|Small Business Information|
Small Business Savvy: Reaching Key Big Business Decision Makers
As a solo entrepreneur or small business owner, one of our key challenges can be reaching key decision makers in larger companies. Getting to the right person who can seal the deal can be a frustrating experience, especially if you don't have a game plan. Here are three ways to connect with the right people.
In this age of voice mail, reaching prospects by phone has become more difficult. Cold calling will most likely reap stronger results if you're trying to reach small business owners, where connecting with the owner by phone is more likely, but with persistence you can reach corporate managers as well. There are several important steps you need to take to get results from cold calling-
You probably have a database of customers and a network of other professionals. Put a simple request out to your database telling them that you have some exciting information, pertinent articles or new products or services and you need to connect with, for example, operations managers in mid-level companies. Ask if anyone knows someone that they could connect you with that fits that category. Offer them a reward, gift certificate or coupon if you feel they need an incentive. If possible, see if they will arrange an introduction by calling or e-mailing this person to let them know about you. Then contact these "warm" leads. They'll be much more likely to respond to your communication. To make this work, you must be very clear about what type of person you need to meet. Saying that you need to meet corporate managers, for example, is much too broad. Those in your database also need to feel that you will not make them look bad or take advantage of their contact, so you need to be clear about why you want to meet these types of people.
If you were an operations or mid-level manager, where would you hang out in your free time? What business and social organizations would you join? What speakers or topics would you motivate you to attend a meeting?
If you can answer these questions, you can plan to attend the same meetings or socialize in the same places. There are many swim and golf clubs, for example, that are frequented by corporate executives. Even telling people at church about what you do and who you'd like to meet can yield results. Every industry has it's own professional organization and most of them welcome guests.
Focused networking means using your networking time in places where you can connect with your target customer or others who can connect you with your target customer. Before you attend even one focused networking meeting, be sure to have a one or two sentence description of what you do and what problems you solve. Make it intriguing, so people want to know more. Is focused networking a quick fix? Nope. It takes time to build relationships. But once you get started, if you gain a few happy customers in the group, chances are they'll be a ripple effect and you'll find your business being recommended to others regularly. In addition, you may connect with some people who can become sources for your warm calling campaign.
As a small business owner, it's important to develop a network of other business owners so you can support each other and share contacts. Consider developing a six month strategy that includes all of these approaches. Be very, very specific about the type of prospect you're looking for. Track your results so you learn how your time is best spent. I guarantee that six months from now you'll be looking at some very positive results!
Copyright 2004, Janis Pettit
Janis Pettit, Team Member of Solo-E.com and President of SmarTrack , specializes in improving profit and productivity through small business marketing and growth consulting, business coaching, workshops and tele-classes. As well as owning 4 successful businesses over the last 18 years, Janis hosted her own TV business talk show. Her articles have been published locally and internationally. Janis can be reached at 919-562-2280. _________
***** Find more articles like this at http://www.Solo-E.com ? Keeping Solo Entrepreneurs Juiced in Business and in Life. Our team of Solo Entrepreneurs are comprised of small business experts who support others in finding business success with the flexibility and freedom to have a life, too. Network with other freelancers, self-employed and Solo Entrepreneurs in our forums, enjoy our articles and newsletter, and find other online training opportunities. *****
Small Business Operators - 7 Reasons You Should Change Your Accountant
A recent survey showed that only 28.7% of small business owners were happy with their accountant, and only half of those would recommend him to their friends because he was too busy already.
Small Business Publicity -- Worth It?
You bet it's worth it. Publicity via news releases, along with building relationships with reporters and editors is really good for your small business.
Take a Break - Have a Pity Party
Pity parties are nothing new. In fact, we do it all the time and I'm guessing that you probably go to many... you know, you get together with some friends and you'll bemoan the state of your industry. No one understands what we do and how we can help them. Companies are always spending less and less on the services I have to offer. I only get called in to sort things out when it's too late. Then they expect me to work miracles. Why don't people plan ahead?
How to Increase the Cash Flow in Your Private Practice in 30 Days
If you have a busy private practice, chances are you also have pockets of cash lying around available for the plucking. It simply hasn't been collected yet, and may even have been overlooked. Here are 10 ways to increase your cash flow over the next 30 days.
How to Prevent Home Business Burnout
As a home business proprietor, you may already realize why avoiding "home business burnout" is so important. Even if you have only been working your home business venture for a relatively brief time, you may have already been aware of the need to maintain your energy levels and reduce your stress levels while you were involved in your other employment. Many people learn from their life experience to pace themselves, consume vitamin-rich foods, exercise and get sufficient sleep(at least 6-7 hours in every 24 hr. period). But while these steps are vital at every stage of life, they are even more crucial you first launch your business because the mental and physical strains are most severe during this time frame. When you were an employee, you may have been accustomed to a specific job and therefore left other details to others. But a work-from-home business will generally demand a broader spectrum of responsibilities than that. Much like a movie actor who decides to direct the film as well, the home-based business entrepreneur must rise to the occasion, and often with their life savings on the line and very few benefits.
Franchise Buyers Lying On Forms
The Federal Trade Commission which governs the franchise industry thru the franchise rule, which enforces Franchise Disclosure laws seems to think that consumers need to be protected even when they lie. Often The FTC takes complaints from consumers who claim they had been ripped off or lied to from someone selling a Biz-OP or some corporation, which sells franchises. The Federal Trade Commission will not admit that at least two-thirds of the incoming complaints are made in falsehood by consumers; as a participant in the industry I can safely say that much misrepresentation comes from the buyers side and not from the sellers.
Your Practice is Only as Valuable as Your Referral Base
Many physical therapists in private practice have the appearance of a very successful business that is built on the backs of about four to five doctors. Now if anything would happen to any of these guys, the value of these practices would drop markedly. How can you run a practice for many years and then take a good look at it and realize that you have five doctors that represent more than 50% of the referral base? Exactly how can that happen?
Serious About Writing A Business Plan... Start A Business Plan Library
Tap these treasures of ideas. The best money you can spend is money invested in your business plan education. Don't shortchange yourself when it comes to investing in your dream. Start gathering samples of business plans and collect business plan books and get a business plan library started, it can change your future. Here's what your library needs to show: that you're a serious student of business strategy and planning, finance and economics, selling, and writing.
Are You Making These Mistakes In Your Business?
You've probably heard the statistic that 95% of small businesses fail in the first five years. That's not a very encouraging number! Although being part of the 5% that succeed is not easy, it's definitely possible. What it takes is a lot of common sense, some marketing and sales skills and the ability to learn from the mistakes of others.
Get Free Payroll Forms Download from the Internet
Having a successful business means also having a good working relationship with your employees, and nothing more makes it sour than having problems with the payroll. You can't expect them to work gratis, employees expect to be paid and compensated fairly. If this is done, the working environment will be pleasant and the employees will be more productive. Many company's experience labor problems because they don't have a smooth payroll system. If that is the case, many complaints will arise. Salary is a form of payment for the services rendered provided by the employer to the employee for a certain period of time. This payment should be in accordance to what has been agreed upon by both parties prior to the start of work provided.
Competition Relations in Auto Detailing
There is significant competition in auto detailing and car washing. Even more between types of cleaning businesses, as each company attempts to expand into other services which are the mainstay of similar business models. Many times the line blurs between a car wash, oil change business, truck repair, auto accessories business, electronics installers and auto detailing. What can you do? Well first let's talk about what you should not do. You should not start a war against all your competition. Instead you should maintain good relations with them, even if you find them to be somewhat unethical by nature.
Image of Your Franchise Automotive Outlet is So Important
Image of your franchise automotive outlet is so important. Some say image is everything, well then if you buy a franchise you should be constantly thinking of image and cleanliness. If you read Ray Kroc's book "Grinding it Out" (McDonalds Visionary) or Tom Monahan's (Founder of Dominos Pizza) book "Franchising for Dummies" or Howard Shultz's book; "Pour Your Heart Into it" (Story of Starbucks) you will see they all built brand on image. Even for those of you who are the extroverted sales type, plenty of examples such as "Customer's For Life" by Carl Sewel and "Exceeding Customer Expectations" by Jack Taylor (founder of Enterprise Rent-A-Car). But as I travel the country and have literally been to every city in the country over 10,000 population in the US;
Why Do Franchisors have Exclusive Territories
The reason we Franchisors call it an exclusive territory is because we will not sell that area again to another franchisee. That is your area to market and to conquer and to generally obtain as much market penetration as possible. If you are a home-based business or mobile franchise then this is a serious issue. You can put as many service units in your area can support and try to make the most reasonable profit you can per each service unit you put into your exclusive territory. Most franchisors charge a percentage of the gross income and probably make a little off every service unit you buy, so they want you to expand.
Frodos Journey: What It Can Teach You About Marketing Your Small Business
Just recently, I took a break and caught "The Return of the King" at the movie theater. At the same time, I was pondering a topic for this article. As often happens, the themes and timing converged. Here are 10 things you can learn about marketing your small business from the Lord of the Rings trilogy.
Increase Profits With a Small Investment of Time and No Money
The less a business pays for goods and services the more profit that business generates. How does a small business with limited purchasing power get access to lower cost goods and services? The answer is simple. Pool the purchasing power of many small businesses to increase the purchasing power of each individual business. The implementation of forming a buying group can take lots of time, money and resources. Most small business owners have little of these buying group ingredients.
More Business Card Uses
Why would you use an event pass?
Reclaim Equipment Detailing Industry and NPDES, EPA, Storm Water Rules
It behooves every professional mobile auto detailer to stay up with the reclaim equipment necessary to comply with the NPDES, EPA and storm water rules. Every company has a responsibility to not pollute the water supplies. If you are an auto detailer perhaps I might be able to assist you in complying without breaking your bank. There are inexpensive ways to keep your waste wash water out of the storm drains.
The Advisory Board: A Business Owners Most Valuable Resource
As a company grows, the owner's role begins to change. More and more of the owner's time is spent "in the shop or in the field" handling day-to-day operations rather than focusing on high-level planning and strategic issues.
How Mastering 5 Essential Money Making Ideas Can Lead Your Business to Longterm Cashflow
Essentially there are 5 tremendously powerful methods to make money online. These methods were not always available but have only become available due to the large amount of internet commerce being conducted each and every day online. While it is possible to make money, and lots of it, using other methods, these are in my opinion the best for 3 reasons. First, they are some of the cheapest methods around. Imagine running a business for an entire year where your total cost was less than $1 a day. Secondly, these methods are fast to implement. Some of the methods can have you up and running in hours, if not only a day or two. Lastly, these ideas are simple. When it comes to working online, simpler is better and complex is dead.
How to Effectively Design Your Business Image
In many industries, image is one of the last things business owner looks at. If business is not booming, they assume there is something wrong with the sales method, as opposed to the image. "If we just sent out a few thousand more fliers" they say, "we will get some more clients". When in reality, they should be looking at how the message they're sending to their target market is perceived in the first place. Here are a few pointers to look at:
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