Small Business

Running a small business is no small feat. Expert tips for marketing and growing your company.

My biggest mistake and how I fixed it

A few months ago, I had the opportunity to attend a book event for The Plain Dealer columnist Marcia Pledger to promote her new book “My Biggest Mistake and How I Fixed It.” The book is actually a compilation of stories and case studies of local Cleveland small businesses that Marcia had written about over the last five years in her columns.

It’s a shame that most of you will only meet Marcia through the printed or electronic page because her enthusiasm and energy are contagious. Being a multi-mistake-maker myself, the first thing I said to Marcia was “I bet you have a long line of small businesses who want to be in your column.” When Marcia told me that she literally had to beg companies to share their ‘Biggest Mistake’ I couldn’t believe it.

“Let’s just say I have no problem doing my part to convince people. I’m not too proud to beg,” she said with a big smile and sparkling eyes. She was undaunted by the multitude of rejections she’s received over the five years it took to pull together over 260 small business lessons, from which just over 120 stories made the book. …read more of this at Book Review: My Biggest Mistake And How I Fixed It – Small Business Trends, published 4 March 2009

Flickr photo credit: julsatmidnight

By | March 9, 2009|Blog, Small Business|0 Comments

How to tell which ads are working

If you’re like a lot of small-business owners, you probably believe your advertising efforts are working because you’re making sales. But do you know which ads are working?

If not, it’s time to get a better handle on your advertising’s ROI. After all, why waste money buying advertising that isn’t working?

You need to look at two things: which specific ads bring in customers, and which advertising media results in new business. An ad placed in a weekly shopper-type publication may draw new business week after week, while the same ad place in a local, tabloid-format newspaper may not attract any new customers. Or, vice versa.

You can find out which ads and media are producing customers by tracking responses to your ads. …read more at How To Tell Which Ads Are Working – SmallBizResource.com, published 5 March 2009.

Flickr photo credit: Bright Star

By | March 9, 2009|Blog, Small Business|0 Comments

Making the most of your sales pitches

What do clients really want and need from salespeople? What do they want from the sales process? Well, although it may seem to many frustrated salespeople that what clients want is to be left alone, this isn’t entirely the case, says sales expert Randy Illig.

“The idea that they don’t want to talk to salespeople isn’t true,” insists Illig, a senior consultant with FranklinCovey’s Sales Performance Group. “They just don’t want to talk to all salespeople.”

Clients want a competent salesperson focused on their numbers and needs, not on his or her own sales objectives, says Illig. They want an efficient sales process that results in good decisions that work to their benefit.

“And the process should add value to customers by exploring choices and assessing the impact of those choices so clients can decide with confidence,” he explains. “Because at the highest level, the biggest fear clients have is that someone will talk them into a poor decision and a bad outcome.” ..read more at Making the Most of Your Sales Pitches – NFIB.com, published 4 March 2009

Flickr photo credit: Shutter Daddy

By | March 9, 2009|Blog, Small Business|0 Comments