What is your Pricing Strategy?

Pricing strategy is not only how your business makes money, it also sends signals to your potential clients and your competitors. What signals are you sending?

What is Your Pricing Strategy

How to Market to Millennials

Marketing Tip – With such massive buying power at their disposal, most businesses want to reach the Millennials, here are some tips.

How to Market to Millennials

Social Media Strategy

What is your social media strategy? Do you have a plan or are you just winging it? Join our subscription service and learn to do more with less. http://bit.ly/1XEnuqESocial Media Briefhttp://bit.ly/1XEnuqE

Subscription Service Launching (Blog is always free!)

LogoBusiness advice is great….but do you want more? How about twice weekly videos? How about a live chat each week to answer your questions? In depth training about small business and marketing topics delivered to you and access to an award winning business coach….. for $30 a month? Yep. Of course you are welcome to go to a marketing firm and get the same information (cheapest one in Logan is $300/hr). Kind of interested? Here is a free video to get you started. Feel free to chime in below ifyou have any questions about this service. Feel free to tell EVERYONE….we are going to change small business marketing and help YOU increase your effectiveness in the market! https://youtu.be/3XEBPjZMkgE

Creating a Business Plan – Part One – The Executive Summary

stockimages

There are eight parts to a traditional business plan: an executive summary, company description, marketing analysis, business structure, product info, marketing and sales, funding and finally financial projections. Over the next several posts I am going to go over each section and teach you to write a business plan.

The Executive Summary

The executive summary is the first part and most important part of your business plan. It could be the only thing potential investors or partners read. This summary is also the last thing you write. I bring it up first because it is the first part of the plan and because of the sage advice of Mr. Covey “Begin with the end in mind”.

The executive summary is basically a short version of the rest of your plan. Generally there are five components. As you complete the rest of the business plan you will learn the information you need to fill out the executive summary.  These sections are: mission statement, company info, business growth, products and services, finances, and plans for the future. I will go over each of these sections in more detail.

Remember, this is a summary; you will go into detail on many of these points later. Concentrate on your Mission Statement and Future Plans. These don’t appear anywhere else and give your company direction and as Stephen Covey recommends, “Begin with the end in mind”.

A Mission Statement

This tells people what your business is. This is basically your super short explanation of what your business is about. If you had less than a minute to describe it, what would you say? That is your mission statement.

Company

Who founded the business? Who runs the business? How many people do you have working for you? Where are your business locations?

Growth

How is your company growing? Are the profit margins increasing? Sales revenue? Number of clients? This section can be important for those looking for funding. Other uses of a business plan may not need this. If your company is not yet established skip this section. A basic overview is good id you are not looking for funding. This way you have a basic idea of how your company is doing. Remember, “If it’s not measured, it’s not managed”.

Products and Services

In this section you describe what you sell. Include some detail and pictures if appropriate. Price point information can also go here. You will go in depth on the products/services in a later section of your business plan so this doesn’t need to cover everything, just a basic outline.

Financial Information

Use this section if you are looking for funding. Identify what bank you use and who your current investors are. Later you will go into financial detail, this is just a summary.

Future Plans

This is where you explain your business goals. Where is the business going? What do you want to accomplish? This is a key area if you are looking for investors. If this is just a general plan this will help you with direction and provide direction for your business.

Remember, this is a summary; you will go into detail on many of these points later. Concentrate on your Mission Statement and Future Plans. These don’t appear anywhere else and give your company direction and as Stephen Covey recommends, “Begin with the end in mind”.

Image courtesy of Stockimages at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Why should I have a CRM?

Customer Relationship Management software should be a component of every business. There are lots of tasks that CRM’s make much easier for businesses to handle. Every business should have some sort of CRM to help manage the task of customer care. Even small businesses with very few clients should use something to track its customers. I’m not going to endorse any CRM’s in this post, but you need to get one or even manage your own on a spreadsheet and here is why:

ID-100276568

  1. Keeps you Organized – When was the last time you contacted Joe? When did Sue last make a purchase? Using a CRM helps you keep track of what customers are doing and where they are in the sales cycle. You don’t have to spam messages out to customers if you know more about their purchasing habits.
  2. It is a Force Multiplier – I track over 200 business clients and it takes me only 5 minutes a day to manage all of them. With a good CRM system it is easy to keep track of far more than that. Instead of poring over records and hoping I didn’t miss someone my time is used much more efficiently and I can do the job of several people who don’t use CRM’s. This simultaneously boosts my sales and reduces my employer’s expenses. Win-win!
  3. It Boosts Sales – Which is ultimately the goal of every business. The main boost I see is from customer satisfaction. I know when I talked to each client and what we talked about. When I recall that information and use it a month later the customer feels better cared for and is better cared for. They know I am on their team and trying to help them out. Even if they don’t buy from me now, they will remember me down the road when it is time for them to buy. The other way it boosts sales is in a CRM’s predictive power. Our CRM sees an increase in Youth Camps purchasing our service, we know who we should be targeting and where the highest quality sales leads are.
  4. Makes for a Better Customer Experience – Especially when you have a large team sharing the responsibilities of the client base. Each customer doesn’t have to explain the history of their account every time they call in. A well run CRM will have that information available for the person they contact. Even better is that the management team can see customers that might be having a bad experience and proactively reach out to them potentially gaining better customer loyalty. The customer appreciates when you know what is going on with their account without them having to repeat themselves every time.

So what are you waiting for? Go get a CRM service. Your customers, sales team and customer support will thank you.

Image courtesy of tiramisustudio/FreeDigitalPhotos.net