Business “Lessons” Learned

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1. If a business or an idea does not exist, create it. Create your own future by being open to change. As one door closes another one opens. I’ve created two businesses that did not exist since I was laid off in December of 1994.

2. Be willing to take risks, however, make them calculated risks by taking the time to develop and write a business plan.

3. Place a heavy emphasis on marketing by answering these questions:

Who We Are
What is the purpose of your page?
Why are you in business?
What We Do
What are the products or services you are offering?
What Makes Us Unique
How are you different from others? What is your (USP) Unique Selling Proposition?
Why Use Our Products or Services
Why would people want to do business with you?
How You Benefit
How does your potential customer benefit?
For example: A feature is a car door lock.

The benefit is the door cannot open when locked and therefore you cannot fall out.

Benefits are usually stated in terms of faster, better or less expensive (cheaper).

Who We Work With Client lists establish credibility as do testimonials or comments from satisfied customers.

The Next Step
What action is the visitor directed to take?
For example: buy a product, request information on a service, subscribe to a newsletter, etc.

4. Develop an email newsletter to keep your name in front of your clients on a regular basis. One of my two e-mail newsletters comes out 52 weeks per year. Find content that helps prospects and customers with their business.

5. Establishing a presence on the World Wide Web is critical especially, if you do business nationwide or internationally.

6. Keep your eyes open for new opportunities. See if you can find a faster, better or cheaper way to perform a service or make a product.

7. Keep the overhead down. Expenses and lack of marketing will put anyone out of business.

8. Set up a Board of Advisors (not directors) composed of people you respect (professors, business people, friends, etc.). Seek their advice when necessary.

9. Enroll in classes and read books. Learn, how to do, what you do, better. Classes on selling, marketing and business skills are especially valuable.

10. Believe in yourself. You can if you think you can. Actions follow thoughts. So think good thoughts and focus on the positive.

11. Exude passion, excitement and enthusiasm when speaking about what you do.

12. People want to do business with people they know like and trust. Building credibility is crucial.

13. Right after completing a successful assignment be sure to ask your client for a testimonial letter. These letters make very powerful marketing tools and enhance your credibility.

14. Persistence is key. Don’ give up. It took 9 months to land my first client.

15. Take time to enjoy your success.

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