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Redefining Your Role From Business Owner To Expert Marketer

Do you own your own business? If so, what kind of business are you in? Are you an accountant? Are you a restaurant owner? Do you own your own night club? Are you a dentist? Are you a comedian? Are you an information marketer? What kind of business are you in?

If you supplied an answer like any of those above, then you more than likely aren’t maximizing your sales and profits in the way that you should be. You see, no matter what business you think you’re in, the truth of the matter is that you’re in the MARKETING business. Take this to heart, because it’s the truth.

No matter your occupation or trade, you should know that the fact of the matter is that you need to be an excellent marketer in your business. Nothing is more important than having a fresh stream of prospects flowing into your business on a daily basis. This is something that I stand by, and I believe that it’s able to turn businesses around immediately.

There are a lot of different marketing techniques that could be used to improve your sales and profits immediately. The trick is knowing which ones to be doing so that you can stop wasting time with ineffective techniques, and start using time more efficiently to boost your sales and profits.

So what kind of marketing do you need to be doing? Well certainly one of them isn’t brand marketing. With brand marketing, you’ll find yourself using an image or a logo or even a mascot to “sub-consciously” advertise your products and services. As opposed to direct response marketing, you’re operating on the premise of results. And sometimes, fast results.

One element of your marketing plan that you need to consider is your location. If your business is in a good location, you’ll find yourself getting a lot of new customers based on walk ins alone. Now imagine if you combined this seamless way of getting customers with direct response marketing. You’ll probably have to hire more new staff members to help with the increased business.

To make more money in your business in addition to location, you want to build awareness of your business. Hang up street signs and banners around your business letting them know about deals that you have, a special offer of some sort, or even the new and improved version of your business.

This is something that needs to be taken cared of if you want to have a thriving business. Based on location alone, there are things that you can do to improve your business, and to get new people to walk in automatically. But location marketing isn’t enough. If you want a business that is thriving and major successful, you will want to do more marketing.

Use direct mail, newspaper advertising, radio advertising, TV advertising, and etc. These are the kind of techniques that have been proven to make people successful, so keep this in mind when marketing your products and services.

Good luck with using these techniques to have the kind of success that you desire today.

Business Planning for Angel Investors

If you’re working with an angel investor or any other type of outside funding source, you should have your business properly incorporated in the state in which you are doing business. Before seeking outside capital, you should always consult with a certified public accountant in regards to putting together a business prospectus that is appropriate for an angel investor. This is an essential part of the capital raising process as your private investor is going to want to see the anticipated financial results of your business coupled with other important financial metrics. The ROI of your business should be more than 20% per year.

Most angel investors have an investment time frame approximately three years to seven years, and again, this should be shown in the milestone portion of your business plan. Every business document should have a risks page that showcases the potential issues that you may have as it relates to developing your business. A demographic analysis is extremely important when you are developing a business prospectus that is specific for a private funding source. If you are a first-time entrepreneur or someone new to owning a business, then you may want to investigate working within investor if you do not qualify for an SBA loan. There are a significant amount of risks when working with angel investors.

If your company has a large amount of inventory, in your best interest to obtain credit secured by those goods in order to receive the financing you need, and this can be shown within a business plan that is geared towards either a private investor or a bank. One a side note, some investors aggregate their operations so that they mimic a small private equity firm that operates on a local basis and you may want to investigate this option when you are drafting your business plan for private investment from one individual or a number of different funding sources.

If during the course of your business plan writing you find that equity investment is too expensive for your business then you may want to look at programs that are available from the Small Business Administration. You should always consider the risks involved when it comes to seeking equity investors as there are going to be many covenants involved when you acquire this type of funding. It should also be noted that within your business plan that many angel investors will want to sit on your board of directors.

How To Use Facebook To Market Your Small Business

Everybody knows about Facebook for personal communication between friends and family, but more recently it’s become a very effective tool for small businesses as well.

As robust and capable as Facebook for business is, it still goes relatively unnoticed by a vast majority of small business owners.

Facebook Fan Pages are excellent tools for marketing small businesses.

The irony is that the reason Facebook isn’t used for small business marketing would seem to be because of it’s reputation in the personal social space.

Facebook is so popular among teens and moms for pictures and silly daily updates that people are slow to accept it’s capabilities as a legitimate business tool.

It’s an identity crisis, but Facebook will certainly overcome it and this is clear when you look at the results that those who use it for business are getting.

The cat will be out of the bag soon enough and those that jump on the bandwagon first will reap much greater rewards than those who wait. Those that build an engaged social audience first will have earlier and more frequent communication with customers in their specific market.

The explanation for this lies in the functionality of the platform and the nature of the relationship between small local businesses and their customers. Small local businesses socialize with their customers. They know each others names and often mingle in offline social circles like the little league field and the grocery store.

Local business is not a nameless faceless proposition. You ever use the phrase, “it’s a small world”? Never as small as a small town or local community.

What could potentially spread the word for a small local business better than a platform used by EVERYONE to discuss what they like and don’t like? And, this same platform is set up so everything I like is immediately visible to all my friends, who in turn can like it and then all their friends see it as well.

Stop and think about that for a second.

And that’s just the beginning…

Let’s take and separate the basic Facebook features into two parts; we’ll call them “Active” and “Passive”

Active Features (what you can do):

A business owner can

  • Advertise
  • Sell goods and services right off the page
  • Post pictures showing off the business and what the business has to offer.
  • Post videos with whatever content showcases the business or maybe testimonials from satisfied customers.
  • Post links and status updates to all of his fans. These could include specials or discounts or events.

Every fan of the business page will then see these actions in their news feed as often as they are posted so customers know in real time what’s going on at the business.

Passive Features (what your fans can do for you):

A fan of your page can;

  • Comment about you, so ALL of their friends will see this activity in their news feed.
  • Fans (and non-fans) can ‘check in’ at your location, letting their friends know they were at your place of business. This also lets their friends know where you physically are.
  • Mention you in wall posts and tag you in photos.

The magic of check in’s, and tags is that they become clickable links back to your fan page for all of your fan’s non-fan friends to find you.

As cool as all this is, it’s the tip of the iceberg. With a little thought and customization, the possibilities are endless.

I’m a baby boomer and my kids often use Facebook as a replacement for their phones, my dad (83 years young) uses it and all my friends and their wives live on the platform for hours a day.

Another cool function also allows you to convert your Facebook profile to a fan page and move your friends over to become fans. For business owners with lots of friends, but no fans, they can have a large following almost immediately.

As there is no cost for Facebook pages, there are only three possible reasons I can think of that a small business owner would choose not to leverage Facebook fan pages;

  1. Ignorance-they either don’t understand Facebook or refuse to acknowledge it’s reality
  2. Resources-They don’t have or want to commit the proper resources to social media
  3. Time-they live in their business and cannot reconcile taking time away from the business to learn this new medium

We speak to small business owners every day and continue to be amazed at how slow many of them are to adapt to this new realty.

Change is hard for most people. We get that. Facebook is easy to integrate into any business and those who get on board first will be market leaders within their community.

Those who don’t…

Have a nice day.