Sunday, August 06, 2006

Back to Business

It is that time of year again. The kids are getting back to school and it is time to pump it up a notch with our businesses. What is your idea of getting off the starting block? I was thinking about that the other day and thought that this might be a good place to begin my search.

Some of the things that come to mind are:
  1. Advertising
  2. Promotion
  3. Sales
  4. Events
  5. Networking
  6. Charity

All of these means it seems are just simply the tip of a mountain of ideas. Let's take the first one for example, advertising. You have online and offline. Then you have to consider what form of online or offline advertising suits you and your clients best. The worst thing you can do is throw good money in the wrong direction. You need to decide first who your target market is and what motivates them to buy. That is a topic for another conversation though.

Promotion sort of flows out of the advertising river into a whole new income stream of its own. If you want to promote your business you must first decide whether you want to do it in print or live interaction. Promotion can be done with flyers or you could join a group like the one I ran into recently that stuffs their products with your flyers. What a neat concept that is. You produce the promotional piece. It can be a business card, brochure or even a promotional or sale flyer. Print up 500 pieces and send it to the member that is requesting them and they insert it into their mailings. I would be happy to share this resource with you if you are interested.

How about those of us who enjoy the live interaction of an audience? There are multitudes of opportunities to promote your product or service doing seminars and chats. Just days ago I finished writing a book titled, "Promotional Skills for the Next Generation". I have it for sale in PDF version presently while I am awaiting my ISBN# to be able to sell it through vendors both in digital and print mediums. If you would like a copy just email me and I will be happy to send you your pre-release first edition copy.

What about Press Releases? They can be tied into your business promotion in a very powerful way. Consider hiring a professional who can not only pen the perfect press release but get it into the right hands. Don't attempt to do this on your own if you want real results. My PR Queen is Kim Emerson. If you want her assistance you can email her at

One thing we fall back on often is the use of sales. These can generate interest and sometimes are the catalyst to revenues from those potential customers who are sitting on the proverbial fence. I have recently begun offering coupon book promotion to my clients as this seems to be a WIN, WIN, WIN! for everyone involved. Companies that would otherwise not let the associate promote their business can use these simple, non-threatening advertising options to their advantage. One thing that I have learned from this experience is that when offering a coupon you would do better to offer a dollar amount off rather than a percentage. Why? Well it seems that people don't perceive the value of percentage as quickly as they do an actual dollar amount.

As for events my recommendation is GET INVOLVED! If you can find the time get involved in putting them together. Attending is one thing and will garner you some networking time but when you are involved with the planning and promotion not only do you gain valuable experience but personal one-on-one with the movers and the shakers interaction as well.

Which leads us into networking. As you already know networking is a huge factor in the success or failure of your business. Just do it! Online or off. In person or in the chat room. It really doesn't matter. This is a powerful tool. Use it wisely. Make friends and let the conversation flow naturally into business informational exchange. Don't begin with an ad! This is the quickest way to turn the other members off.

Have you considered aligning with a charity? This is something that can be beneficial to others while being a promotional tool for you at the same time. Take this opportunity to use the press release to promote your business. During the holidays is a perfect time to make these associations.

Whatever your comfort level is, the key is to get off the bench and begin taking the actions to allow your business to grow and flourish. Set a goal, reach for the stars! If you end up in the clouds you have gained at the very least experience.

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