11 Tips on Marketing for Your New Business – Part 2
In part one of this blog post, I (Hank) shared a story of how we had a really great idea for a new business that was going to support our core business and how after doing lots of due diligence, we decided that it was not such a great idea.
Part 1 is giving your heart its due. Part 2 is now talking to your brain.
In this blog, I want to help you go through that decision process.
Let’s begin to discuss how to test whether your new business idea is viable, how to vet your idea and decide if there is a market for your idea.
With the internet, it has become a much easier task than in decades past to check for potential viability of your new business idea. You should do a Google search using several different phrases that your ideal client might type in to find you. Let’s use our ill-fated publishing company as an example.
We did a search and found that no one was, indeed, doing what we wanted to do. There ARE lots of people who coach new authors through the process, but no one was bringing them all together in one place.
We found this out by doing some research into our idea. Then, we did several searches with phrases like this: First-time business authors. New business authors. Coaching first time business authors. Publishing company for new business authors. How much does it cost to start a publishing company?
THAT LAST ONE WAS VERY IMPORTANT, we’ll get to that one in a moment. If you have done an exhaustive search and you are not dissuaded, that is great. Before you move on, do another search. This search will be the least expensive part of your new business and can save you lots of heartache.
I know – I am such a downer. Sorry, but as your small business coach, I want you focused and prepared for everything that will come next. Now let’s move on to the money.
Two of the most important questions you have to answer when we talk about your new business are: How are you going to pay for it? And How are you going to get paid? Let’s go with the first one first.
There are a lot of things you have to budget for when planning to start your own small business.
Here are a few questions that you have to answer to ensure your new business stays viable:
How are you going to plan and budget for short and long-term costs, like taxes, fees, subcontractors, employees, equipment and rent?
How are you going to budget for all the hidden fees most don’t expect? These include insurance, incorporation, and administrative costs. And don’t forget legal, too. We have found that using a service like Legal Shield (yes, that’s our affiliate link) helps on that last one!
It is all going to boil down to two big questions: How much should you plan to save before starting a business? And should you try to accumulate a surplus fund in case things go wrong?
Those two questions are going to lead to a couple more that most new entrepreneurs ignore:
Do you have enough money to cover your costs for an extended period of time while you ramp up? If your first question when you read that question was “How long is extended?” give yourself a star.
But you are not going to like the answer. Plan on a year. You have to go through an entire annual cycle to see if your new business idea is going to be proven. And if your year was like 2020, then double it.
If you have gotten past the dollars part of your plan, then we can move on to writing the business plan phase, which brings us back to that second question about money: How are you going to get paid?
In order to answer that question, you have to answer these questions:
What are you selling? The more specific you can get the better. For example, we do not say we sell coaching services. We narrow it down to we are the virtual marketing department for successful small business owners who are so busy doing what they do, they do not have time to properly market what they do. As a bonus to marketing, we solve their human resources, sales, back-office systems and public speaking, networking challenges with a combination of online, technical and traditional marketing tactics.
Who are you selling it to? This is going to take a long time to answer. The hint is that the word EVERYONE is not the correct one. We have several webinars online that talk about how you find and target your niche.
How much are you selling it for? The quick answer, you are probably asking too little.
How will they pay you? There are lot of options: checks, credit cards, and a variety of online options exist. Decide on the one that costs you the least compared to what it does for you.
We just created a webinar for small business owners who have a new business idea or have a new business.
Here is our table of contents of the 17 things that you are going to have to create for your new business:
• Create your new business team
You are going to need your Board of Advisors. This could be official or not. Here are some of your important teammates: Your banker from a small locally-based institution would be great. Your accountant and your financial advisor to go through your numbers and decide what kind of entity you should be using. Your Chief Marketing Officer to create your path and bring in sales (we volunteer for this job!) A graphic artist to create your logo and keep your ‘look’ or brand that your Chief Marketing Officer creates consistent in all your outward facing publication points. Your web developer is very important and if you want to find the best use our free tool: This Website Under Construction dot com. Your business lawyer can keep you from getting into trouble. You may want someone local, but we also like the services that Legal Shield provides (we are affiliates for Legal Shield and think that for $40 a month it is going to save you thousands of dollars a year). You need a local print shop. You also need an Information Technology person to keep your computers running well. We have had clients and potential clients on our board as well as business owners that we respect. And don’t forget your mom!
• Define your New Business entity
There are several ways you can hold your business, each with their own advantages and disadvantages as well. Your lawyer, accountant and financial planner will help you decide between a sole proprietorship, Limited Liability Corporation (LLC), an S or C type corporation or some variation of a partnership. Tax considerations will very much come into play with your entity.
• How will you get paid?
If you have a business, someone is going to have to pay you for your products or your services. There are lots of electronic methods (Venmo, PayPal, credit card portals) as well as the tried and true checks and cash. Compare the cost on each of these compared to the convenience they offer. When you are earning more than $10,000 per month, we recommend you switch from services like PayPal and Swipe to a more traditional merchant services account. If you’d like to know which one we are currently recommending, ask us as part of your Success Call which you can schedule at www.FreeMarketingConsultation.com
• Who are you marketing to?
“Marketing is a science of choice. It helps people predisposed to buying your product know that you are there for them.” – Hank Yuloff You never create your marketing messages without knowing exactly who you are creating it for.
• Who is your customer?
Most small business owners have between 3 and 6 different categories of clients. Name them and break each of them down by the demographics and psychographics (we break that down in other blogs). Know that you will need different messages for each different category. It is VITAL that you invest the time it takes to definitely narrow down the niches you will be marketing to with every marketing tactic.
• Your budget
You always have to come up with the answer to the question that your investors and your bank will be asking: How are you going to pay for it? Each industry has its own numbers, but the range of the operating budget for startups will be between 11 and 20% of expected revenue.
• Naming your new business idea.
Prior to opening you are going to have to name your company. Always check to make sure you own the name of your company as a URL. For most small businesses, the owner of the company, most likely you, will be the brand of the company. In addition to the name of your company, you need to own yours. You should also own the most common misspellings of your name. It’s why we own UloffCreative.com and many other misspellings, in addition to all the proper spellings. You should also check for the names on the social media platforms you are going to use to connect with your clients. We recommend that you start the search at www.NameChk.com
• Where to find your clients
It is rather obvious that you have to be able to find your target market members. It is a critical part of growing your business. If you cannot list numerous ways to reach your target market to generate sales, then you have probably not chosen a specific enough market, or it is a demographic that is not easily accessible, or you have not called Yuloff Creative yet for your free marketing consultation!
It is vital that you be able to reach them. If you can’t, find them, you can’t deliver your message to them. What that means for you is that you will not be able to generate awareness, which ultimately means you will not be able to get them on your list and convert them into paying clients.
Here are some examples of where you can find them:
Chamber of Commerce meetings (virtual or in person)
Trade Shows and Conferences: either attending or exhibiting or speaking
Direct mail to a mailing list of potential clients.
Websites or blogs they visit
Advertising in Periodicals, journals or newsletters that they read
Social media groups
Social media platforms
Podcasts they listen to
Related products and services they buy
Speaking to various clubs and organizations
Teaching a webinar
ad or article in their newsletter, or
advertise on their website
• How to sell your idea
You can sell your services 3 ways. You can focus on price, speed of delivery of service or quality of product and service. You can only offer any two of 3, not all of them…. Unless you wish your business to die an untimely death, which you clearly do not!
• Implementing your sales
We want you to remember something very important: You are not in the (fill-in-the-blank) business, you are in the business of marketing your business. Using the proper sales funnels will make that easier. We have included a mockup of your sales funnel and how ours looks in the video at the top of this blog post.
• Your logo
You will need a logo as a representation of your company. Here are a few tips: Keep it simple. The colors you choose matter as do the typefaces. Keep it easy to read and for goodness sakes, don’t do it yourself.
• Your website
People look for every service on the internet (it used to be the Yellow Pages). Your website is far more than a brochure and must be kept constantly relevant as it tells your story. Your website will be the hub of your online presence. It is where your clients will be invited to learn about your business. It is where you can enroll people onto your list in exchange for your lead magnet.
It is important to remember that your website standing alone will NOT generate new clients or sales unless you drive traffic to it. And once you have them there, you must have a well-designed conversion processes waiting for them. You should make sure it is built in WordPress as that is the most favored program by search engines.
If your website is under construction, put it at the top of your TO DO list and commit to yourself to get it done.
Here is a brief website checklist:
– When your target audience arrives, will it represent you, your brand and what you are selling?
– Do you have the basic pages: Home, Service, About, Testimonials, Blog, Contact
– Does your copy speak to your audience and what they are looking for?
– Do you have video testimonials? Do you have appropriate testimonials on each page that match the content?
– Is your phone number on the upper right-hand corner?
– Is your website adaptive and responsive?
– Do you have an opt in offer?
– Does your page tell your story?
– Do you have professionally shot photos and welcome video?
If you want help creating your website our free tool for building websites is at This Website Under Construction dot com.
• Your social media
Treat your social media like any other marketing tactic. It is not the silver bullet for success and how you use it depends on your marketing goals. Use social media for communicating with clients, to develop new business, to share business tips and to be a trusted referral source.
• Your video
You will be able to use video on every platform you use for your marketing: Website, social media, blogs, email, your video products. It is the most effective way to share your marketing message. It’s why this blog, parts 1 and 2 each have videos attached to them.
• How to follow up
The saying that your fortune is in your follow up is entirely true. Here is the odd challenge to go with that saying: Only 10% of sales people make more than three contacts. And 80% of sales are made on the 5th to 12th contact. You MUST implement a consistent follow up system in order to make your contacts the most effective. We have entire blogs and videos on follow up for you to reference.
• Speaking to your audience
Using your voice is in incredibly important. We use several different methods to share our message from stages of all sizes. We run our own seminars. We are always available to speak on panels on various marketing subjects. We have MC’d other events and been keynote speakers. We also love to host our own webinars.
• Appreciation program
In the words of Kody Bateman, “Appreciation wins out over self-promotion every single time. A system for letting clients and potential clients know you are thankful for their time, consideration and their business is important.
• Let’s end with some rules of the road
Here are a few general rules of the road that you need to follow:
You will never use the term “I just needed something done fast. I will go back and do it right later.” We have seen it…. You won’t. Do it right the first time.
You will never use the term “Eh… it’s good enough.” How you do one thing is how you do everything. Do it as well as you can every time.
You will never be caught saying “Oh, I can’t do that.” Or “But I don’t have the time.” Or “I’m just a little business.”
You will never use the term “Let’s just get started and we’ll fix it later.”
If you found this blog, we know you are looking to begin your successful business with a plan. As you’ve taken your first steps, your path now has many possible directions. How do you focus and decide on the best one to take? That’s what, Sharyn and I do for you. We are business coaches, authors of 6 best-selling business books, hold business breakthrough bootcamps several times a year, hosted 243 episodes of a radio show that is now a video interview show and offer an online marketing plan that works incredibly well for small businesses like yours because it includes coaching.
Wouldn’t it be great if your Marketing, Sales and Human Resources could be much easier? It’s time! Press YOUR easy button! We work for you, think for you, create for you and figure it all out for you.
Because you found this blog, we would like to offer you a Free Marketing Consultation. Most small business owners, just like you, that take advantage of this conversation, report back that their 30-minute, no obligation, Success Call was worth at least $10,000 in increased sales and savings to their bottom line. Begin your conversation by increasing your profits. Go now to www.FreeMarketingConsultation.com Let’s stop the mistakes that most small business owners make right at the beginning and get you on the right path to your success!