Categories
Entrepreneur

Attention Entrepreneurs: What’s the Best Part of a New Business?

 

Martha Spelman Entrepreneurs Lightbulb Idea

 

by Martha Spelman, Branding & Marketing Expert

 

Is it the fame? The fortune? The sense of accomplishment? Possibly…

 

But most likely, entrepreneurs would answer, “The Idea.”

 

What’s the worst part of a new business? Slogging through all of the stuff to make that idea happen.

 

The “stuff” frequently isn’t fun and unlike the idea, it brings little glory. But it’s the “stuff” that ultimately turns an idea into a reality.

 

So if you don’t like:

 

  • Market Research
  • Financial Forecasting
  • Asking for Money
  • Rejection
  • Working long hours
  • Living on a shoestring
  • Maxing out your credit cards
  • Asking for favors
  • Risk
  • Lack of Sleep
  • Adversity

 

and of course, there’s probably some stress in the mix…

 

…then you might not be cut out to be an entrepreneur. On the other hand, if you relish a challenge (or hundreds of them), entrepreneurship could be perfect for you.

 

>>>More on this topic: Mind Your Own Business: 17 Tips for Entrepreneurs<<<

 

If you like the thrill of victory and look at defeat as a learning opportunity, you should start your own business, build your own product, turn your idea into reality.

 

Start it, work it, own it.

 

It’s the only way you’ll see your IDEA become your BUSINESS.

 

Let’s talk about your company’s marketing. Get a FREE! 1/2 Hour Marketing Evaluation: Email Martha or call 310.266.6992

 

Martha Spelman is a Los Angeles-based small business branding, marketing and strategy expert. Using traditional and online marketing methods to start, grow and promote businesses, she works with entrepreneurs, Professional Services and B2B companies. Let’s chat!

Categories
Market Research

Market Research: Who Needs It?


Martha Spelman What Do You Think Thought Bubble Market Research

by Martha Spelman

Many new businesses, or businesses trying something new, think they’ve got the best idea since sliced bread.

Not only do they think it’s a great idea — something people just can’t live without — but their friends and family agree.

And, of course, they’re going to make a boatload of money off their new idea. It’s can’t miss, surefire, without a doubt, fool-proof, in the bag. Until it’s not.

Had these entrepreneurs only done some market research.

Coulda, shoulda, woulda.

Would you buy a car without a test drive? Marry without dating? Put your entire savings in Ponzi scheme?

It’s the same thing if you’re a startup selling a new product or service. There are plenty of market research tools you can use so that you can conduct adequate, impartial market research. Impartial as in not your friends and family – they’ll like whatever you come up with. There are people who do online surveys for money, so you could think about incorporating this into your market research plan.

Undertaking market research will determine if there truly is a market for your idea.

  • Can you identify the ideal customer/audience for your idea?
  • Can you offer your idea at a price customers can afford and at which you will profit?
  • Does your ideal customer like your product or service?
  • Will they buy and use your idea?
  • Will you be able to afford the promotion of your product to that audience?

The amount of market research you do will, of course, depend on the research budget you have. You can conduct the research yourself or use a professional market research company to do it for you. Using an external source often limits bias and gathers data more efficiently. Whatever route you choose to take, market research will give you the necessary information you need, whether it’s what you were hoping for or not. You may be able to present your idea to 20 people or to 200 – even more with the help of an outside vendor. Placing your idea on a crowdfunding site like Kickstarter or Indiegogo can give you plenty of feedback for a nominal investment.

If you’re looking for informative, reliable online research, Luth Research have a complete solution for online research services. You may want to consider using a market research panel for your own business.

Before you spend a ton of time and money developing a prototype, renting a hip office and staffing up, do your market research.

Every person who’s part of your research will offer you valuable information. This feedback will give you the opportunity to pivot and make necessary changes, scrap your idea or continue full speed ahead.

Would you like help conducting market research for your new idea? Contact Martha. Martha Spelman is a Los Angeles-based branding, marketing, content marketing and social media expert. Using traditional and online marketing strategies to start, grow and promote businesses, she works with startups, entrepreneurs and small- to medium-size companies. Martha is the author of the content marketing ebook: The Cure for Blogophobia: How to Easily Create, Publish & Promote Your Business Blog.

Categories
Creative Marketing Ideas

Marketing after the fact: here’s a (sweet) tip!

After a very enjoyable dinner the other night at a local eatery, Café del Rey, I exited the restaurant to wait for my car. Tipping the valet, I got into my car to find, on the passenger seat, a small, Café del Rey – labeled bag.  It was filled with some yummy treats – a few biscotti, cookies and small pastries.  What a nice, unexpected surprise.  I waited until I got home but, not having had dessert with my meal, I indulged as soon as I arrived.

Great idea!

Now, most marketing is used to get people in the door.  Using the example of a restaurant, it may have garnered customers with an ad, an email, a flyer, a coupon, word of mouth, etc.  But to continue that marketing once a satisfied customer has paid and left? 

Genius.

Café del Rey continued their marketing cycle beyond the sale…in a simple, creative, tasty manner.  The approach was thoughtful and as a customer, I felt that they showed they cared about my experience.  Will I return?  You bet.  Would I have returned without the gift?  Probably.  But I’ll make a point of going there next time I want a special dinner out. 

Because they care.

The message?  Think beyond the primary sales/service transaction.  Give your customer a gift – show that you care.  It doesn’t have to be an actual “gift” or item…but some token of your appreciation. I can only think of one other experience at a restaurant that was an “after the fact” action:  the previous evening’s restaurant called the following day (they had taken my phone number at the time of the reservation) to see if we had enjoyed our meal. 

Sweet.

Martha Spelman is a marketing consultant who builds businesses – creatively.  You can find out more at: marthaspelman.com. You can email her at: martha@marthaspelman.com.