Getting Your Idea Off the Ground

This could be the single hardest thing for most people to overcome. You have a great idea, you go get an LLC, maybe you even spend a few bucks and buy a domain, now what?

Well there’s a few simple things to ensure you can get you business off the ground and keep it soaring. The first is going to sound very corny, perhaps the most corny thing of anything you will ever read here, but it’s true and hence must be said… Continue reading

Client Relationships – Touch Them Frequently

This is sound advice that I wish someone would have bluntly pointed out to me when I was getting started. No, I’m not talking about your significant other, I’m talking about clients and prospects. No, I’m not talking about laying the ground work for a sexual harassment suit either, I’m talking about engaging your client/potential client base.

The idea behind frequent touch-points goes beyond the branding concern. If one of your clients cannot immediately associate your company name with your provided service than you are doomed to loss down the road. Likewise, if you present to a prospect, but do not follow up like a high school mathlete waiting for a T-89 to go on sale, then you will lose that prospect as a client. The real failure that lies here is two fold, the two I have vaguely described above; one: keep in constant contact with your current clients to let them know you are still here at their beckon call for anything they need that falls within your stream of service, and two: constantly remind your prospects that you are still here, awaiting that first beckon call to provide them with outstanding service that fits their needs and their budget.

How do you do this? there’s a few options: Continue reading

Online Sales Tip – Sex Sex Sex, works everytime.

You’ve heard it before, and yeah, it’s still true. When it comes to advertising (getting noticed essentially, whether it be for good or bad reasons) nothing grabs the eyes and ears of men and women faster than the almighty S word. Men are immediately thinking the best and women are immediately, usually, thinking the worst – or are simply curious. The reason it works so well in advertising is the almost non-existent variance between sexes in it’s ability to grab attention.

Now you’re wondering, ok – I knew this, why are you talking about it? Because it still rings true, and although mostcompanies out there need to be P.C. for the sake of their “corporate” image, you on the other hand, do not have one. In the early stages of getting your idea off the ground, especially once you move out of the referral clients and into direct sales, you will need to come up with a sure fire way to attract new clientele. So be saucy, it can only help if you do it in good taste.

Let’s do a quick case study, how about you? Look at the picture to your left, even if those words weren’t there (but they are) what would be going through your mind, honestly? If you’re a shallow girl you’re getting angry at photoshop because your mac lip gloss doesn’t work that well, and if you’re a guy you’re thinking about any number of things, all of which are not appropriate for me to delve into here. Okay, so after our very short case study what have we learned, apart from shallow girls like mac lip gloss?

Same reaction, always, everytime, everyone. It doesn’t work everywhere, this is the only short coming of this marketing technique, but in these great United States, and most places throughout Europe and certainly the Far East, it works. SO what is the advice you are supposed to take away from this hot picture with attached rant, USE Sexual innuendos, not just pictures, hint towards it within titles for ad copy. Think for 10 seconds about sexual content, indirect, in television commercials – I bet you can think of 5 right off the top of your head, and I bet you remember them all very well too.

Leveraging Your “A” List

Everyone has an “A” List, even if you’re still in school. Your “A” List is your immediate network of contacts with potential sales pipeline. A good example would be either a boss or acquaintance, family member (maybe your Dad or Aunt have contacts that would be in the market for your product or service). The idea of selling to family and friends, at first, can be a little off-putting, “I’ve got a legitimate service to offer, I don’t need charity.” Don’t think of it like that. Understand that to get started you need customers, you nee a client base – this builds your referral pipeline, and gets you testimonials. Testimonials are vital in the business world – especially to sustain business.

The real value within your “A” List, is not monetary, instead it’s time, well patience. Unlike the sales cycle you will be faced with outside your contact network, these people will give you more than 15 seconds to make your point/sell your service. This is also helpful in allowing you the opportunity to refine your pitch/messaging without the possibility of losing potential business.

Go get a piece of paper. It’s ok, I’ll wait. Seriously – go get it.
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Running hurtles in the age race

Have you ever noticed the amount of doubt that comes along with being young. Most assumption and relation has some degree of validation here; young people are pretty stupid, myself included. Well to put that better, we make mistakes, but so do other people-no matter how old.

I’m writing this to highlight on the unparalleled bias that I have had to cope with since I ran my first company at 19 years old. It wasn’t much, just a small local painting franchise, but it was mine. My 18 employees, my trucks, ladders, supplies, and most of all clients were all mine because of me. Yet the old heads did not flinch for a second insofar as their need to throw me a bunch of shit about “not knowing what I was doing.” 

The point I’m getting at is even today, being where I am – working for a major company, running a few others, and owning a few more, I still lose business after the face-to-face. I’ll receive a referral or a request for contact and have a nice, informative phone conversation with a prospect. If they’re not too far away, I like to meet them and develop more than just rapport; a professional relationship. Customers are essential to any business and I would like mine to keep coming back. It doesn’t matter how big any of my companies get, I”l never be too busy to engage personally with a customer.  It reasons like this one that it eats to my core that companies out there will want to work with you until they find out how young you are.

I ran into this same problem coming out of college – I was way over qualified for my age so I applied for positions that met my credentials. I would show up, early, suit and tie, REAL resume in hand…sometimes I think the secretary’s would shoot them a quick email or phone call because no matter how excited these managers/principles/owner’s were on the phone, as if by magic (in some cases) when I would arrive the position would be filled or no longer required.

It wasn’t my lack of experience, they required 3-5 years “professional” experience, and I had 3-5 years “professional” experience. The distinction was never made that full-time jobs for Fortune 500 companies while worked in college didn’t count?
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