Joined: 13 Dec 2006
Location: Cleveland, OH
|Posted: Dec Sun 17, 2006 2:58 pm Post subject: Building Business Ideas
|Building Business Ideas
The Top 10 Ways to Market your Small Business or Professional Practice WITHOUT Networking:
While focused, strategic networking is usually the most efficient way to build a small business or professional practice, there are many other ways to market your business. Personal networking may not be appropriate if you need to market over large geographic areas, or for certain types of services, and some people simply don't like to do it. The following are the Top 10 methods my clients have used to increase sales and grow their businesses without networking:
There are many inexpensive ways to distribute your newsletter, from buying a "packaged" service, to photocopying and mailing, to use of Internet technology. Newsletters keep your name in front of potential clients, and let you share the information you feel is important in a timely way. Remember to publish frequently, and be dependable over the long term.
2. Writing articles and columns.
Every organization has a newsletter, and there are many newspapers and journals that need material on personal growth, health, wellness, communication, relationships and every other aspect of human life. If you enjoy writing, editors are eager for your material, and writing a column brings instant credibility and positive exposure.
3. The Internet.
Increasingly, customers are expecting to find information about professional services on the Internet. A clean, professional website may cost less than $1000 and work for you 24-hours a day, everyday.
4. Teach classes.
Community colleges, city parks and recreation departments, churches and many other organizations are looking for instructors to teach classes. Often they will do the marketing and provide all your support services, and sometimes they will even pay you! Teaching is a great way to become known and give the community a taste of your expertise!
Whatever your specialty, organizations need your time, your skills and your help. You can volunteer to sit on Boards, answer phones, do their newsletter, or be a consultant – volunteering gets you known, and it can open doors for you!
6. Work with Sponsors.
From insurance reimbursement for medical services to a philanthropist sponsoring an art exhibit, anytime someone else is paying the bill, you can expand your services and reach more people. Employers, educational groups, non-profits, foundations and government agencies can all be sponsors.
7. Do research.
By designing and conducting appropriate research you accomplish several things for your business: You become an expert, you attract people who are interested in your research, you attract volunteers who want to participate, and when you publish the results you gain credibility and again attract attention as an expert.
8. Groups and Alliances.
By combining your skills with a group of other professionals, all of you gain exposure, there are appropriate referrals to others within the group, and over-head costs can be reduced. Often groups are profitable simply by being able to share the cost of renting a large, visible office in a prime location.
9. Bid for Contract Services.
Government agencies, corporations and non-profits all contract for services. These are usually announced in local newspapers, and are called an "RFP" or Request for Proposals. One small contract can open the door to others, and keep you and your practice very busy!
Using the Yellow Pages or placing an ad in the local paper or even on the radio (less traditional, but why not?) will bring you business. I place this last because my experience suggests that for most professionals it's an expensive way to go, but it does work. Remember, placement and consistency (being seen over and over) will be important, so run your advertising for at least a year.
About the Submitter: Submitted by Dr Philip E. Humbert, who can be reached at http://www.newdreams.com
Dr Humbert also writes a popular FREE newsletter. © 1998, Coach U, All rights reserved.
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Build Your Business in the New Year!
To build a successful practice, there are many business and marketing items that have to be monitored and reviewed periodically. This list is actually two lists of 5 items each. The first five are things to have in your files or in your office, while items 6 through 10 refer to qualities or personal styles that successful professionals incorporate into their practices.
1. A Business Plan.
Include a clear mission statement, describe the services and benefits you provide, the people you serve, and financial projections. This is a snapshot of your business.
2. A Marketing Plan.
Include a description of your specific client populations and your plans for reaching them. Include budgets for your time, energy and the money to implement your plan. If potential clients don't know about you, or can't find you, they won't hire you.
3. A Comprehensive Set of Brochures.
Have a variety of exercises, handouts and giveaways that describe your practice, solve problems, and provide value for your clients. Make sure every client leaves your office with useful tools, information and ideas to share with their friends.
4. A Plan for Networking.
A huge part of success is just showing up! Whether it's civic activity, volunteering at your child's school, or in your house of worship, show up! The more you put into your community, the more you will get back.
5. The Perfect Office.
Are your waiting room chairs comfortable? Are your magazines current and appropriate? How about the wall paper, the music, the carpet? Your office should tell each client that when they chose you, they chose the best!
6. Over-Respond to Every Situation.
Give far more than expected. Answer every question, then send a relevant article a few days later. Return phone calls immediately! Promise less, then deliver twice what you promised.
7. Eliminate the Cost of Delay.
Never wait to get new equipment, a better office or more training. The cost of delay includes too many missed opportunities. If you need it, and you will do it eventually, do it now! Get on the Internet, get a computer billing system, upgrade your phones. Whatever it is, do it now!
8. Take Superb Care of Yourself.
Exercise and eat well, get plenty of rest and hang around the most delightful, challenging and exciting people you can find. See one less client per day, and spend that time adding value to your remaining clients.
9. Market Yourself Shamelessly.
Market your practice with style, with passion, good taste and with a low-key honesty that is shame-free and comfortable for everyone around you. The community needs your skills and services. Let them know how to find you!
10. Tolerate No Distractions.
A clear vision and a passionate commitment to your priorities makes life simpler and you become incredibly attractive to those who share your vision. Clean up any distractions and serve your clients with absolute integrity and total commitment. People know when they are getting your best!
About the Submitter: Submitted by Dr Philip E. Humbert, who publishes a popular weekly email newsletter for professionals. He believes professionals do their best work when the business side runs smoothly and profitably, so they can concentrate on doing the work they love. You can even get a FREE screensaver just by visiting his website!, who can be reached at http://www.newdreams.com