Tag Archives: Entrepreneur

Make yourself easy to do business with.

Make your product and services easy to find, easy for visitors to your website to stay a while, learn about you and follow through.  That’s what a medical cosmetics physician did and it worked for him (see link below).  The bottom line is he  got specific about what his customers wanted and gave it to them.  This included adding before and after photos of people who had used his services (this is equivalent to a demonstration of your product/services – one of the best way to get a customer). He also put a “Call to action” (what you want the customer to do for next steps) up front and center (ok to the right hand side of the home page but you catch my drift). And response improved.  He decided not to use a form because that would slow down and discourage follow-through.  While this worked for this particular physician and his customer population, another  physician who specializes in the treatment of pain did exactly the opposite.  He had a long form on his website in order to weed out patients who didn’t live in the immediate area (thousands of people have pain and he would have had to hire additional full time help just to deal with the inquires coming from his website), who had the kind of insurance he takes, and who had the kind of pain he could treat.

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Image provided by Shutterstock http://www.shutterstock.com

The bottom line is you have to customize your messaging in whatever format you deliver it, to your customer’s habits and wishes. This means you have to reach out to your customer base and find out how they want to be “told and sold”. What’s the single or couple of most important messages that they need to hear in order to move them from a visitor to your website?  Then give it to them.

If you’re in retail like dungarees.net (see link below) then you might want to solicit customer reviews.   Find the issue that, when solved, will not only keep customers on your site (or reading your materials) longer,  but also convert them from a visitor to a customer.

http://www.nytimes.com/2012/09/13/business/smallbusiness/three-keys-to-converting-web-visitors-into-buyers.html?smid=pl-share

 

Sandra Holtzman teaches CEO 035: Licensing.
She is the author of Lies Startups Tell Themselves to Avoid Marketing.

More proof of why you should speak to your customer BEFORE you market!

Image provided by Shutterstock http://www.shutterstock.com

Virginia Dominguez, a consultant, responds to “How come no one wants to speak to the customer BEFORE they do marketing” with this case history/anecdote:

“This is a good point…I was just watching a video, last night, where Jack Canfield (Chicken Soup for the Soul) pointed this out…He illustrated this with a story about a Chiropractor that wanted to set up his practice in this new town. So, he went to the town officials and asked a few questions, to which he was told that the town did not need another chiropractor, because the town already had one servicing the people. This negative reaction did not derail his ambition, so he set out to prove them wrong. He did this by doing some pre-marketing before opening the business.  He set out to go knocking on hundreds of doors and asking each individual and potential customer, how they would feel (together with other service related questions) about a new chiropractor in town. He not only proved the town officials incorrect, but he was able to make tons of money when he established the business. A year or so later, one of those people he interviewed was on this big event seminar, when the above story about the Dr. was told, the interviewee got up and said, “I remember him!” She was asked by the event coordinator, how was this possible and she said, “I remember him, because he came to talk to me!” She also used his services.”

The power of communicating directly with your customer/audience is amazing…when you do it. And the best part about this process is that it doesn’t have to be expensive. The ROI in terms of business, branding, establishing yourself and your business in the community is exponential.

Try it.

 

Sandra Holtzman teaches CEO 035: Licensing.
She is the author of Lies Startups Tell Themselves to Avoid Marketing.

Give Me 3 Minutes and I’ll Make You a Better Entrepreneur

English: Inside a Harvard Business School clas...
Photo credit: WikiMedia Commons

Everyone around here is tuning-up for the new school year.

The grounds have be spruced up, class assignments doled out, and learning objectives have been set.

All is in order to help aspiring students advance their knowledge beyond their expectations.

Pull in close. I want to let you in on our secret.
One of the most overlooked (and undervalued) keys to what takes place in any superior learning environment is having an integrated learning roadmap. One that balances shared knowledge (academic plus peer-to-peer) with experiential discovery.

A mix, which not surprisingly, has served me well for decades outside the walls of academia as I constantly seek to improve my professional skills and knowledge base. If I could prescribe your ideal mix I would, but alas this is something that each of us must define for ourselves.

Chin up all is not lost.

Good news, you can do it for yourself.
Here are a few articles that can help kick start your fall learning initiative and keep you moving forward…

The Most Common Strategy Mistakes
This should be the first stop for everyone who is interested in, sets, or executes strategic initiatives. This is an excerpt from Joan Magretta’s new book on Harvard Business School’s Michael Porter the focus of which is the importance of strategy in delivering competitive advantage.

Seven Strategy Questions: A Simple Approach for Better Execution
This explains how you can identify holes in your planning processes and make smart choices. This base of which is seven questions you should ask… and seek the answer to.

Three Ways to Find an Edge in a Crowded Market
Lets face it, we are all in competitive markets. No matter how you slick it there are real alternatives to our solution. What’s needed is insights on how to stay ahead of the pack and that’s exactly what this article helps you uncover.

The CEO’s guide to corporate finance
It’s all about the Benjamins. And, this article introduces you to four principles that can help you make great financial decisions. One of them, internalizing the principles of value creation, is one of the most powerful things you can do for your business. Doing so emboldens you to make independent, courageous, and even unpopular decisions in the face of myths and misconceptions about what creates value.

To Get Venture Capital Funding, Know the Risks and Tell a Good Story
Peer into the mind of a seasoned VC and develop a better understanding of how they evaluate risk. Even if you’re not looking for direct funding, these nuggets of wisdom will help when dealing with key suppliers and stakeholders.

 

Donald McMichacel teaches BE 261 – Starting a Small Business.
Follow him on Twitter at @DonaldMcMichael or Google+ at +Donald McMichael