If you’re unemployed or under-employed, do you have an entrepreneurial spirit? Would you like to be your own boss? Are you gainfully employed but have a great entrepreneurial idea?
If answer yes to any of these questions, you might want to launch a new business. A tepid economy is often an excellent time to launch a new idea.
Keep in mind there are at least 21 essential marketing points to keep in mind in launching a new enterprise.
Here’s a checklist:
1. Determine what you’d love to do and perform a SWOT Analysis – identify your strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats.
2. Give sufficient thought to your objective (sort of a brief mission statement).
3. Write a one-page vision plan outlining how you’ll achieve your objective and include your vision for cash flow, multiple revenue streams and marketing.
4. List your products and services.
5. Develop five value propositions — the 5 benefit statements – the benefits you will, not can provide. Otherwise, your prospects won’t believe you’re confident in your products or services.
6. Your branding slogan should be in three to five words – e.g., mine is: Proven Solutions for Maximum Profits (ideally it should be in italics and in much smaller font than your business name).
7. A buyer’s remorse statement will prevent doubt by your prospective customers or clients – e.g., mine is “You will be very pleased with the strong results.”
8. A memorable logo will convey value — why people should buy from you. Make sure it’s simple enough (16 x 16 pixels) for a favicon that will appear in the address bar of the browsers. A favicon shows authority online and will help level the playing field for you.
9. Develop a Web site (the name should connote your benefits but be short as possible) and include your branding slogan adjacent to your business name on the first line. A simple, free WordPress template will suffice for now if you have a limited budget. Consider inserting informative videos about your products, services and industry. And make it easy-to-use for customers using mobile devices.
10. Strategize for a Web description — the value-statement phrase that Internet users see when they see your Web site listing. Make certain it isn’t too long — 15 to 18 words maximum. Otherwise, the browsers will cut off your description in mid sentence.
11. Submit key search words to the search engines – so visitors can find you more easily — a maximum of 10 words so you don’t confuse the browsers’ crawlers.
12. Informative content is king so install a blog on your Web site – to increase your prominence on the Web and to pique interest of Internet users. For maximum credibility and presence on the search engines, each article should contain a minimum of 700 to 800 words with at least one image to illustrate your topic.
13. Your bio – a half-page or quarter-page on your Web site emphasizing your accomplishments (why you’re an expert).
14. Marketing tactics/elements including paid advertising and use of the news media and strategic press releases to drive business to you along with social media — Alignable, Twitter, Facebook (and LinkedIn if your target is businesspeople).
15. List and court centers of influence – people and organizations that are capable of referring business to you.
16. Have a one-page handout – a flyer with benefit statements, buyer’s remorse statement, slogan, logo and contact information.
17. Don’t forget your picture on all materials (use the same picture in all your marketing efforts).
18. Work on your marketing each day – even if you’re busy – when business slows down, it’s too difficult to quickly ramp up marketing for positive cash flow.
19. Get an excellent mentor.
20. If you’ve done your homework and bounced your ideas by a great mentor, don’t let any cynics dissuade you from your dreams — don’t engage in self doubt.
21. Be tenacious.
Admittedly, this isn’t a comprehensive checklist, but these tips will get you started. Each of the above tips is explained in more detail in the more than 200 articles in the Marketing/Sales section of this portal. You’ll find what you need.
From the Coach’s Corner, The New York Times published my strategies for entrepreneurs in these articles:
- Been There… Done That… Here’s How – New York Times
- Advice on Taking an Entrepreneurial Leap – New York Times
“It’s hard to do a really good job on anything you don’t think about in the shower.”