by Eric Gilboord A2E
1. Talk To Other Entrepreneurs. Talk to them about how they started a marketing program. You are not the first person to do this. Others have gone before you and are usually willing to share their experiences. Lessons can be learned and costly mistakes avoided.
2. Don’t Get Overwhelmed. Acquire a basic understanding of marketing to avoid being overwhelmed and to help reduce the fear and anxiety that occur when you enter an unfamiliar area. Read books on marketing and take marketing courses. Become familiar with marketing terminology and activities.
4. Set Realistic Expectations. Ask yourself if your expectations are realistic. Discuss this issue with your family or business associates to arrive at a set of expectations that they can endorse. In establishing a reasonable initial financial goal, consider a 10% increase in sales as a starting point, and remember to factor in additional costs for new marketing materials. Be prepared in case this goal takes longer to reach than you expected it to.
5. Be More Aggressive. Visit existing customers and prospects. Present new ideas and be objective, honest, and realistic about what you can do and who you are. Don’t promise too much. As mistakes are inevitable, it is useful to make them early and with smaller potential customers. Don’t take it personally if you are rejected. People may be reacting to the way you have presented your company, or they may not have a genuine need for your services. Either way, there is a valuable lesson to be learned.
6. Qualify Leads Carefully. Listen to what prospects are saying and not what you want them to say and be very realistic about their intentions. Many promising businesses have failed in their infancy because an entrepreneur thought a positive response to his or her idea meant money in the bank.
7. Develop Alliances. Join up with other small businesses that complement your products or services. They could provide much-needed leads and act as part of your support system.
8. Get Ongoing Advice. Look for a mentor or group of advisers to provide guidance. Seek out those who are familiar with the business you are in. Their experiences can help you avoid some of the pitfalls of running your own business.
9. Be Computer Literate. Review your computer equipment and software and learn to use them. You don’t want to be scrambling to learn new software at the last minute when you’re trying to produce a letter or proposal or send out a mailing.
10. Prepare Marketing Tools In Small Quantities. Prepare marketing tools understanding that you will likely need to revise them as you go. Have business cards and letterhead produced in small quantities. Do not produce home made cards, as they can be perceived to indicate a lack of commitment to the idea on which you are attempting to base a business.
11. Work Hard, Play Hard. Have fun and don’t let the new aggressive approach consume your life. Make time for family and friends. You will be amazed at how much more energy and clarity of thought you will have if you maintain a balance.
“Tools for success are easily attainable, recognize the need and do something about it.“ A2E
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