Today is the day…..

10 Jul

Today is the day. You have planned, and prepared, and made it. You have started your own business. You have secured funding, purchased equipment and inventory. You have come up with a clever name and maybe even a catchy logo. You moved into the perfect location. You are on a mission to succeed. And why not- it is the American dream?

The old “if you build it they will come” is not reality. New businesses need hard work and dedication. You have to show your customers your very best every single day. This can be challenging and exhausting for most start ups. You have to be prepared to wear every hat including owner, manager, HR director, CFO, receivable clerk, payable processor, and sometimes janitor. Where does that leave you time to build your customer base? What about marketing? How will you stay on top of customer service and generate new clients?

Start by defining what your business provides and what goals you want to achieve. Think in terms of result oriented goals like “become the most reliable AC repair service in the region” or “provide unique clothing to women in the downtown area”. Make the goals tangible and measurable. This helps define your mission for your business and will allow you to target your marketing. If as in the earlier example you want to “become the most reliable AC repair service in the region” then start by thinking about who hires reliable AC contractors? What about landlords, property managers, and real estate professionals? They would be a good source of generating leads as they have contacts with many homeowners who may need your services. You could begin a targeted marketing campaign via social media sites and email. This would give you an opportunity to start a relatively inexpensive way to target your audience with relevant ads.

Write a plan and follow through with it. Do not let the daily grind get in the way of doing your marketing. Keep it simple and keep it clear. Decide what media you want to use and always have a clear consistent message. It is more important to be clear in your ads and keep them simple than to provide too much information. In this new media age people need things presented to them quickly and easily as they are easily overwhelmed with information.

Service your customers. Nothing is more depressing than opening a new business and being too busy with administrative tasks that you do not have time to connect with your customers. Your customers are your lifeline. They can make or break your business. When people are treated fairly they do not really acknowledge it but if you treat them exceptionally they will share. Today’s customers are savvy social networkers. If they are pleased with your service they will post it on Facebook, twitter, and their own blogs. They can become your own PR team. Of course the opposite is also true. Think about the bad publicity that can come your way when you do not deliver per their expectations.

Bottom line is you started your business and the work is just beginning….

Cheers,

Kim

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