if there is no passion in your life, then have you really lived? find your passion, whatever it may be. become it, and let it become you and you will find that great things will happen FOR you, TO you, and BECAUSE of you — t. alan armstrong
I drank some wine and scribbled down some notes (and added in some extra thoughts)
Anyone that runs a small business or is contemplating starting a small business (I fall under the latter category): this is for you!
Ingredients for a Happy Business
You should ask yourself, “why am I doing this?” What are your goals and how will you know when you’ve reached them?
Love is purpose. Find your passion and live your passion. Remember to love what you do (find passion): love the process, love the product, love the people you connect with.
Continuous curiosity is important. Always be wondering about how to do something larger (I would add: not only in size, but in meaning) or how to do something more effectively or creatively.
Understand that what you’re doing is so important to you that you’re willing to take the risk of starting and running your own business. This is motivation to push yourself (note: fears and doubts are natural of course) Continue to push what you perceive as your limits and keep evolving.
Marketing Strategies and Tips
- Strategy Before Tactics
The most important message from this presentation and from other resources I’ve read is to narrow your focus and your ideal customer base. Don’t cast too wide and general or you will not pique interest. Who is your ideal customer? What are their interests? What inspires them? How can you meet those needs?
- Find a niche and then differentiate yourself
What makes you unique? what will help you stand out? what creative approaches can you think of?
- Network with other people involved in your niche.
Read blogs. Make comments. Build connections and relationships. Be genuine. Be yourself. Write guest blog posts.Start a community. Join an existing community.
- Treat customers as people, not merely sales.
Be personable, be personal. Connect with them. Have conversations.
- Include ‘extras’ in your sales or services.
Creative packaging. Free samples. A personalized thank you card. Discount cards ask people to hand them out to others to get potential referrals). Send an email asking for feedback or testimonials. Team up with other small businesses to create special offers with paired services. Create a monthly newsletter. Create ‘members only’ offers or extra resources.
- Focus on good follow-up.
Send a thank you email. Ask for feedback or testimonials.
- Focus on Building and Maintaining an Information Centre for your Business
Start a blog. Focus on focused content. Build a body of work. Write articles. Engage in story telling. Use mixed media. Make ‘how-to tutorials’ (in print or video form) available. Create a monthly newsletter with new ideas and up-to-date information. Gather some blog posts or articles together and create a complimentary e-book. Share photos of your products. Use multiple social media sites that all link back to your shop or blog.
Find what you love. Do what you love. Share what you love.
Happy marketing! xo.