The one thing I love about new entrepreneurs is their enthusiasm. Most will overestimate their sales forecast and underestimate the difficulty in dealing in their target market.
The difficulty is in knowing how to promote the product or service to the client or customer. Who is going to buy the most from you? Are they on social media and if so, which one? Are they more likely to see your promotions on the TV or hear it on the radio? Do they read newspapers? Is it a word-of-mouth type of product or service?
When I ask entrepreneurs what they are going to use for advertising and promotion, many have a long list. I have to remind them that most cost money and the ones that don’t, usually take up time, something that a sole proprietor has little to spare.
It is wise to try two or three methods initially and ask the customers where the heard about your product or service. This will give you accurate feedback on where to focus your attention and save you money in the long-run.
Another area that can result in wasted money and time is networking. When asked, new entrepreneurs usually say they will join business networking groups, Chambers of Commerce, Service Clubs, etc., to get known and to promote their business. These all cost money and take time. Are you likely to find your clients there? Every business is different, know who you are trying to reach.
Sometimes volunteering in the community will do much more for your business than belonging to organizations. If you are out and about, always wear something that identifies your business. Always carry business cards with you and give them out. You would be surprised at how many times I have been at networking events and the person I am talking to says, “Oh, I forgot to bring cards?” Another lost opportunity! Make sure that you can tell someone what your business is all about in 30 seconds. Unless you can hold their attention, that is all the time you have.
It all boils down to knowing your clients, their wants and needs, and exceeding their expectations.
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