Establishing a new Cash Machine (small business) can often seem to be an intimidating task. Of all the challenges that people face, two seem to always come to the surface early in the planning stages, and often cause them to stumble. I’d like to address those with you today.
The first of those challenges is deciding how to brand their product or service effectively. And the second is how to market it. Without effective positioning, your chances for survival are slim, so I can understand how daunting the decisions can be.
This is the primary reason that I’m an advocate of modeling your Cash Machine on a successful company that’s already doing what you want to do or something close to it. And the same goes for creating your marketing approach. Branding is where you get to add your own spin and throw in your personality. Your brand is what makes you unique. It allows you to stand out from your competition.
Most entrepreneurs start their businesses on a shoestring budget and build from there. It’s an excellent strategy to follow and it’s what I recommend.
While marketing is incredibly important, it doesn’t have to cost a lot. The first thing you need to do is position yourself as the expert. This is exactly why I tell people to create Cash Machines based on the skills and talents they already possess. Once set — start talking to people. And get comfortable with being the authority in your field because in the beginning, networking is going to be your best marketing plan. Get out there and talk with people in your community. There are many opportunities for self-promotion every day; take advantage of them!
Capturing Market Share
If your Cash Machine is product-based, you will want your products to be noticeable and prominent. If they are products that other companies manufacture and sell, your packaging and pricing might be the only reason a prospective consumer will buy them. Your packaging will have a huge effect on your brand’s success. Consider your options and make your decisions wisely. Oftentimes consumers make decisions based solely on their personal preferences, especially if there are several brands.
Consider the times. For instance, environmentally-conscious packaging is HOT! Make it known that your products are environmentally friendly and that your company cares about the environment. People are compelled to “do the right thing” these days when it comes to taking care of the earth!
If you have a service-based Cash Machine, “packaging” is still important, even if you are the package!
Let’s say that you provide resume writing services. Your customers have a lot of choices. What’s your angle? What is it that you bring to the table that’s different? People like to know they’re getting something more. Offering a report (because you’re the expert) is a great way to add to a service. The package could include a report on “New Trends in the Workplace” or “Interview Dos and Don’ts.”
A Word of Caution
One of the biggest mistakes I see new entrepreneurs make is trying to be too original. Remember, simple is good. People relate to simplicity and tend to tune out when things are too complicated. More times than not, the more simple things are, the more successful the outcome.
We’re not trying to reinvent the wheel.
Think about your fastest path to cash. Cash Machines should not cost you a ton of money to start. Elaborate marketing ploys, expensive market research, and highly-specialized packaging can come later when you’re seeing profits and are able to reinvest those profits in your business. And I hope you do reinvest in your business!
Don’t make things complicated. Trust your instincts and track your results. Isolate what works and discard methods that don’t make the grade. Most importantly, have fun with it!
Sit down today and get to work on determining your path to become the expert!
Next month we will talk about no- to low-cost marketing methods for your Cash Machine and, more importantly, how to get what you’re worth!
-Model your Cash Machine on a company that’s already successful.
-Position yourself as the expert.
-Start with the cheapest, most effective form of marketing: networking.
-Carefully choose the right packaging.
-Keep it simple!