by Stacy Karacostas
I’ve talked to plenty of entrepreneurs who are just barely
eking by right now. One of the most common complaints I hear
from long-time business owners referrals alone are just not
enough anymore. What’s really interesting is that most of them
aren’t doing anything different to market and grow their
businesses, even though the marketplace has clearly changed.
On the other hand, I know plenty of small business owners
who’ve experienced unprecedented growth this year. I’m talking
growth that would be considered stellar in a good economy. Even
my own revenues have doubled again this year.
So, what are the successful entrepreneurs doing differently?
Based on my experience and observations here’s a list of 10
things successful small business owner are doing that you can
1) Forget about the state of the economy. Pay attention to how
it changes your prospect’s buying behavior, but don’t let the
gloom and doom get you down. If you sell products or services
that are truly helpful or useful there will always be people
willing to buy.
2) Offer something new. If people aren’t buying what you’re
currently selling, but they used to, that’s a sign something
needs to change. The knee jerk reaction is to simply cut
prices. But that devalues what you offer.
Instead try adding value by creating new packages out of
products and services you already have. Or updating a current
offering. Even better, bring something completely new to the
table…Hold a workshop, write an ebook, offer training programs,
delve deeper into a specific aspe ct of what you offer.
3) Stop guessing. Find out what your prospects, clients and
customers want then give it to them. Do this by surveying your
people in person, by using a short, written evaluation, or via
email using a no-cost service like surveymonkey.com.
4) Embrace technology. The World Wide Web is no longer the
Wild, Wild West, but there’s still plenty of room to make your
mark. And all the social networking tools make it super cheap
to market your business effectively. So get out there and give
it a go. You’ll expand your reach, get your wisdom further out
into the world, and maybe even discover it’s fun.
5) Build your list. Even before the Internet, business gurus
said “The money is in the list”. In other words, you need a
list of past customers as well as a list of prospects that you
keep in touch with. You can do this the old fashion way by
collecting contact info on the phone or in your office or
store, then sending out print materials. Or, you can do it the
modern way by having an awesome offer and sign up system on
your Website, then staying in touch via email.
6) Provide value. The days of the pushy salesperson are
going…going…gone. Nowadays people don’t have extra cash burning
a hole in their pocket. So they expect good value for their
time AND money. Focus less on selling your products and
services and more on how you can be a helpful problem solver in
all your marketing and you’ll get better results.
7) Embrace mixed media marketing. Silver bullets don’t exist
when it comes to marketing. Instead of focusing on one media or
tactic, create a strategy and plan that uses as many as you can
to reach your people.
I send postcards, letters and gifts, write a weekly < br />e-newsletter, host monthly teleseminars, post articles, audios
and video online, write a blog, go to live networking events
8) Keep learning. Times and technology are changing fast. It’s
up to you to stay on top of what’s new and what’s working now.
But you can’t do that if you’re always buried in your business.
So read a new book, attend teleseminars, and get yourself out
to at least one non-industry specific conference each year. I
attended two this year and they were so valuable I plan to go
to at least that many—if not more—next year.
9) Stop doing it all yourself. This is a biggie. The people I
know who have successful, growing businesses and fulfilling
lives have this figured out. This is even more true in the
Face it, you don’t have time to become skilled at doing
everything it takes to market, grow and run your business
—especially online. Eventually you’ll hit a wall, business
growth will stop, and you’ll be exhausted and burned out.
The solution? Even if you don’t have the money to hire an
employee you CAN afford a Virtual Assistant. Get one now and
have them help you revamp your Website, set up and manage your
blog or email newsletter, handle your social networking,
automate your marketing and much more.
©2009 Stacy Karacostas. All Rights Reserved. www.success-stream.com
Practical Marketing Expert Stacy Karacostas specializes in
taking the stress, struggle and confusion out of growing your
small business. Get tons of marketing tips and ideas, plus grab
a copy of her info-packed FREE REPORT “The 7 Deadliest Small
Business Marketing Sins…Are You Guilty?” at http://www.success-