More Tips on Growing your Business

17 11 2010

How many times have you reviewed your financial statements and wondered how you were going to increase sales this month?  If you were not increasing sales, you will have to worry about what other item you are going to have to cut back next month.  This is one of the main worries of the small business owner from the beginning of time.  You may have an incredible product to offer your customers, but if you don’t have the income or more precisely, PROFITABILITY, to support your product, your business will not be around for very long. This week we have more tips on growing your business.

This week we are going to review some more tips and suggestions to help boost your small business sales.  Not all of these tips are going to work for all of you, but perhaps some of these tips, if not directly helpful, will get your creative juices flowing and generate some seriously profitable ideas for your specific business venture.

As we have discussed in earlier blogs, your product,  service or opportunity (or all three perhaps) needs to not just fill your needs, but to fill the common need of your target customer.  Can you help people learn how to survive this current real estate downturn?  Do you have a new and innovative way to help clients sell their homes?

Have you looked at the prices you are posting for your particular products?  If you lower prices a bit and sell more products, would you ultimate make more income?  The key here is to advertise that you are lower prices again to assist your customers survive this economic downturn.  You don’t want them thinking you are lowering your prices to get rid of inventory.  You want your customers to believe that your new lower prices are a direct result of you wanting to help them deal with this economic strife.

Do you have a product that is more of a discretionary income item? Have sales gone down because people are not as willing to spend on discretionary items?  Can you rethink how to market this “luxury” item so that when your customer uses this item, they are given a brief “vacation” from the day-to-day stresses.  Using your item will give them a little bit of pleasure which in turn helps bolster their energy for the next round of reality.

Or, do you have a product or service that is a necessity, no matter what the economic climate has become?  If you don’t have this type of product, is there some item out there that might complement your current product offerings?   This item could help you to grow your business and develop a sustained income month over month going forward.

Lastly, don’t forget your customer.  Customer service and honest follow-up, especially in this economic environment, is the best business.  How many stores have you gone into where the clerks were cranky or just plain mean?  Did you leave that store feeling positive about your purchase?  If you found another store where the clerks were cheerful and friendly, don’t you think you would be more willing to spend additional time wandering around?  With  internet sales exploding, and on-line marketing at every turn, it is critical to differentiate yourself from your competition with your customer service.  People will be drawn to good customer service.  They will be more willing to spend their hard-earned cash at your business too because you made them feel better either about themselves or about their purchases.  These same customers will also be more receptive to purchasing higher priced products (i.e. “do you want fries with that?”).

It is truly amazing how much more people will purchase if you spend a little quality time with them.  Keep them appraised of any new promotions, send a very brief message monthly to let them know that all is well, periodically offer a customer loyalty gift or coupon.  Even if your customers do not redeem the coupons, they will be pleased that you thought of them, and will be more inclined to spend money with you instead of going to your competitor.

Hopefully some of these tips on growing your business sales can be implemented in your business.   What would be even better is that some of these tips inspired you to think of other ideas that grow your business.  Good luck and have a great business week.

If you are looking for a second income to supplement what you are currently doing, please feel free to explore our website.  We offer several home based business opportunities and are more than willing to discuss in detail any opportunity you are considering.  We offer Pre-Paid Legal Services, Stem Cell Nutrition and can assist you in starting up your own waterless detailing business.  You only have to ask.

Until next week…

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3 Marketing Tips to help grow your business

26 10 2010

This week we are going to cover 3 marketing tips to help grow your business.  If you are like many small and home based businesses, you have most likely struggled with getting your product, services or ideas out to the general public.  There are many, many different marketing techniques to get your business advertised, but for many, money is the determining factor.  This week we are beginning a brief series on some marketing tips to help grow your business and not break your bank.

1 – To begin with, you need to have the right marketing message and present it at the right time for your customers.  You do not want to advertise the latest big cars when the gas prices are going through the roof.  The key is to be sure your business offers a solution or solutions to the problems consumers are facing today, not what they faced yesterday.  Don’t spend your hard-earned money on trying to build your image…yet.  You can build your image more effectively by word of as your business grows instead of hiring an advertising agency to promote you.

2 Test the market by trying some direct response marketing pieces.  Keep the cost of printing to a minimum, offer free reports, a free consultation, or some type of coupon to draw people to your business opportunity.  Try a few different direct response offers, and most importantly, keep track of which offers you made and how you sent them out.  Once you receive responses back, track which ones were your most successful and then work to improve upon those.  Do not spend time on ineffective direct response ideas.  If you didn’t get any response, toss that idea and move on to one that did generate interest.

3 – Once you receive responses from your marketing pieces, it is critical that you follow-up with your leads often and quickly.  Ask how they would prefer you to stay in touch with them.  Some may prefer a monthly newsletter, others may prefer a weekly e-mail or a phone call.   Tally the results with what your customers ultimately purchase.

Lastly, ask your customers how they found out about your business.  Was it through a friend, an ad they had seen in a local paper, or some other means of advertising that you have employed?  Do not jump from one advertising piece to another unless you have carefully documented the success and failures of what you have completed.  Very important – do not do major changes to your marketing pieces.  Do little changes and measure the results.  You will be amazed at how one small change can lead to large results.  If you change too many things at one time, you will have no idea which specific change generated the improved business.

Next week we will continue with additional marketing tips to help grow your business.

If you are looking for a second income or a home based business opportunity, perhaps we have something that would interest you.  We have several business opportunities ranging from Stem Cell nutrition, to Pre-Paid Legal Services, nutritional juice drinks to, to waterless vehicle detailing.  Please feel free to ask us about some of our business opportunities, we may have something that would work well for you.

Until next week…





Balancing time with home based business

9 08 2010

Time is something that once wasted can never be recovered.  It is a fact of life.  No matter how hard you wish, there will not be more than 24 hours (and a few minutes) in a day.  Therefore, when you start your own home based business, time is a huge factor in what you do and when you do it.  Your passion for your new business venture will help you build and grow your new home based business, but if you do not take time out for other issues, you will probably not be completely successful.

Most people will start a home based business while working a current job (did you know that J.O.B also means Just Over Broke?).  This way there is no sudden drop in income flow, and you have the financial backing (the bank of YOU) to get the home based business up and running.  The problem is, your personal life can suffer, especially if you are already working long hours at the regular J.O.B..  Then you ask yourself, when do you carve out the time to get your personal business going?  Then, when do you personally get some version of rest?  As you are probably aware, when you are working for someone else, you are trading your valuable time for their money.  Not always a good trade, but it does usually get the bills paid.   More people are looking to ways of earning a second income stream now.  With multiple streams of income, you will stand a better chance of success, especially if your main J.O.B. is terminated.

The key is to find ways to balance your time so that you do not seriously neglect your family and personal life while starting up your home based business.  You also do not want to impact your current job and have that terminate too early.   It is very difficult to balance your already precious time, but if you want to be financially free, you have to make some sacrifices.  This article will hopefully provide some suggestions on how to mitigate those sacrifices so they don’t hurt those around you too much.

Many of us, when we start-up our own home based businesses will have a tendency to want to work 7 days a week, all hours of the day and night.  This will not do you, your family or your current job any good at all.  One helpful idea can be to include your whole family in your new business venture. It is a home-based business, right?, so include everyone if it is feasible.  If your family is also somewhat invested in what they are doing, your business can really sprout wings and fly.  If you have young children, having them help in some aspect of the business process can help them to learn good work ethics and the value of money.

Be sure to also take at least one day off for yourself.  No matter how much your new business idea may be burning a hole in your mind, you need to give both your mind and your body a rest.  Get away from your home based business venture for at least a day.  By getting away from it, you will return to it with a clearer perspective and possibly discover on opportunity or solution to a problem you had not seen before.   Taking that day off is like taking a mental health day.  Every human body needs to take a break.  Do something fun with the family, or just go out and do something that you really, really enjoy.

When you are balancing your regular J.O.B. with your new business, set a schedule for yourself.  You have a schedule set for your job, so why not do the same thing for your home business?  This way, when you are clear about what needs to be done, you will reduce the tendency to do too much in one day, and you will reduce the chance of burn-out.  As you set the schedule, be sure your priorities are well-defined.  Remember there will always be another crisis to solve.

If you are looking for second income opportunities, please check out our website.  We may have something that will work well with your current lifestyle.   We will always encourage questions and suggestions.

Until next week…





Will Branding Grow Your Business?

26 07 2010

KFC

We have talked before about how to grow your business.  Obviously, you will follow a business plan to help get your business off the ground, the business plan will also provide a basic path for you to follow as your business grows.  But  a big question is, will branding grow your business?

Let’s first go into what, exactly, is Branding?  We are not talking about marking livestock or people, but we are referring to branding as a marketing term.  When you reach for a tissue, how many people want a Kleenex?  If you want to tape something together, do you ask for Scotch Tape?  What about getting a soda, don’t you ask for a Coke or Pepsi if you are wanting a cola type soda?  That is the branding we are discussing tonight. 

Branding is the assigning of a name, slogan, symbol to a product or service.  It has evolved into including the identity of the company, or the personality of the business to the product.  As we are mainly small entrepreneurs, branding anything we may have will most likely take much more capital investment than we will see in our near future.  So, it begs the question, is it really important to have whatever we are offering to the public (be it product or service) branded? 

We have all seen how a familiar product brand will outsell its competition, even the generic brand.  You see people tending towards the familiar brands, even if the other labeled products are exactly the same and less expensive.  Consumers will tend towards the familiar over something new and even less expensive.  If you think about branding though, isn’t a brand just a name or a concept that we have become familiar with?  It is not necessarily all the marketing that we have been exposed to, granted the marketing helps, but that is not all.  If you try a particular brand-named product and have a good experience, then you will let others know about the good experience.  The reverse is true too.

So, really the key to branding on the small business level, is to let people become familiar with your product and / or service.  The more familiar they are with what you have to offer, compared to similar items others are offering, the higher the likelihood that your product / service will outsell the competition.  Even if you have a product or service that is not common, if you have developed familiarity with your consumer base, people will be more willing to purchase from you than from any competitor who may crop up in the future. 

Part of what branding would be for small business is the concept of you branding your company, not necessarily the specific products you are offering.  It is stated this way, because as stated in earlier blogs, as the business climate changes, your product line may be modified to meet the new needs of your customers.  What you should probably focus on, is your own unique method of presenting the products and services.  You should be offering with your product or service, something that no one else is offering.  You may want to emphasise your business integrity, or perhaps that the product you are selling is the first in its field.  You want to offer to the customer something they have been looking for, and have not been able to locate in any of the competition.  Once you discover that aspect, you want to be sure your customers know that you offer something nobody else offers. 

Once your customers discover you are offering what they have been looking for, your “branding” will be advertised through them.   You want to create the thought in your customer’s mind that you and your offerings are unique and what the customer wants.  They in turn will tell their friends and your business will grow.  You will have discovered the small business version of branding to grow your business

If you are interested in starting up your own small business, please feel free to check out our website, www.hawgwash.net.  We offer several types of small business opportunities for those looking for a second income. 

Until next week…





Strong Work Ethics in a Successful Business

17 05 2010

Strong Work Ethics

  

Last week we began talking about what makes a business successful.  This week we are going to examine in a little more depth some of the concepts introduced last week.  One of the theories of why Amish businesses were successful were due to strong work ethics.   

If you read the story about the Ant and the Grasshopper, the grasshopper played all summer, while the ant worked at collecting food in anticipation of the winter.  After working hard all summer (strong work ethics) the ant was able survive the winter months, while the grasshopper – who had chosen not to work all summer – starved in the cold because he did not prepare for the lean times.   

Being in business for yourself can be rewarding, but if you do not have a strong work ethic, you can get into trouble very quickly.  I don’t mean trouble with anybody in particular, but if you tend to not be as productive if you don’t have someone looking over your shoulder, then possibly being in business for yourself may not be the right plan.  You may ask, exactly what is a strong work ethic.  A Work Ethic is a set of values based on hard work and diligence.  A good work ethic includes being reliable, taking initiative and developing strong social skills.   

Strong work ethics are what will keep you going when times get tough.  Starting up a new business is very difficult, and very time-consuming, no matter what others may tell you.  I have had people propose a new business opportunity that they claim will just build and sell itself.  After some careful research though, their claims of a business just growing by itself were completely unfounded.  

Keep in mind, anything you do when going into business for yourself will take a lot of your time and effort.  This is not said to scare anyone off, it is far better to be prepared for the work instead of expecting an easy deal.  There may be an opportunity out there that does just take off with minimal effort, but honestly, those are few and far between.  Basically, when starting up a business for yourself and your family, even if it is an established type of opportunity, it will take a strong work ethic on your part to make the business successful and to grow.   

Part of developing your business is by working on business relationships.  You need people in order to keep your business afloat.  By learning to listen to what your potential customers want and need and then providing them more than what they asked for, will help you to develop relationships with those customers.  Once you have built a relationship with a customer, there is a high likelihood that they will go out and tell their friends of the good you have done for them.  Then those friends may come in and ask for either your products or services based on the recommendation of your original customer.  Building good relationships with your customers will also allow them to feel not only comfortable about coming in and obtaining your products and services, but will also allow them to feel comfortable asking you for advice on other issues that may be related to what you have to offer.   

Building relationships takes time and a lot of work.  You need to be well attuned to what your customers are asking for and strive to provide a little more than what they expect.  By going the extra mile to meet their needs, your customers will be thankful that you listened to them and gave them what they wanted instead of trying to sell them what they don’t need.   

 Other aspects of strong work ethics include continuing to work on growing the business, even when you receive a lot of  “no, Thanks” from people.  Getting “No’s” from people mean that you are that much closer to getting a “Yes” from someone else.  Keep in mind that you don’t purchase everything that you may see and desire, so don’t expect potential customers to come in and purchase immediately from you.   

Next week we will continue a little more with work ethics and then explore how faith, family and high moral values fit into a successful business plan.  

If you are interested in a second income stream, and may want to start a business, please feel free to review our website for information and ideas.  We offer several business opportunities, ranging from Waterless Technology to Nutritional Products.  We would love to assist you in beginning on the road to financial freedom.   If you have questions, please feel free to contact us at hawgwash1@yahoo.com.   

Until next week…





What is Recession Proof Income?

3 05 2010
Bills, Bills, Bills

Recession Proof Your Income

How many times have you heard the phrase, “recession proof your income“?  What do you need to do in order to “recession proof” your income?  Why do you need to do that, and lastly, how can you “recession proof” your income?  This week we will cover what it means to recession proof your income and the hows and whys to accomplish just that.

Let’s first start with the question, what is recession proofing your income?   In a recession, your income does not go as far as it used to.  In order to recession proof your income, you need to find a way to make your money worth more, so that you can purchase at least what you used to be able to purchase.  In today’s economy, the money you earn just doesn’t seem to go far enough anymore.  You may now have to choose between using the car for several errands or just staying home and making do because the cost of gas for the car is more than what you have this week.  You may also have to choose between going to a doctor for health reasons or being able to purchase groceries for your family. 

In a nutshell, in order to recession proof your income, you need to have multiple income streams.  One of the most obvious ways to have more money is to get a second job.  In today’s economy, that can be a difficult thing to do, there are more people looking for jobs than there are jobs to work.  Another problem is obviously time.  If you are working more than a 40 hour work week in your main job, where are you going to find the time to get a second, or third job?  If you get that additional job, you lose that precious time with your family. 

Working a second or third job is not a good use of your resources.  You need to find something to leverage the income you currently have and make it work for you, not you working for your money.   If you have enough discretionary income, you may want to consider investing it in stocks and bonds (which can be risky), or investing in other business opportunities (being a partner in another company).  The object here is to not spend more time away from your family.  If you do not have a lot of discretionary income, you may want to look into business opportunities that offer “passive income“.

Passive income is income that you earn without additional hours spent by you working.  Passive income is money coming in that you do not have to lift a finger to earn, except to put it in the bank, or can be defined as an income received on a regular basis, with little effort required to maintain it.  The key is to find a business opportunity that fits with your lifestyle that will generate passive income and help you to recession proof your income.  One way to begin earning passive income is to get involved in some form of direct selling plan. 

Direct selling works best when time are bad because the number of sales representatives increase in the field.  There tends to be high gross margins, low-cost of entry (you don’t have to spend a lot of money to get started), a very divers amount of products and services to get involved in and huge room for growth.  According to a report from MSNBC Mad Money, direct sales is a recession proof industry.  In the attached video, Jim Cramer talks about why direct sales is recession proof.  He states that the top 15 direct sales companies comprise approximately half of the direct sales market.  He also goes on to state that many direct sales companies have access to the Global Market, not just the continental United States.  Access to a global market without having to spend a lot of your own hard-earned money is a very great way to begin earning additional income without going out to a second or third job.

Hawgwash, LLC offers several types of business opportunities that can earn you the additional income you are looking for.   One of our newest, and strongest opportunities today is in STEMTech.  STEMTech offers nutritional products that enhance the natural release of adult stem cells into your own body.  Their flagship product, StemEnhance, provides the natural stem cell nutrition for your body to release approximately 25% of  it’s own adult stem cells from your own bone marrow into your blood stream.  By having more of your own adult stem cells circulating in your body, those stem cells will assist your body to rejuvenate and repair itself.  The other advantage of the company STEMTech is that they are already international.  You do not need to purchase the rights to sell these nutritional products in other countries.  Currently STEMTech is sold in 14 countries and is continuing to work on opening additional markets. 

If you would like more information on STEMTech and the business opportunities they have to offer, you can view the video, or, you can e-mail us at hawgwash1@yahoo.com.  If you have questions about other income opportunities that we have to offer, please feel free to contact us through hawgwash1@yahoo.com

Until next week…





Help, My Home Based Business is not Making Money

21 03 2010

If you have a home based business, what do you do when your core products or service does not produce the income you used to recognize?   The first thing you would probably do is to check and see if you are doing anything differently from when you first started your home based business.

If you have been growing your home based business over years, with luck you will find that you have changed what you used to do in reply to market pressures.  But, if now you find that all the things you had done no longer work and you are not making money, it is time to go back to the drawing board to determine what needs to change.  You should not change your business plan for change sake.  If you do not know why your business is falling off, you should not just make changes willy-nilly.  You need to sit down and determine what is not selling and try to identify the why the sales are falling off.

Are your products or services a one-time purchase, or are they a consumable item?  If they are a one-time purchase item, have you saturated your market?  Does everyone in your area already have your product?  If so, take a look at what you are willing to do to expand your market area to obtain new customers.   One way to do this may be to offer existing customers a rebate or gift card.  You may want to ask your existing customer base to refer your products to their friends and acquaintances.  In doing that, keep in mind, customers will not usually offer referrals unless there is something in it for them.  Before you start offering rebates or gift cards, find out from your customers what they want.

You need to understand what your customers want from your and your products before you can even begin to meet their needs.  Just because you think that you have an awesome product, does not mean the majority of people out there agree with you.  You might want to have a little survey card for your customers to complete so that you can be sure you are meeting their needs.  There may be times where you think you know what your customers want, but after collecting survey data, you may be shocked by what your customer base wants.  You won’t know unless you have the courage to ask. 

Most customers will appreciate offering suggestions to improve your services.   You need to be honest in asking them for information.  If you ask questions and then don’t implement any of the suggestions, your customers will stop providing useful information.  Instead of providing a survey, you may want to talk with your customers to determine what is going on in their life.   You don’t want to be nosey, but you want to know what their concerns and issues are.  Not only may you find out what is going on with your particular product, but you may discover an untapped market that you could add to your business arsenal.  Is there an opportunity that you may have the tools to solve for your customers?  Again, keep in mind that your products and services need to benefit the customer, not just you. 

If your products are consumable, how often do customers come back to purchase from you?  Are your sales falling off because a competitor has come into your area?  Was your product a “Fad” type item (like pet rocks…)?  Has the fad run it’s course?  Has some report or study come out that places your product in a negative light?  You will have to look around to determine why your sales are decreasing.  Again, if possible, ask your customers if they have found a similar item somewhere else.  This can be a touchy way to find out, but sometimes your customers may have wanted to tell you but weren’t sure how to approach you… 

We have found that if you have developed a relationship with your customers, even if they find a similar and less expensive product elsewhere, they will tell you because they trust you and like you.  They may even provide a lead for you to purchase those products at a lesser cost to you.  You won’t know if you don’t ask.

If you would like to discuss this issue more with us, please contact us via e-mail at hawgwash1@yahoo.com.  If you are interested in other income opportunities, please visit our website

Next week we will continue this discussion to include changing or modifying your product line to suit your customers changing needs.