Posts Tagged 'marketing'

Wondering if your biz idea will sell?

If you are an entrepreneur, you’ve had the experience of being struck with a “bright idea” that you’re certain will make you money. Hopefully, lots of money.

mom-biz-coach-pile-o-money

Many of the mom entrepreneurs I work with have incredibly creative minds and come up with new ideas for their businesses all the time. That’s part of what makes being an entrepreneur so much fun. After all, it’s not often when you’re working for someone else that your ideas are valued as much as you’d like them to be. When you work for yourself, you have the opportunity to turn your great ideas into actual products and services you can sell.

But how do you know if your idea will make you money? Or to put it another way, what if nobody else thinks your idea is so great? How much time, money, and energy can you afford to put into a business or a new product or service that doesn’t sell?

Well, I’ll be honest with you. I don’t have a crystal ball and am not able to tell my coaching clients how to predict what the market will like or not like. I wish I could. But there are some easy, cheap (or free) steps you can take to be sure that you create a business, product or service the market will buy.

One of the first steps is to be clear on what your niche is and knowing what your niche market needs. If you just create a business idea and hope that someone buys it, you’re probably wasting your time and money. And these are two things mom entrepreneurs don’t have a lot of.

Secondly, it helps to utilize some of the free/cheap web tools that are out there to actually do a bit of market research before you spend money bringing your idea to reality. This research will save you time, energy, money and stress, so it is definitely worth doing beforehand!

I’ll be talking more about this in my upcoming teleseminar on Tuesday, March 24th at Noon. I’ve invited internet marketing guru Steve Weber (of www.weberinternetmarketing.com) to be my guest expert and to answer all of your questions about starting a business or creating a new product or service that will make you lots of money.

You can register for the teleseminar “Is Your Idea Viable?” by clicking here. The $19 fee will certainly pay for itself when you learn some of the marketing research techniques Steve and I use to be sure our own ideas will sell.

Steve and I will be taking questions from participants on the call (or via the webcast) and would love to help you with yours. When you register, you’ll get immediate access to the teleseminar information (including bridgeline and webcast access).

“Is Your Idea Viable?” is the first teleseminar in the WoMEN: What Mom Entrepreneurs Need teleseminar series I’m offering to mom entrepreneurs who want some short cuts and support in making their business incredibly successful this year. Visit my website to learn more about the series and see who’s up next on the agenda! The series debuts March 24 and continues every two weeks through December.

Are you toying around with a bright idea that you’d like to make a reality? What tools/strategies/methods do you use to test the market before you launch? Leave a comment below and share your questions or best practices.

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WSJ article: How twitter is used for business

Continuing my theme on Social Media and why mom entrepreneurs should take advantage of its offerings, I just read a great article in the Wall Street Journal about twitter. Here’s the link:

http://online.wsj.com/article/SB122461906719455335.html.

Are you using twitter? If so, how do you use it? How much time do you spend daily using twitter or your other favorite social networking platforms? What are the pros and cons of using such a service for promoting your business?

And of course, please feel free to follow me. I’m @mombizcoach or http://www.twitter.com/mombizcoach.

I need four more moms for a MasterMind Group!

Hey, MOM!!!

How many times a day do you hear that? LOL!

I was contacted a week or two ago by a woman who is a coach and who is also pregnant with her first child due next Spring. She is looking for some support for herself as a mother and as an entrepreneur, and wants to find a community of women who share her goals and challenges.

Are you interested in collaborating, sharing ideas, and getting feedback on how to grow your business?

Would you like to hear of some unique, free, and effective marketing tools and techniques that require little or no money and very little of your time away from your family?

Are you an entrepreneur who is preparing for maternity leave and want to know you can count on a group of peers for support to keep your business running and yourself sane?

I facilitate these MasterMind Groups and would like to find some others to join. For more info on how these groups work, please read below (excerpted from my website: www.mombizcoach.com).

Mastermind Groups for Mom Entrepreneurs

A Mastermind Group is a community of your peers, your colleagues or your employees who want the accountability, support, and shared wisdom that comes from going through a certain experience together.

Do you know of other moms who want to start a business or who have been self-employed for a while and who could really use a space to share their goals and concerns? A Mastermind Group provides just that.

The Mastermind Group meets once a month by phone at a regular time and date. The fee is $50/month for a 90 minute session.

Mastermind Groups are different from other coaching services in that  the group provides the knowledge, support and expertise the members need. As the coach, I act as the facilitator of the calls, supporting the group’s agenda. If I have something to add to the discussion, I will, but my role will be less as coach and more as active support.

Please forward this on to other moms you know who need some support for their business and their family! I’d like to start the calls by the end of October.

You can email me directly for questions: lara@mombizcoach.com

Thanks!

Four easy steps to finding new clients

If you’re one of the legions of women out there running home-based businesses, chances are that at some point, you’ve hit the wall with regards to finding new clients. You’ve had lunches, parties, coffees, get-togethers with every friend, relative and neighbor you can think of. You know that you’ve asked everyone you personally know to either buy your goods and services or to refer someone they think might benefit from them. When you’ve exhausted your inner circle, where do you go to get more clients?

Most of the direct sales companies have a ton of training and coaching to help you figure out where to find your clients. Chances are, you already know how to do all those things, but still are finding it hard to just get started again. It’s time to get outside of your inner circle of friends, but that also means getting out of your comfort zone. And that can be a little tough, since it means facing rejection, etc. But it’s also where all the possibilities for growing your business are!

Here are four easy steps you can take to finding more clients and growing your business:

1) Make sure you know who your target market is. You need to know exactly who your customers will be, where they shop, what they buy, what they read, what’s most important and most challenging for them, etc. Is your product or service something that mothers of young children would buy? Or is it something that would benefit professionals who have recently been laid off or down-sized? By clarifying who your ideal clients are, you’ll be better able to determine the next step: how to reach them.

2) Get in front of those potential customers–this can be asking friends/family for introductions to others, or attending a conference/tradeshow/event (like International Women’s Conference, a job fair, etc.) where your target audience might be, or joining groups that your target audience is a part of (professional networking groups like Chambers of Commerce, online groups like facebook or LinkedIn, playgroups, health clubs, whatever) so you can get exposure to these people and build trust and rapport with them. And when you’re in these situations, ASK FOR THE BUSINESS! “Do you know anyone who might be willing to host a party…?” or “Can you think of someone who could benefit from …(your offering here)…?” Yes, this approach takes time, but your business development is a continual process and building your network will yield the results you want. People love to buy from people they like, know, and trust.

3) Find a friend, colleague, buddy or a coach to support you in your business. If you’re doing it all alone, chances are you have little support and less accountability with regards to achieving the results you want. When you’re pushing yourself to go beyond what’s already comfortable and familiar to you, it makes sense to get some support so you don’t get overwhelmed and give up. If you can partner with someone who knows your goals and the two of you can support each other, it makes getting out there and doing the tough stuff so much easier!

4) Find an ally. For instance, if you’re a yoga instructor looking to expand your client base, you might find your next 20 clients by partnering with a wellness facility, an organic farm co-op, a health and nutrition store, or a fitness center. This doesn’t have to be any “formal” business partnership. Request an introduction to the manager/owner of the organization, set up an informational interview, and discuss the benefits you could both receive from referring clients back and forth to each other. Consider offering a discount or a bonus to clients that come from this alliance.

Are you trying to find new clients? Tell us your strategy. What was the best source of new clients you found?


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