Building a business is hard work. Often times, being so close to your own business can cause you to overlook some really important and really valuable resources.
I asked my network for their favorite resources to build and grow their businesses and what you’ll find below is a mixture of resources, advice and anecdotes designed to help push your business forward.
1. Service is the new marketing. People buy from people/business who make them feel good. Not only through their products, but through their personal service. Most businesses focus on making “potential clients” feel good – until they sign. But when the deal is closed the deal is not done. It’s when the service begins. It’s when your true reputation begins. Are you treating your customers as human beings? As entrepreneurs we should treat our customers like rock stars, and we are the groupies!!
It’s amazing how many businesses underestimate the power of their existing customers. As solopreneurs it often takes only ONE FAN. Just blow your very first customer away with amazing service and they’ll do all the marketing for you. Then the next one, and the next. Fall in love with your existing customers. Stay in love with previous customers. Treat them like the best thing that’s ever happened to you and your business (which they are.. ) and have them rave about you wherever they go! As a business owner you’re the CEO of a company called relationship!!
2. I don’t think this is really undiscovered but I do think it is often dismissed. I believe video is an important part of growing your business. Not necessarily video of yourself (which is why people are afraid to use it, they don’t want to be in-front of a camera.) Video could be about your market, your product, a teaching video, there are many applications. Your audience prefers to watch video over reading text. It’s much more visually stimulating and will attract much more attention. Also consider occasional video emails.
3. Remembering ourselves and our needs – especially for women. Too often business owners burn out because they give too much as they build their businesses. Giving to oneself – time with family, friends, self-care, all those things we think are secondary – are the keys to not only nourishing us but also nourishing our businesses.
4. Gumtree.com – I always check for small companies looking for some help with their web, social media and admin. They normally look for in house people, but are pleased to find someone with expertise and cheaper at the end.
5. Work with a coach / adviser who has been there and done it. Studies show your return will be as much as six times your investment.
6. Circulating and networking in your own backyard. Local Chambers of Commerce, non-profits, and volunteer community opportunities open many doors. Volunteer to speak to local radio stations showcasing your business as Public Service Announcement to your community.
7. Article marketing. Writing articles with catchy titles that surprise people and make them think – in newsletter and blog and free on website.
Suzanne Harrill, InnerWorksPublishing.com
8. Webinars. I started doing free webinars where I interview a guest on a topic that is relevant and of interest to my target client. That has helped to grow my email list and establish my reputation in this field.
9. StartupPlays.com – an online community of successful entrepreneurs providing step by step playbooks on how to implement proven solutions to help grow your business.
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