The traditional method of starting a business is to identify a product or service then open your business and hope you have the ability to attract customers. The first year is often spent identifying a target market then trying to get your message in front of them. This can also be a very expensive proposition as there are limited buyers for your products at this stage in your business. To make matters worse you now have to focus on the many facets of growing and maintaining a business, leaving you very little time for building a following.
Let’s examine another scenario. Yes, you have to have a “needed’” product or service which can be easily differentiated and one for which hopefully, there is not a lot of competition. Now, instead of opening your business door, the concentration should be 100 % focused on building a following.
A value proposition should be developed at the start of the marketing efforts. As you build your following your value proposition may change or be enhanced
This is the time to learn and test the many marketing options available to you. This may include the use of social media, e-mails, blogging, giving talks or one of the many other marketing and public relations options available. By believing in your product and being excited about its potential, your outreach program will provide a taste of the benefits available to future customers.
The main purpose for this stage in building a successful business is to become known to your target market and to win their confidence. By concentrating on this process as your main activity you will build a following that will be ready to buy your products and services when offered. If carefully executed, this process will result in your “followers” telling others about you, and that will provide a very powerful, additional boost to your overall marketing plan.
Once your business is ready for a grand opening, you can cut back on your marketing efforts, but you must plan to devote at least 40% of your time to continue and enhance the marketing program that was initiated prior to the “Grand Opening.”
My blogs are not meant to be a complete tutorial on how to successfully grow a business. Their purpose is to make you aware of what has to be done and the options available to a business owner. It’s good to be in business for yourself but not by yourself! Reach out to your mentor and let him/her help you develop the method contained in this blog. By doing this, your implementation process will far more successful than doing it alone.
A realization that as a business owner you don’t have to be alone is a good beginning for building a successful and profitable business.
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