Have Something to Offer That People Want
Try to come up with something you are already familiar with and good at. Make it in an industry that people want and yet, is rather unique. Do your best not to be in a niche that is already saturated with players. This might take some research, but it is worth the time and effort. Be able to explain what you offer in detail. This will be a crucial part of your overall marketing strategy.
Identify Your Targeted Customer Base
Every business has a specific niche, and you will need to seek customers who need what your company provides. Needless to say, everyone in your company should know what that is and be able to verbalize it. This process is extremely important and must be done prior to developing a marketing strategy. Your strategy will revolve around the identity of your customer base's niche.
Develop a Plan
Like everything else in business, marketing involves some planning. You cannot just jump into it without having a plan first. This can be a team project. Get together with your leadership and marketing teams and hash out a plan. Do not assume you have to come up with all the ideas yourself. Your team members likely have great ideas that you can use. Make sure to keep written documentation of your plan in a place where all involved can access it.
Fully Understanding Your Industry
How can you be successful in your marketing strategy if you do not know what you are talking about? If you are already in a company, it is certainly hoped you understand your specific industry and all its nuances. You have to be able to explain the different facets of what your company can offer potential clients. Be ready to answer all questions to the person's satisfaction and do so with a smile. If for some reason you do not currently understand your business' niche, do some studying. Otherwise, avoid being on the marketing team.
Listen to Your Customers
Along the way your potential and existing customers will have suggestions as to what services or products they would like to see your business offer. Always be willing to at least consider it. If enough of your audience members share the same sentiment, make them happy by taking their advice. This information should also be included when you develop future marketing strategies. In your pitch you can let people know of the new services or products and that they are a direct result of customer suggestions.
Convene a Company Advisory Board
Part of a marketing plan is often centered around the advice you get from an advisory board. No matter how long your company has been around, chances are you have some loyal patrons amongst them. Create an advisory board and invite these people to be on it. Their ideas should always be taken seriously as they represent your client base. You can draw upon their knowledge when you develop your marketing plan.
Do not explain your services one way to one client and a different way to another client. Instead, keep your message consistent. Of course, each client will have unique needs that must be addressed. Yet the overall message of how you will deliver great service to them ought to be the same. You do not want people to think your company personnel does not know what they are doing, right? Right!
While you should never become a pest to your prospective or current client, you will benefit from being persistent. Every now and then you can gently remind them of your existence and your ability to take care of their projects. If you have received a firm "no" answer to your request to serve them, then that is it. Do not bother them again. However, if they seem at all interested, stay in touch just enough to stay on their minds. Ultimately this strategy will pay off.
Whether you’re running a small or home-based business, having adequate office space is an important element of creating a professional image and staying focused and organized. If your current space is simply too small and you’re looking to relocate or upsize your home in the Tucson area, Take It to the Edge Marketing offers the following guidance.
Benefits of a Home Office
A home office is an asset, both for home-based entrepreneurs and for small business owners who work from both home and office. A designated workspace can potentially be deducted as a business expense when you file your taxes. Other benefits can be realized by establishing your business as a limited liability company or LLC. You’ll have an easier time filing taxes, be protected from some types of liability, and have more flexibility. You can file the paperwork yourself or hire an attorney, or you can save both time and money by using a formation services business to do the work on your behalf. Different states have different regulations for forming an LLC, so check them in advance.
Design Your Home Office
If you have an extra bedroom or den you can convert into a home office space, you’re in luck. Claiming your space is the first step in establishing work-home boundaries. Make sure it’s for work use only, even if that means moving out the daybed or the home exercise equipment. According to Homes and Gardens, your space should be inviting, as well as designed for productivity. Outfit your space just as you would an office in any other professional setting, with essentials like a desk and task chair, computer, printer, scanner, bookshelves, and file cabinets. If you have room, a small work or conference table can also be an asset. Convert closet space into a storage area for work supplies, and consider a white board for project tracking.
Renovate Your Home
If you don’t have any space in your home that can be easily converted into an office, consider renovating or building onto your home. This approach allows you to design an office that incorporates all of your needs and preferences. This could include built-in cabinetry or extra insulation to support a quiet work environment. You might situate your workspace outside of family traffic zones for privacy, and if you see clients or customers at home, think about adding a private entrance. According to Consumer Affairs, it’s wise to get estimates from qualified contractors and ask for all quotes in writing.
Move to a New Home
If your house is too small to accommodate your growing business, consider upsizing to a larger home. You may be able to find a house that has a beautifully appointed office, a detached garage or casita, or an extra-large bedroom or basement area where you have plenty of options for establishing office space. Connect with a reputable lender or real estate professional who can help you examine your finances, check your credit, and help you start searching for a home that meets all of your needs.
It’s tempting to buy a house “as-is,” especially in a competitive market with low inventory. It’s an approach that has the potential to save you money and reduce your competition, but it’s not without a potential downside. When you accept a house in this condition, the owner is not responsible for making any repairs and you could inherit problems like mold, insect infestation, a leaky roof, or damage to major systems. Hire your own inspector to check things out and look for red flags so you know what you’re getting yourself into.
Establishing a home office is a great way to save money, reduce commuting fees, and have greater work-life balance. Maintaining a home office can also help you stay focused and organized.
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Whether your disability is something you've dealt with since birth or you've acquired since, you know it creates challenges as a parent and an income-earner. It might be one reason you've held off on your dream of starting your own business. Don't let yourself or your family hold you back. There are ways to achieve your goals without sacrificing your self-esteem or time with your kids. Take It to the Edge Marketing shares a few.
1. Consider Working From Home
While nothing says you can't start a traditional brick-and-mortar store, there are a lot of upsides to starting a home-based business. If you have mobility issues and dealing with specialty transportation is a hassle, working from home alleviates those pain points. In addition, you save on overhead, avoiding business lease, utility and insurance costs, while still reaping the tax benefits of your home business space.
2. Plan for Success
Whatever business venture you decide on, planning is essential. You need to establish your target customer, your values and your priorities. A business plan should also include research on your competitors and the place you'll fill in your industry.
You don't have to do this planning on your own. The Small Business Development Center, or SBDC, is a free and low-cost resource. Its goal is to help you create a successful business, providing guidance on organizing your finances, developing an organizational culture, marketing to your target audience and helping you secure funding.
Finding your target market may be one of the most difficult parts of a business plan, and the most important. Use the marketing services of a company like Take It to the Edge Marketing to build customers right from the start.
3. Make It Official
Whether you go through the SBDC or a business attorney, you'll need to decide on your business structure and file legal paperwork. Incorporating protects your personal assets, but there are many kinds of formations. The most common options for small businesses are limited liability companies and S corporations. You'll also need to decide if you want to create a "doing business as" name. When you register a business name as a DBA, you can give your business credibility and give you the flexibility to open multiple small independent businesses under different domains.
4. Look for Specialized Opportunities
The SBDC and the Small Business Administration not only can help you with filing the correct paperwork and developing your business plan, but also in finding special opportunities only open to business owners with disabilities. Plans like Plan to Achieve Self-Support, or PASS, lets business owners continue to accrue supplemental security income even while they work. That's only one of many grants open only to business owners with disabilities.
5. Make Your Family Part of Your Plan
Remember that you're not only a business owner, you're part of a family that needs you. To really make sure you've still got a focus on your family, it's important to work your family into your planning. You know the only way to grow your business is by scheduling your time. It's just as important to put family time on the calendar.
Make time for family dinner. According to the website Business Collective, the conversations you have over dinner "improve literacy and behavior." Asking your family for help with the business and sticking to a regular schedule, to the extent possible, also help you balance work and family.
Think of a new business as customized employment you control. When you find something you love and incorporate these five keys, you're setting yourself up for success at work and at home.