Basic Marketing Requirements For Your New Business

Having a product or services, a kind of website and lots of enthusiasm is simply not enough to ensure that your small business succeeds. There are certain necessary basic marketing mechanisms you need to put in place to ensure that your business is around for a long time.

A simple template based website might be sufficient but you should ensure that it does the job perfectly. This means someone other than you will have to test it to see that all the links work and that navigation is logical and easy to follow. If you have a website where customers can make purchases ensure that the shopping cart feature is functional and user friendly. You should also have some kind of search engine optimization conducted to ensure your website is easily found.

Next you are going to need brochures and price lists. Included in these should be all the basic information connected with your business and your product and service pricing. Your website should encompass everything included here. These basic tools are essential to make selling your goods and services easier. It is shocking how few businesses have insufficient basic information to hand. Dont fall into this trap. If your goods and services are of a technical nature, ensure that you have specification or data sheets available. Remember: people like to do business with people that put their prices in writing.

You need to announce to the world that you are in business that your new products and services meet their needs and are everything they have been waiting for. Sending a press release to the media is an excellent way to do this. Don’t feel inferior your business is newsworthy. Have a press release professionally written and distributed. If using a professional press release writer eats up your entire budget, consider distributing the release through an online service such as http://www.PRWeb.com and others.

If you are selling a product in the consumer market then you should make the effort to develop a striking point of sale POS presence. Go and find examples in your supermarket or in stores similar to where you product would be sold and develop these merchandising styles. These might include corrugated floor or end cap merchandisers, tags or wobblers. Remember to obtain the merchandising guidelines and policies from the stores involved in marketing your product.

Advertising of some kind should form part of your marketing mix. This need not be expensive. In fact, it is unusual for newly established small businesses to advertise in the prime media print, TV and radio. Even a simple online banner ad, a PPC campaign or an email campaign might be effective. Look at distributing business cards, flyers and leaflets. Work out a nice advertising mix that will address your target audience within your budget. Do not look at advertising your business as a luxury but rather as an investment that will pay handsome dividends over time.

Once your marketing campaign is operating, don’t omit to test and monitor results via your website, public relations, point of sale and advertising efforts. Then you will be able to work out your return on investment. You will get an idea of how you need to alter and refine your campaign, this time around and the next year.

If you do not see yourself having the time, skills or patience for setting up your basic marketing plan then consider getting a marketing consultant or agency involved to help you. Some such agencies and individual marketing consultants offer full spectrum marketing services that can handle all of the above and more. A huge advantage of dealing through an agency is that it eliminates having to research and find reliable suppliers. Instead you work with one contact who takes responsibility for it all.

Home Based Business – 5 Easy Tips To Get You Organized For Increase Productivity

To be successful in your home based business is predictable if only you can get yourself organized. I have been through the road and I know what I am talking about.

My early days in the home based business climate were muddled with a lot of unorganized schedule and work environment which saw my productivity falling short of my investment. Luckily, I got a lift away from this after attending a seminar on small business organization, planning and management for effective productivity. Since then, the tip I learned and practiced has practically increased my personal and business productivity.

There never seems to be enough hours in the day to complete all our tasks. Tight workspaces, untidy environment, unplanned schedules and other cluttered environment affect us deeply both mentally and physically than we may realize. When we are surrounded by these monstrous disorders, we feel drained, stressed out, confused, exhausted and overwhelmed. You should also note that little details knitted together make up your work and as such lack of organization makes you forget some of these little details. Neglecting this for a long time definitely leads to a fall in productivity.

The purpose of getting yourself organized is for you to increase your return on the mental, emotional, physical and spiritual capital that you have invested in your home business. For every minute that you spend organizing yourself and planning out your goals saves you ten to twenty minutes in advance for the execution of your work.

Here are five tips to help you achieve good organization.

  1. Before you start your work each day, spend between 10 – 20 minutes of your time organizing your work space. Keep the places tidy; put every thing from papers to books in their proper filing position. The purpose for this is to enable a neat and harmonious working environment.
  2. Use a notebook and planner as a tool to organize your work schedule, plans, and productive thoughts and mark out your progress. The notebook or planner serves as a place to organize your ideas and tasks so they are not running out of control through your mind while you’re trying to be productive. It should divided into sections to contain a calendar , where you designate one page for each day’s activities. Write down appointments, work assignments, errands, and anything that needs to be done that day. Also have sections for ideas, future projects, goals and anything else that fits your business and family.
  3. Take the time to positively think and dream. Give yourself at least 30 minutes to one hour daily for these activities for such moments bring out some of our best Ideas. Make it up a little earlier in the morning or late at night alone. Keep your notebook or organizer closer to enable record your ideas because good ideas seems to be volatile. Breathe deeply, empty your mind and enjoy the quiet moment of thoughts.
  4. Beautify your work place with motivational writings, quotes, pictures and even a jar of beautiful flowers for your desk. Placed these in a position to glimpse once in a while during your working hours.
  5. Always prepare for the unexpected. Sometimes surprises springs up while getting yourself organized, therefore putting you on a part to changing your plans. I such an unexpected situation, do not panic, accept it and do your best. Whatever it may be, look at it carefully for it comes with an opportunity that will give you a break. Take an advantage of such situation, think critically about it and reorganized yourself.

Finally, what I will have you note here is that just like chaos and clutter are habits, so are tidiness and organization. Changing your unorganized habits to that of an organized person will see your productivity soar very high.

Cash Flow Is To Your Business, Like Romance Is To Your Marriage

This year, My wife Marcy and I will celebrate our 10th wedding anniversary. As I think about an appropriate gift for the event, I can’t help but reflect on how far we’ve come: Ups and downs, fights and make ups, financial highs and woes, kids, and of course, the occasional moment of marital bliss. A million and one issues have brought us closer together and some have even threaten to tear us apart. Curiously, I can’t help but find some similarities between my marriage journey and my business journey.

Like my marriage, my business has gone through many phases, ups and downs, growth and decline, moments that I was sure I wanted to hang up the towel, and moments that I decided to bunker down and fight for what was and is mine. Just like a marriage, a business needs many elements for success. However, since we are nearing Valentines Day (and my 10th year anniversary) I will focus on two elements that I think are crucial: Love and Romance.

Love is that commitment that Marcy and I made to each other that we were going to stick together no matter what. Our Love has grown as time and joint experiences have vested us into the relationship and strengthened our bond. Romance, is that little endorphin that our love needs to make our hearts skip a beat and make the hard times seem so far away. Similarly in business, I have found that I need the love or commitment in my core to drive me when times are tough and cash flow is the Romance that I need to keep my business gears in motion.

I have read literally thousands of books and articles on the amount of commitment, capitalization, and know-how, to run a successful business. I am ashamed to say that I have not read even one book on the amount of commitment that it would take to get my marriage through its first decade and maybe only a couple of dozen articles on how to be more romantic (usually right around valentines day). Ironic enough is the fact that I consider myself a better husband than a business person. To stay on topic, we will not seek any quotes from wife for this article, I will however focus on the romance (cash flow) side of business and how crucial it is to a business’ long term success.

Most businesses that fail run out of money before the business can succeed. Let me rephrase that in case it wasn’t clear enough, you need to cash flow or you are out of business. It would seem like a simple enough statement, however, I have entered enough business ventures in which I and/or my partners miscalculated the cash and cash equivalents that it would take to meet the operating, investing, and financing needs of our enterprise.

What happened next was almost predictable, we each had to make a choice between making the necessary changes to make the business cash flow, or put our energies towards other ventures that were paying for themselves and paying the bills at home. As I have gotten older and wiser (more stubborn), I have paid a little more attention to the statement of cash flows, which determines the short-term viability of any potential business venture. I have learned the hard way, that my cash flow will take a considerable toll on my stress level and personal pocket book (again, we will refrain from seeking any quotes from my lovely wife).

So how do you tackle romance aspect of a business “cash flow”? In my marriage, I have resorted to flowers, chocolates, date nights, weekend getaways, and the most important element was creativity. I have discovered that the more creative I am, the more dividends it pays. Same with business, I have had to look at small business loans, renegotiating with creditors, restructuring salaries, keeping a keen eye on expenses, borrowing from family, business cash advances, and credit card factoring.

I can’t tell you how many times I have had a “stroke of genius” while trying to make payroll, investing in the future of my business, and/or renegotiating with suppliers and creditors. You see, all these groups of people have a vested interest in my success. They all have very different reasons, but they all have something to gain when I do well (even if they all seem to team up against me at the same time). I always try to keep in mind that their interest in my success is the most important leverage I need as a business person.

So here’s to the next decade with Marcy and leveraging that knowledge of injecting the right amount of romance into our marriage and our business for the rest of our lives.