,

Steve
www.spnmarketing.com

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Steve Hurst has been working in sales and marketing for over 30 years. For 10 years he had his own computer business which included website building and consulting. The past 5 years he’s owned his own Business & Technology consulting business. Using his sales and marketing skills along with his knowledge of technology, he’s helping his clients increase their sales and profits by utilizing today’s technology.

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All writings here are copyrighted by Steve Hurst. You may not use them without written permission but you may link to the posts or give out a link to the posts.

Posted in Business, Success | Leave a comment

Low Cost Promotion and Marketing Ideas

Promotion and advertising can be a heavy expense, especially for a new business that wants to make itself known in a community. A home-based business, however, more often than not, has a very limited budget when it comes to advertising. The home business owner needs to make the public aware of his or her product or service at the lowest possible cost.

There are many ways. A pet breeder in a large city was struggling for several years-until he came up with a novel idea. He started giving away customized “birth certificates” for the pets he sold. Almost immediately, his sales rose more than 10 percent.

The owner of a new home cleaning service was trying to attract clients. She couldn’t afford much advertising, so she began offering “home cleaning seminars” to civic groups. After two months of seminars, she was swamped with inquiries and clients.

Promotion often makes the crucial difference between business success and failure. Customers or clients must know about a business or product line before they’ll buy and they must have a reason to buy.

If you are trying to promote your business now, you can move in one of two directions: 1) You can take the conventional route to promotion and mount an elaborate media campaign, spending a considerable amount of money or 2) You can let your creative juices flow and mount a low-cost promotion effort, using a potpourri of attention-getting gimmicks to bring your message to the buying public.

Now, to be sure, conventional advertising is valuable. If your enterprise is large enough or if you’re selling numerous product lines, you may find that a full-fledged media campaign is the most efficient and cost effective way to promote your business.

If money is tight, however, or you’re not sure you can amortize the heavy cost of a media campaign over a period of time, the following is a assortment of low-cost techniques you can try. Not all may be appropriate for your particular business, and certainly it would be costly to try them all. But you’re sure to find some ideas that will work for you.

GIVEAWAYS. People love to receive “free” items, especially items they can use to gain knowledge or improve their lives. You can base an entire promotional campaign on this desire. If you’re running a furniture repair business, for instance, you could give away a furniture repair brochure, free furniture planning guides, or color swatches. Once you begin giving away authoritative information customers will begin to perceive you as an expert in your field.

NEWS CREATION. Want to get names and news from your business in the local newspaper? It may be easier that you think. If you don’t have any news to report to the local media, create some. Maybe you’ve taken on a new associate. Or maybe you’re selling an unusual product line. Or maybe you’ve opened a free advice center for the community. Or maybe you’ve received an award from a civic or professional group. Local Pennysavers and weekly are often quite interested in business news of this sort and can help you attract the attention of thousands of people.

EVENTS. You may be able to attract the attention of the media or a crowd by staging a special promotional event. If you run a fitness classes, for instance, you could stage a celebrity instructor day. If you’re promoting a new real estate business, you can offer tours of a model home in the area. If you’re selling children’s products and it’s springtime, you can offer lunch with the Easter bunny. Get the idea?

CHARITY TIE-INS. Are you launching a new product? Trying to increase visibility among a particular segment of your community? Offer your product to one or more local charities as a raffle prize or for use at a fund raising event. You’ll receive lots of exposure among people who buy tickets or attend the event.

CONTESTS. Offer a desirable or unique item-or even several items-as contest prizes. First, find a contest theme that tiers into your business. A caterer might offer a quiche-eating contest. A photographer might offer a young model contest. A mail order craft firm might offer an “Early American” handicrafts contest. Invite contest submissions and offer prizes to the winners. Do contests attract attention? You bet. All it takes is a few signs, a small press announcement or two, and the word will spread throughout the community grapevine.

COMMUNITY SERVICE. Nothing brings you to the attention of the people faster-or more favorably-than community service. Ask yourself how your enterprise can be a “good neighbor” to your community. If you’re running a lawn care and gardening service, perhaps you can offer one season’s services at no charge to a
needy charitable organization or nursing home in your area. Hundreds of people will hear about your work in the process. Volunteer for various community causes. If appropriate, you can step in during community emergency, offering products and services to help an organization or individuals in need.

COUPONING. Americans are very coupon-conscious. Test the market: at what level will coupons increase the volume of various product or service lines? When you get some tentative answers, start distributing coupons that offer a discount on your services. Distribute them to area newspapers, on store counters, in
door-to-door- mail packets (which can often be quite inexpensive), at the public library, at laundromats, at any location where people congregate.

BADGES AND NOVELTIES. You can easily and inexpensively produce badges, bumper stickers, book covers, and other novelty items for distribution in your area. You can imprint your business name and the first names of the customers on many of these products at little cost and distribute them for free. Or you can tie your novelty program into a contest: once a month, you can offer a prize to any individual whose car happens to carry one of your bumper stickers or badges with peel-off coupons, redeemable at your place of business.

CELEBRITY VISITS. With a bit of persistence, you may be able to arrange to have a local media celebrity, public official, or entertainment personally-even a fictitious cartoon character or clown-visit your service. The celebrity can sign autographs, read stories to children, perform cooking demonstrations, or perform any one of a hundred other traffic-building activities.

CELEBRATE HOLIDAYS. You’ll probably want to celebrate major public holidays with special sales. But celebrate some of the offbeat holidays as well. Almost every business has a few little-known holidays. Ever hear of National Pickle Day, for instance? Or Cat Lovers Month? Once you find the “right” holiday, you can sponsor a special sale or special product arrange special media coverage of a holiday event.

GO WHERE THE PEOPLE ARE. Can you open sales information booths at community fairs and festivals? This promotional technique can work for gift retailers, craftspeople, and personal service firms. If you have the people and the time, can you handle regional fairs or even trade shows?

MAILING LISTS. Once you begin establishing a committed clientele, gather their names on a mailing list. Save the names from your mail orders and telephone inquiries. Eventually, you’ll be able to send product circulars or even catalogs to the folks on your list and you’ll be able to promise your products by mail.

SCAVENGER HUNTS. If you want people to buy NOW, offer them an unbeatable deal. If they bring an old product-a small appliance, a book, whatever-to you, you’ll give them a worthwhile discount on a comparable new item. Or stage a general purpose scavenger hunt. Customers who bring in three canned goods for your community’s food bank will receive a discount on products
purchased that day.

PARTIES. Everyone loves a party. Why not celebrate the anniversary of your business or some special holiday by offering baked goods and beverages? If you’re running a service business, perhaps you can offer an open house or obtain a small banquet room in your community. Besides refreshments, be sure the place is brightly decorated.

GREETING CARDS. Do you send out greeting cards to major customers or clients? Holidays, birthdays, and anniversaries make nice greeting card occasions. Greeting cards create enormous goodwill and keep your name in front of people.

SEMINARS. In this information hungry age, people love to receive advice, especially about their personal needs and hobbies. If you sell health foods or run fitness classes, perhaps you can offer “wellness” seminars during lunchtime to your area’s business community. If you’re an interior decorator, perhaps you can offer one-hour decorating workshops to any group of ten people who will gather in someone’s home. If you’re running a printing business, perhaps you can offer tours and layout seminars at your plant.

If you’re not pleased with your promotional efforts today or if you simply must increase your exposure among customers and prospects-it’s probably time to increase your publicity efforts.

By all means, advertise in the media if you can or must. But don’t neglect your greatest promotional asset-your mind. Ponder the products, services, and events you can offer the community and devise a creative promotional strategy around them. You’ll have to invest a bit of time and energy in the project, but the payoff will be worth it. You’ll save hundreds-or even thousands-of advertising dollars and, better yet, you’ll travel a well-worn shortcut to profit.

To Your Success,

Steve
www.spnmarketing.com

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Steve Hurst has been working in sales and marketing for over 30 years. For 10 years he had his own computer business which included website building and consulting. The past 5 years he’s owned his own Business & Technology consulting business. Using his sales and marketing skills along with his knowledge of technology, he’s helping his clients increase their sales and profits by utilizing today’s technology.

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All writings here are copyrighted by Steve Hurst. You may not use them without written permission but you may link to the posts or give out a link to the posts.

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