I love working with passionate women entrepreneurs as they are launching or re-launching their businesses. They have such fire & determination. But they are also easily distracted by 'bright shiny objects' and sometimes have difficulty knowing where to invest in their business. So I started thinking and came up with this list of do's and don'ts. Let me know what you think!
What you REALLY need to invest in?
By definition, marketing is what drives your sales. If you don't have leads or prospects, you won't have sales; if you don't have sales, you don't have a company (just a hobby). Investing time & money in marketing is one of the MBFYB (most bang for your buck) activities because it will bring you the BIGGEST return on investment. But to know which marketing tool or activity - that's not always so easy to figure out. Which leads me to your next investment....
Remember that you are EXCELLENT at your craft (image consultant, financial consultant, event planner, organizer, etc.). Invest in others who are experts in their crafts -- a marketing expert to help you navigate the 'marketing' aspect of your business so that you save time & money; in help at home so that you have time for your business; in virtual help so that your business runs smoothly. Your business does need investment!
Starting a business is going to show you very quickly that 'you don't know everything'! It's probably the number one reason that businesses fail! There are TON of great business books, videos, and learning programs. But caution - if you are a learning junkie (like me), be careful that you don't get caught in the "I just need to learn one more thing" cycle! Also - growing a business is a long journey and it's also a personal development journey! Your business won't grow until you are ready to grow yourself!
What you DON'T need now?
i. A beautiful WEBSITE
Yes, websites are a great marketing tool and give you credibility. But they generally they don't bring in clients or cash! If I could scream this I would -- a beautiful website isn't where you initially need to spend time & money BECAUSE I guarantee that in 6-12 months from launching, you are going to want to change a whole lot on your site and it's going to cost you big time! (I know this from personal experience!!!) When you are in launching/startup (or even re-launching phase), you aren't firm on your target market, your niche or your perfect client! You aren't firm on your marketing message and the language you need to be speaking! Solution -- do the right things in the right order! Step 1 - know where you want to take your business (your long term vision). Step 2 - spend time figuring out your perfect client and what they feel, think, say & do! Start by creating a simple one-page website that you can update frequently as you figure things out & morph into who you want to be. Or even better, a lead page or facebook fan page.
ii. A beautiful OFFICE
Beautiful spaces are great, but they aren't money makers! Work with what you have. You will thank me later! I remember starting one of my first businesses with a desk created from 2 filing cabinets with a piece of wood on top! It was functional and who saw it anyway! Spend money on ONLY those things that will bring you money!
iii. A large MARKETING budget
There are lots of ways to market with small budgets including facebook ads, referrals programs, etc. BUT before you spend money on marketing - please do Steps 1 & 2 as above! I've seen it sooooo many times -- entrepreneurs creating brochures, door hangers, postcards, etc. that were a total waste of time & money! Why were they a waste of money -- because they didn't speak to their perfect client AND they didn't solve an urgent problem.
So whether you are Start-Up Suzie, Overwhelmed Olivia or Ramp-it-up Rhonda, I hope that these tips have helped you. If you have a goal to make your business more profitable and/or more productive this summer, then check out Summer Momentum Club where you will learn not only how to GROW your business this summer but still ENJOY the summer with those you love!