“Greatness is won, not awarded.”
1. Find a Niche. For small businesses, it is best to find a niche. A small company with limited resources can efficiently serve niche markets. Concentrate your efforts on a fairly narrow market offering. This entails sticking to what you do best, and becoming an expert in that field. Realize that it is not possible to be good at everything. By concentrating on a fairly narrow market niche, you may be able to avoid head-on collision with bigger competitors. If you are a hardware store selling everything from paints to lumber, the entry of giant retailers like Home Depot in your area can spell the end for your business. However, you can try to limit your offering, for example, to construction of porches and decks and be the best retailer for this segment.
2. Be small, yet think big. The most common question of small business start-ups is “How can I compete with my big competitors?“ Small businesses have inherent advantages over big businesses, including flexibility, ability to respond quickly, able to provide a more personalized service. Make sure that your business takes maximum advantage of those areas that represent the strengths of small companies.
3. Differentiate your products. Present the benefits of your products and services to your customers, highlighting the unique solutions it offers to their problems. Avoid being a copycat; rarely do imitators succeed in the market. Study, but do not copy your competitors, and package your products distinctly.
4. First impression counts. Strive for accuracy and quality the first time around. You often do not have a second chance to make a good first impression. This entails a well-laid out store, courteous staff, and personable voice over the phone, etc. However, if you are a one-person business working in a home office, remember that you are the center of your business and marketing efforts. Everyone you come in touch with is potentially a client or a referral to another client because they are either impressed with you as a person, impressed with your skill at providing a certain service or product. Make sure that you are always presentable, professional in your ways and knowledgeable about your business.
Read more at: powerhomebiz.com
This week’s LDP Wine of the Week is the Plaisir de Merle Merlot 2009
This wine was made from grapes harvested at an optimal level of ripeness, resulting in a wine with intense concentration of flavours. The wine was aged in French oak barrels for approximately 12 months. No stabilisation was needed prior to bottling. Although this wine has a distinct, youthful drinkability, it also has good ageing potential.
Read more … capelegends
Marketing is vastly important to a successful business. Here are a few low-cost but, effective small business marketing tips to generate sales:
1. Don’t Advertise Like a Big Business
Big businesses advertise to create name recognition and future sales. A small business can’t afford to do that. Instead, design your advertising to produce sales… now. One way to accomplish this is to always include an offer in your advertising – and an easy way for prospective customers to respond to it.
2. Offer a Cheaper Version
Some prospective customers are not willing to pay the asking price for your product or service. Others are more interested in paying a low price than in getting the best quality. You can avoid losing sales to many of these customers by offering a smaller or stripped down version of your product or service at a lower price.
3. Offer a Premium Version
Not all customers are looking for a cheap price. Many are willing to pay a higher price to get a premium product or service. You can boost your average size sale and your total revenue by offering a more comprehensive product or service …or by combining several products or services in a special premium package offer for a higher price.
4. Try Some Unusual Marketing Methods
Look for some unconventional marketing methods your competitors are overlooking. You may discover some highly profitable ways to generate sales and avoid competition. For example, print your best small ad on a postcard and mail it to prospects in your targeted market. A small ad on a postcard can drive a high volume of traffic to your website or generate a flood of sales leads for a very small cost.
Read more… businessknowhow.com
This weeks’s LDP wine of the week is the popular Lomond Merlot 2008.
An aroma of ripe mulberry and subtle mint opens onto a sweet, succulent palate of plums and a faint trace of smokiness. Finely-grained tannins and a good balance between fruit and wood make this an easily accessible wine.
Read more… capelegends.co.za
Keep in mind that networking is about being genuine and authentic, building trust and relationships, and seeing how you can help others.
Ask yourself what your goals are in participating in networking meetings so that you will pick groups that will help you get what you are looking for. Some meetings are based more on learning, making contacts, and/or volunteering rather than on strictly making business connections.
Visit as many groups as possible that spark your interest. Notice the tone and attitude of the group. Do the people sound supportive of one another? Does the leadership appear competent? Many groups will allow you to visit two times before joining.
Hold volunteer positions in organizations. This is a great way to stay visible and give back to groups that have helped you.
Read more… businessknowhow.com