5 Useful Tips to Grow Your Client Contacts List

What is the one thing that determines the success and existence of your small business? The one thing that determines this is its contacts, and not having them means your company won’t grow and your clientele list won’t get any bigger. How can you make your client list grow?

1: Ask Current/Repeated Contacts For New Ones

The present network will include:

  • Present clientele
  • Successful family and friends
  • Previous high school and university classmates
  • Past co-workers, associates and employers

2: Make Use Of Your Everyday Activities To Work In Your Favor

Believe it or not, your daily social activities offer a number of connections. When you’re out with friends, consider asking if they have other folks who’d like to join you. These types of activities can offer you a chance to market your business in a relaxed environment.

During this time, spend it building trustful relationships. You don’t want to start off the conversation about your business; allow this to come up naturally. Social settings are meant to be relaxing; not a place to talk about business and the issues you may be having. Of course, that doesn’t mean social settings eliminate the thought of business entirely; everybody is constantly wondering about their business.

3: Get Involved With A Professional Association

Professional associations offer you a great chance to network with potential clients/customers. Before you join the association, you should do a little research and be sure it’s the best one for you and your company. Ask questions that include:

  • What membership fees are there and when are these fees due?
  • Are members expected to do a certain amount of commitment?
  • Will there be nationwide conferences?
  • Are members active; are they participating often?
  • How focused is the association
  • Is there a chance for cross-pollination (business and association working together)?

4: Go To Industry-Related Conferences and Meetings

You can expand your clientele list by attending industry-related conferences. These places offer an array of information on the newest industry-related developments, trends, etc. These venues allow for competitors and possible clientele to get together, allowing you the chance to make your business successful. В There are three primary aspects that can help you successful connect with new contacts:

  • Remember your sales script entirely. This doesn’t mean to repeat it from beginning to end; just remember the main points of it and use them during your conversation with prospective clients.
  • Ask already established conference goers for introductions.
  • Send a letter to the people you meet within a week, asking for a formal meeting.

5: Assist Other People In Setting Up Their Network

“You Scratch My Back, I’ll Scratch Yours”. What does this saying mean? Simply put: when you help other people find their clientele, they can help you find yours. So, if you see someone who needs assistance in building their network base, help them out. It may positively come back on you.

Networking is going to take time whether or not you use the above recommendations. It may be months or even years before you see any kind of results from the labor and time you put forth. However, take the time out to connect with the people and they’re likely to remember you when they need your provided services.

How to Develop A Business Logo that Makes Your Company Memorable

When it comes to brand definition, the logo your company has will take it far. That’s the reason you don’t need to develop a logo on a whim. No matter if you opt to create your own logo or hire a design team to do it for you, putting forth the effort in its development is vitally necessary to your company’s success.

Be aware that there are several kinds of colors, shapes, pictures and typefaces that can highlight your business, what it does and how it can assist customers/clients meet their expectations.

Highly Memorable Logos You Immediately Think Of

What are some of the businesses you think of when you see a logo?

  • Golden Arches – McDonald’s (uses shape and color)
  • Colored Apple – Apple Computers (uses picture)
  • Coca-Cola Fonts – Coca-Cola (uses type-face)

When you start researching to get your logo, you’ll need to make some decisions about which direction you want to go for your business logo. While there is no right or wrong way, you need to remember that your logo is going to speak volumes about your company. This should be contemplated before settling on a design.

What Guidelines Does the Industry Set?

For the most part, there’s no set rules on the kinds of logos that ought to be used within a certain industry. In saying that, however, there are some basic logo rules you should follow. On the business spectrum, you have the high-tech sector, on the other end you have service-oriented sector. Somewhere along the middle, you’ve got the business to business sector.

  • Service-Oriented Logos – These logos are generally rounded and smooth with the goal of creating an approachable, imaginative perception.
  • High-Tech Logos – These are logos that are angular and chiseled with the goal of creating an innovative company perception.
  • B2B Logos – These logos can include both the service-oriented and high-tech logos with the intention of appearing both innovative and safe.

Where your company falls along the spectrum will depend on your logo. After all, your logo is an extension of your company; it helps in identification, marketing promotions and building client/customer relationships. Be sure your logo is attractive and innovative enough to the different audiences who may be interested in your service/product. You want to positively stand out in the minds of your customers/clients.

3 Suggestions to Use for Your Logo Design

Remember, the logo you design using colors, pictures, colors and typefaces will define your business. Thus, it’s highly imperative that you choose wisely when developing one. There are three suggestions that can assist you in the development phase of your logo:

  • Keep It Simple – Your logo needs to be simple enough so that it can be reproduced easily. Don’t include logos with fine details, gradation or lots of data. People will have a hard time remember these things, and you won’t be able to print them in small sizes.
  • Color – Your logo needs to look good in both color and black. Don’t rely on color as the key design element in your logo since some things you reproduce the logo on may use only the color black.
  • Typeface and Color – If you decide to incorporate color for the logo, choose the perfect color to represent your business. Your typeface should also be considered; choose one that represents and conveys the message of your business.

When you’re in the middle of developing your logo, it’s imperative you remember that your logo is not a changeable element. You can easily change up your business’ marketing message at any time; but, changing the image that’s represented your business is far more difficult to do. Therefore, you want a suitable logo for your business; one that’s powerful and alluring as well as distinctive.

What are Your Intellectual Property Rights

Intellectual Property laws provide legal protections and rights to the inventor or creator through trademarks, patents, and copyrights. Intellectual property is defined as ownership of intangible and non – physical goods.

More simply put, intellectual property is creations of the mind.В This includes any type of literary, artistic, symbols, names, designs, and images.В Rights in these are rooted in intellectual property laws.В Trademarks, patents, and copyrights provide different and distinct intellectual property rights to the inventor or creator.0

A trademark is any word, logo, phrase, name, sign, design, expression or any combination of these, known as a mark that is registered to an owner so that products or services will be recognizable to consumers.В Trademarks distinguish particular products and services from others so that a consumer may exclusively identify the commercial source.

Trademarks are used to protect the owner of the mark and the consumers. An owner registering the mark prevents others from using the same or similar mark. Marks may be owned or licensed by any legal entity such as an individual or business organization. The owner of a trademark has rights in the “mark” and may pursue legal action known as trademark infringement against a party that uses the mark.

While trademarks protect the owner, they also protect the consumer.В Trademarks inform the buying public of the origin of products and services. Knowing the source of the product and service allows the consumer to make educated decisions on their purchases based off reputation, marketing, and knowledge of the company.В Trademarks may be located on any packaging, label, voucher, or other advertisement of the owner.В Several symbols indicate that a mark is trademark such as В® and в„ў.

Patents are a tool for inventors so that they may legally protect their invention.В A patent will give an inventor property rights over the invention which prevents all the rest of the world from making, using, or selling the patented invention without permission.В It is important to note that the patent does not protect the idea of the invention, it only protects the invention.

A patent lasts for a limited time period, generally 20 years from the date the application for the patent is filed. A patent is only valid in the country which the application is filed. Patents are available to inventors in all fields of technology. The application for a patent needs to meet relevant patentability requirements. The application must include one or more claims that define the invention which must be useful, novel, and non – obvious.

A copyright gives the creator of an original work exclusive right’s to the work for a limited period of time. Copyrights are available to any expressible form of an idea or information. The work must be both substantive and discrete. Works included musical, dramatic, and artistic creations which can include movies, books, songs, sculptures, and software.

Copyrights serve as a way to give the creator of the work credit, determine who may financially benefit from the work, evaluate who may adapt the work to other forms, and other various related rights.В With a copyright, the creator can publicly display, produce, and sell the copyrighted work.В The work does not have to published in order to be copyrighted, it only needs to be produced.

Market Analysis Helps You Identify Your Best Customers

To run a successful business, you need to know who your customers are so you can market to them with laser precision. Beginning your research is simple: Just type your topic or product keyword into a search engine and print out a list of the top ten sites the search engine returns to you. Next, check out those websites, as they will probably be your top competitors.

For each site you look at, ask yourself the following three questions:

  1. What can you include in the product that is missing from this competitor’s site?
  2. Will what you add to or change about the product make it better?
  3. Would your version of this product be more appealing to a potential customer?

If you answer “no” to any of these questions, you may want to reconsider your choice of product or niche. On the other hand, if your answers are “yes,” you should be ready to invest some time and effort into conducting a more thorough market analysis.

What is market analysis?

Market analysis is an assessment of a specific problem or opportunity in a given market, that market’s specific needs, and an idea about marketing a specific product or service that fills the needs of that market. You should always conduct your own market analysis when you start a new business, create a new product or service, or when you break into a new market.

Conducting a market analysis helps you to minimize the risks of starting a business, plan your marketing or sales plan, find sales opportunities, and understand the problems and opportunities of your market.

How do I conduct a market analysis?

There are three main steps to follow when conducting your own market analysis.

  1. Learn about market conditions: This means you find out the basic information about your specific market (such as its size, who your competition is, how many customers it contains, etc.).
  2. Identify opportunities offered by this market: This provides you with specific information about potential problems and opportunities in this market and helps you learn about possible market trends (such as market growth, future directions the market might take, outside factors affecting the market, and more specific information about your competitors).
  3. Develop market-driven strategies: Market research helps you zoom in on opportunities to make your business grow. This is the key to beating out your competitors.

The more you know about your market and your customers, the better able you will be to meet their needs and wants and make money in the process. In addition, learning about your market increases your expertise in your particular subject-area, which makes you more attractive to potential customers.

Speaking of potential customers, there are a few things you should learn about how to create a profitable customer.

Lesson One: If you don’t tell them, they won’t know; and if they don’t know, they won’t buy!

Marketing your product to your potential customers is an important factor in creating a successful business. If they don’t know you’re out there and what you’re offering, they can’t buy it. Don’t succumb to the misconception that you should start marketing after you start making money. If you don’t do your marketing first, you won’t be making any money!

Lesson Two: Don’t waste money on customers who aren’t likely to buy.

Successful marketing is all about listening to what your customers want and then giving it to them. Understand your customer. Learn who your most profitable customers are and market specifically to them. People want to be listened to, so start listening!

So how do you identify your most profitable customers? First you need to realize that you shouldn’t be marketing your information product to everyone. Everyone is not going to be your customer. Don’t waste your time and money on people who aren’t going to buy whatever it is you’re selling.

Speak directly to those people who will buy your product. These are the people who will pay big money for what you’re offering, and these are the people you want to do business with.

Targeting the correct audience is key to maintaining a successful Internet business. So who are your most profitable customers? Here is some information that you should collect about your potential customer base:

  • Ethnic Background
  • Religious Background
  • Heath
  • Hobbies and Interests
  • Personality Traits
  • Problems

How Your Product Applies to Them:

  • What are their biggest problems?
  • Does your product(s) solve that problem?

A thorough market analysis will help you build your business right from the ground up, laying a foundation for success for many years to come!

Your Brand Is Your Most Valuable Business Asset

Branding is creating a compelling association between your company, logo, products, etc. and an image, emotion, or message that that embodies the main benefit you can offer your customers. Branding is your promise to your customers about what they should expect from you.

If you do it right, branding should be emotional—it should create an unwavering product loyalty that renders your competitors’ marketing tactics ineffective on your customers. Slogans and catch phrases are only one aspect of branding. Many traditional branding strategies won’t apply to your online business, but there are several core lessons that you should keep in mind.

Two Branding Myths

Let’s look at two major branding myths so that you can learn which common mistakes to avoid:

Myth #1: You need to make your company or product a household name.

Remember, not every household is going to buy your product. You are going to be targeting a specific market. All you want to concentrate on is getting your name and products in front of your best potential customers, not everyone on the planet. Find your niche, and then stick with it!

It’s a waste of money for you to spend your advertising budget targeting a broad audience. Most of those people will not be interested in what you have to offer. Only focus on building your brand among your targeted, highly-specific niche market. These are the only people who will be willing to spend money on your products and services.

Myth #2: You need to spend a lot of money on brand recognition.

There are many free or cheap methods you can use to brand your startup business. You probably don’t have millions of dollars to spend on building a nationally recognized brand, and the good news is that you don’t need to spend that much.

In addition, there are many strategies that may have worked well years back that aren’t necessarily as effective today. Banner ads, for example, are not as profitable as they used to be.

Paying too much for pay-per-click advertising is another common mistake that many new business owners make. You don’t need to spend a lot to get the starter traffic you need to get your business off the ground.

The Importance of Brand Consistency

You need to repeat your message on a consistent basis to your customers in order for your brand to stick in their heads. Your website design, graphics, and logos should all visually reinforce your message.

Branding is more than just visual aspects though. Every point of contact your visitors and customers have with you is a branding opportunity. You need to reinforce your brand message and image every time you communicate with your customers or else all the money you spent on your logos and other branding techniques will have been wasted.

Here are some surefire ways to destroy your brand, no matter how much money you spent on it:

  • Branding your product as high-end or exclusive but having a website or emails full of typos and bad grammar. This undermines your credibility.
  • Boasting a wide selection of products but being constantly out of stock.
  • Using words like “easy” and “convenient” in your company name or tagline and then having a site that is difficult to navigate.

Every aspect of your business should contribute to your brand image, including your customer service, newsletter, website content, etc. Your brand is like your personal reputation.

Developing a Unique Selling Proposition (USP)

You unique selling proposition (USP) is a single sentence that you would say to a potential customer if you were sitting face to face with them trying to convince them that they can benefit from doing business with you. This should be a clear message, written in simple language, that is easy to remember and differentiates you from your competitors.

Your USP is the message that your market will use to identify you and what you will be associated with. It should set you apart from other businesses in your niche market who are targeting the same customers.

To perfect your own USP, ask yourself the following questions:

  • How does my product solve my market’s problem better than other products?
  • Is my product less expensive than my competition’s?
  • Does my product last longer than the competition’s?
  • Is my product more attractive looking than the competition’s?
  • Does my product ship faster?
  • Does my product come with special features?

Targeting Your Market

Obviously, you can’t afford to target the whole world with your marketing message. Since you are niche marketing, though, the good news is that you don’t have to.

The great thing about being able to market your business online is that it is very cheap to target hundreds of thousands of potential customers all over the world. You can easily and effectively market only to those people who will be most interested in what you have to offer. You can focus only on people who will be willing to do business with you.

It’s tempting to try and sell to everyone since the Internet has a global reach, but don’t do it! Only promote your products to a targeted market that you already know will be interested in them.