If you’re starting a new business, probably one of the biggest fears you’ll have is: “…what if I fail…?” Keep these ideas in mind when launching your new or existing business; of course there’s more, but this is the most consistent answers I’ve heard from entrepreneurs, blogs, surveys, and other articles…
Reason #1: Not Investigating the Market
So you’ve always wanted to open a real estate agency, and you finally have the means to do so, but your desire to open the agency blinds you to the fact that we’re in a down housing market and the area where you want to work is alre
ady saturated with agencies, making it very difficult to break in. This is a mistake that will cause you to fail from the beginning. You have to find an opening or unmet need within a market and then fill it rather than try and force your product or service in. It’s a lot easier to satisfy a need rather than create one and convince people that they want to spend money on it
Reason #2: Business Plan Problems
A solid and realistic business plan is the basis of a successful business. In the plan, you will outline realistic goals for your business, how your business can meet those goals and possible problems and solutions. The plan will figure out if there’s a need for the business through research and surveys; it will figure out the costs and inputs needed for the business; and it will outline strategies and time lines that should be implemented and met.
Reason #3: Too Little Financing
If you have started a company and things aren’t working out, you’ve got little capital and a struggling business; you’re really not in a good position to ask for another loan. Be realistic at the beginning, and start with enough money that will last you to the point where you’re business is up and running, and cash is actually flowing in. Trying to stretch your finances at the beginning may mean that your business never gets off the ground, and you’ll still have a lot of cash to repay.
Reason #4: Bad Location, Internet Presence and Marketing
A bad location is self-explanatory if your business relies on location for foot traffic. Just as dangerous, however, is internet presence. These days, your location on the internet and your social media presence can be just as important as your company’s physical presence in a shopping district. Online presence will let people know that they can give you their business, so if the need is already there, the availability and visibility of your business is the next important step.
Reason #5: Rigidity
Once you’ve done the planning, established your business and gained a customer base, don’t get complacent. The need that you’re fulfilling may not always be there, monitor the market and know when you may need to alter your business plan. Being on top of key trends will allow you lots of time to adjust your strategy so that you can remain successful. One must only look at the music industry or Blockbuster video to know that successful industries can undergo huge changes.
Reason #6: Expanding Too Fast
Now that your business is established and successful, it’s time to expand, but you must treat the expansion like you’re starting all over again. If you’re expanding the reach of your business, make sure that you understand the areas and markets into which you’ll now be reaching. If you’re expanding the scope and focus of your business, make sure you understand your new products, service and intended consumer as much as you do with your current successful business. When a business expands too fast and doesn’t take the same care with research, strategy and planning, the financial drain of the failing business(es) can sink the whole enterprise.
I’m sure all of you have some great tips for small businesses on how to use TWITTER, it’s so important to get to know how to use TWITTER effectively; this way you’re allowed to build a brand and relationships with potential clients!!!! This post was with the help of Kyle Lacy (www.kylelacy.com), and with the help of others. If you should have some TWITTER tips that weren’t mentioned, post them, and I’ll be updating them periodically!!
1. Use your personal picture in your Twitter profile. There is only one situation where you can use your logo… if you have two profiles. Your personal profile and your company profile.
2. Don’t setup an Auto-DMto send when users follow you. Why you ask?
3. Use Twitter Search to find subject matters that interest you. This can cater to your business interests, as well as your personal interests. This will help you find people that share
4. Personal life reigns… but not too much. Add in some of your personal life while you are using TWITTER. What is important to remember is that you are using Twitter for your business generation as well. The people following you want to know that you are REAL… but not to the point where they are hearing about what you are eating or where you are driving.
5. It is important to use Twitter as much as you can but not to the point where you are wasting valuable time when at work. Tweet about what you are reading online.. Maybe a new insight you found while reading the night before. Try to use Twitter a couple of times a day.
6. Reply. Reply. Reply. Whenever you get a response (@yourname) make sure that you respond to the reply. This is extremely important because your most valuable followers are the people that respond and communicate with you.
7. Use strawpoll to create a survey to feed into your Twitter stream. This will be an awesome way to get information regarding service offerings and products.
9. Use a business Twitter account (example: @entrepreneurfyi) to create a great place for customer relationship management. Teach your clients to use Twitter to keep with the happenings of your company. Also, it can help you share the news and information regarding the success of your clients.
10. Use Twitter as a discussion forum. Ask your clients and prospective clients what they would like to see, hear, taste, and experience.
11. Twitter is not a place for you to hard sell individuals on services. We are here for discussions and not sales.
12. I started out with a personal profile that allowed me to create relationships before starting my company profile.I was able to cleaning transition between two accounts because people trusted me. If you start two accounts at the same time you will be overwhelmed and underwhelm your followers.
13. Use TweetLater for productivity. I don’t recommend using this tool much. You need to be involved in the conversation as you start sending tweets. If you are not there to interact with your followers there really is not a point for using the tool. Though.. it does help for those random tweets to stay connected.
14. Take pictures and share on TWitter. Add pictures on Twitter using Twitpic using your iPhone or mobile phone.
15. Use Google Analytics to measure the traffic directed from Twitter to your blog or website. If you can measure the traffic related to sales or aquisitions it help you understand an ROI from the tool.
16. Fill out your profile. Make sure you put information regarding your personal life as well as your business life. This is important because…everyone reads it.
17. We add our Twitter URLs to our business cards. I also like to add my LinkedIN account and blog URL. This will encourage more of your networking friends to follow you and communicate more effectively.
18. Download TweetDeck. Tweetdeck is a powerful tool to help you be productive while using Twitter.
19. Are you using a Blackberry or iPhone? You should definitly be looking at downloading an application to help you manage your twitter account while you are out of the office.
20. Thank you. When someone shares your post or tweet make sure you send a DM or Tweet thanking them for their support. Just as you should be emailing people to thank them for comments… same goes with Twitter.
You don’t have to act like the “big dogs” and spend hundreds of thoudsands of dollars to promote your business. Here are some small business marketing tips that has the potential to take your business to the next level and gain more exposure…
Don’t Advertise Like a Big Business
Big businesses advertise to create name recognition and future sales. A small business can’t afford to do that. Instead, design your advertising to produce sales …now. One way to accomplish this is to always include an offer in your advertising – and an easy way for prospective customers to respond to it.
Offer a Cheaper Version
Some prospective customers are not willing to pay the asking price for your product or service. Others are more interested in paying a low price than in getting the best quality. You can avoid losing sales to many of these customers by offering a smaller or stripped down version of your product or service at a lower price.
Offer a Premium Version
Not all customers are looking for a cheap price. Many are willing to pay a higher price to get a premium product or service. You can boost your average size sale and your total revenue by offering a more comprehensive product or service …or by combining several products or services in a special premium package offer for a higher price
Try Some Unusual Marketing Methods
Look for some unconventional marketing methods your competitors are overlooking. You may discover some highly profitable ways to generate sales and avoid competition. For example, print your best small ad on a postcard and mail it to prospects in your targeted market. A small ad on a postcard can drive a high volume of traffic to your website or generate a flood of sales leads for a very small cost.
Trim Your Ads
Reduce the size of your ads so you can run more ads for the same cost. You may even be surprised to find that some of your short ads generate a better response than their longer versions.
Set up Joint Promotions with Other Small Businesses
Contact some non-competing small businesses serving customers in your market. Offer to publicize their products or services to your customers in exchange for their publicizing your services to their customers. This usually produces a large number of sales for a very low cost.
Take Advantage of Your Customers
Your customers already know and trust you. It’s easier to get more business from them than to get any business from somebody who never bought from you. Take advantage of this by creating some special deals just for your existing customers …and announce new products and services to them before you announce them to the general market.
Also, convert your customers into publicity agents for your business. Develop an incentive for them to tell associates and friends about the value of your products or services. An endorsement from them is more effective than any amount of advertising – and it is much cheaper.
…courtesy of Bob Leduc