|Small Business Information|
Make Your Business More Profitable
More sales and more profit. Isn't that what you want from your business? It's not hard to achieve if you follow these 4 simple tips.
1. Keep Adding More New Markets
Every new market you open captures a new layer of sales ...and makes your business more secure. The more markets you serve the less dependent you are on the sales from any one market.
Tip: You can quickly add several profitable new markets to your business by sub-dividing your present market into several narrowly defined niche markets. Then create customized versions of your current advertising that offers specific solutions to the unique needs of each niche market.
2. Continually Add Something New
Every time you add something new to your business you create additional opportunities to close sales. For example, by just adding one new product or service to the list of those you already offer you create 3 new selling opportunities:
1) It attracts new prospects who are not interested your current products and services.
2) It generates activity from existing customers who want to find out about your new product.
3) It enables you to create attractive combination packages of two or more items ...which also produces some bigger sales for you.
Tip: Even something as simple as adding something new to your web site creates more selling opportunities for you ...by attracting both new visitors and repeat visitors.
3. Find Some Ways to Generate Publicity
Publicity is what you get when somebody else promotes (or you get them to promote) your business. It creates more credibility than advertising - and generates sales without an advertising expense.
Look for some ways you can generate some publicity for your business. For example, contact non-competing businesses that serve customers in your market. Offer to publicize their products and services to your customers in exchange for their publicizing your services to their customers.
Tip: Don't expect non-paid publicity to replace your paid advertising. Instead, use publicity to supplement your advertising. You control where and when your advertising appears - and what it says. But you cannot control where or when you get publicity ...or how effective it is.
4. Implement a System to Promote Customer Referrals
Referrals from customers are easier to sell than cold prospects. And they don't cost you anything. Unfortunately, most customers don't volunteer referrals. You have to ask for them.
A simple, passive way to ask for referrals is to use a brief customer survey. Send it to customers by postal mail, email, or post it on your web site. The survey I use only asks 3 questions:
1) What did you like best about our (product or service)?
2) What can we do to improve the value of our (product or service) for you?
3) Who else do you know that wants to (state the benefit provided by your product or service)?
The first 2 questions focus your customer's attention on the benefits they got from you. Customers will be more likely to provide referrals at the 3rd question when you have them thinking about the value of those benefits.
Tip: Pay attention to the answers you get to the first question. It often generates a response you can use as a testimonial (with your customer's permission).
More sales and more profit. If that's what you want from your business, start by following these 4 simple tips. They produce results quickly ...and don't require much of your time or money.
Copyright 2005 Bob Leduc http://BobLeduc.com
Bob Leduc spent 20 years helping businesses like yours find new customers and increase sales. He just released a New Edition of his manual, How To Build Your Small Business Fast With Simple Postcards ...and launched *BizTips from Bob*, a newsletter to help small businesses grow and prosper. You'll find his low-cost marketing methods at: http://BobLeduc.com or call: 702-658-1707 After 10 AM Pacific Time/Las Vegas, NV
Top 10 Lessons for Small Business Success - As learned From My Twin 3 Year Olds
Small business success is very similar to learning to walk, talk and spell. The basics have to be understood before moving on to the next step. I am blessed to have twin 3 year old girls in my life and am amazed constantly how much I learn from them on a daily basis. As I watch them run around and explore, I find myself realizing just how much my observations apply to being successful and happy in life and in business.
432 Page Franchise Report by the FTC
The Federal Trade Commission is upgrading the franchise law and they have made a report. Recently I have been reviewing the FTC's franchise rule report page by page. I have was shocked to learn that after commenting on the first two paragraphs in the first page of information directly following the table of contents, it took me 19 pages. I see now the reason for the 432-page report on franchising; the FTC has put forth a 432-page report and used the mass data approach to BS and Baffle potential commenters. It appears to be working. No one wants to bother to read and understand it all. However one franchisor, one entrepreneur sees this for what it is worth. So on to the next paragraph we go, I wonder how many pages it will take to comment on the next line of malarkey?
Business Checks are an Added Cost to Your Small Business - Try Making Them Yourself!
Starting and managing a small business is no fun chore, especially when it comes to the accounting. There are a few common sense ways that you can help that bottom line.
A Lesson From ?The Apprentice? That Can Make You A Master
I have to admit, I was curious. When I saw previews of a new show called "The Apprentice," it made me want to at least watch the premiere to see what was going on. Immediately, I was hooked. The whole idea of candidates - from all walks of life, not just college grads fresh from their commencement ceremonies - vying for a position in one of Donald Trump's organizations piqued my interest. What kept my interest were the real-life advertising lessons every business owner needs to be reminded of.
Entrepreneurs Ask: What Can a Virtual Assistant Do For Me?
Street Wars Between Mobile Car Washers and Mobile Auto Detailers
There is much competition in the mobile auto detailing business. There are two different lines of reasoning emerging as to how the business should be run. One is go for volume and discount and wash the world. The other is go after the high end customer which is 10% of the market, do exceptional work and charge as much as the market will give. These two principles are the reason for a war between mobile auto detailers and mobile car washes. Mobile car wash companies are often seen washing the Honda car for the single mom in an office complex. While the auto detailers would not touch the car unless she was a total babe and they thought they might get a date out of it.
The Key to a Successful Business
Where would a business be without a business plan? A business plan sets the course for the future of the business. It gives the business owner or manager a sense of direction, listing the objectives and goals of the business from the outset.
FTC Adding to the Franchise Rule
Last summer the FTC put forth a report and then asked for comments on modifications of the franchise rule. There has been no real significant changes since the 1970's, but lots of opinions and case law along the way. All these complications of rules and the rules proposed today by the Federal Trade Commission do not help franchisors remain efficient or franchisees sell more pizza, hamburgers or donuts.
Small Business Pricing Strategies
TACTIC #1 -- Never simply slash your prices, unless you're trying to empty obsolete inventory. Instead, try repackaging your prices so they're more affordable in the short-run so more prospects can afford them. For example, rather than pricing your service for the year, "Our monthly newsletter is only $39 for the year." Instead, try "Our monthly newsletter is only $3.25 per month." If you accept credit cards, it's very easy to set up reoccurring monthly charges that are billed to your subscribers without having to intervene every month beyond the initial account set up. The upside to offering your subscription on a monthly basis is that you can now market a $3.25 headline versus a more expensive $39 headline, i.e. you're able to offer services at a more affordable rate without slashing prices.
Do You Make These 7 Deadly Cash Flow Mistakes?
Managing cash flow is every small business owner's most important function. Avoid these seven deadly mistakes to make sure you aren't creating cash flow problems in your business.
Mobile Pressure Washing and Cleaning Scheduling
If you own a mobile car washing, pressure washing or auto detailing business you know that when your crews and machines are parked and working that you are making money. You also know that when those units and crews are driving or stuck in traffic you are losing your shirt in costs and inefficiencies. If you are to expand your mobile washing business to multiple units running in multiple cities you will need to have a strict scheduling policy and operations manual to insure that efficiencies are maintained. Today with the highest fuel costs ever in our nation's history and the increased traffic over the last five years it is ultra critical that you plot out your routes, customer locations and time with precision.
Creating a Dynamite Account Plan
Why do you need an account plan?
Essex Accountants: Top Things to Look For
One of the most common horrific mistakes a business can make is hiring the wrong accountant. Once hired, it can be very costly to hire a replacement accountant due to the nature of the job which inherently and directly impacts your bottom line. Choosing the right accountant for your business can mean the difference between success and failure. Read on to find out how you can keep from making the same costly mistakes tens of thousands of businesses make every year.
SBAs 8(a) Program Can Help Some Companies Compete
Q: A friend told me that as a woman of Native American descent I might be eligible for a special SBA program that will help me start a small business. He said I could compete for government contracts through this program. Can you tell me what SBA program he's referring to? -- Clara P.
Competition in the Market Place and Over Disclosure Regulatory Burden
The Federal Trade Commission is assisting competitor to cheat and encouraging this unethical behavior thru their disclosure rule on franchisors. Competition in the market place is far more competitive and the stakes are high enough that Over Disclosure Regulatory Rules cause competition to take the advantage and cheat. And before you say I am off base on these comments, let me tell you that 20% of every single inquiry to buy our franchise comes from a competitor. That's right 20%.
A corporate shell could be liken to a house that had been occupied by a family, prior to the family moving out it was a home. But now it is just shell, a skeleton a plain house with nobody in it, but if a family was to purchase the house and moves in, it becomes a home.
How to let go of your EGO
When does your ego get in the way?
The Number of Pages in the UFOC in Franchising is Still Growing Today
Today required franchise disclosure documents are over 200 pages generally. How many pages do you think the Uniform Franchise Offering Circular; UFOCs were 35 years ago for these ten-foot tall pillars of the franchising community like Kroc, Monhan and Rosenberg founded their companies? They were of course the founders of McDonalds, Domino's Pizza and Duncan Donuts.
The Franchisors Heavy Load
Why are we over regulation the franchising industry, what purpose does it serve? Rules and laws are fine, level playing fields are nice, but the customer votes with their dollar and the entrepreneur and companies can only sell what people are willing to give up that unit of trade we call a dollar for.
Your Babys Ugly..and Youve Got Bad Breath
I've got good news and bad news. The good news is that 98% of businesses are small businesses. That bodes well for the entrepreneurial spirit that has made our nation great. The bad news is that 80%, that's right, four out of five new businesses will fail in their first five years.
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