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Are You Using the Right Medium to Grow Your Business?

Are you using the right medium with the right message to reach your marketplace? Just a few short years ago, radio and TV advertising worked. Most people got great results. And a few people still do well with radio and TV advertising. Yellow page ads have always been a necessity for anyone starting a business. Does this still hold true for your business? If it does and you get measurable results from yellow page ads, then by all means keep doing yellow page ads.

On the other hand, if conventional tried and true methods of advertising are no longer giving you the results you are after in your business, then it may be time to try something new. Most of you have probably heard the Albert Einstein quote, “The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results”. So are you continuing to run TV ads, radio ads, and yellow page ads simply because this is what you have always done? Are you no longer getting any measurable the results from running these ads? It is very important to your bottom line that you give some thought to these questions. Also, think about the money you are investing in advertising that may or may not be working.

It may be time for a change. It may be time to move forward in your promotional efforts and time to stop doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results. In today’s world, many traditional advertising methods are expensive with negligible results at best. Again, I am not knocking traditional advertising. I am merely asking you to re-evaluate what you are currently doing in your business to make sure you are getting a good return on investment.

Here are a few suggestions for getting better results from your promotional efforts:

1. Make sure your message connects with your target market. Is it as good as it can be? Is it clear and easily repeatable?

2. Find a way to benchmark or measure your marketing and promotion efforts.

3. Focus on one thing when trying to reach your target market. You don’t have to tell them everything you do initially. Focus on the one thing that can help them in an area where they may be struggling.

4. Make the best use of technology by reviewing your website on a regular basis to make sure you are still hitting the mark with your audience.

5. Use the FREE tools that are available such as online social networking, blogging, sending a monthly newsletter, etc.

6. Find a mentor or business strategist who can help you brainstorm ideas and keep you accountable for your actions in promoting and marketing your business.

I hope this article has at the very least got you thinking about what you are currently doing to promote your business and questioning whether or not it is really working. Sometimes small business owners get in a rut of doing the same thing again and again even though it is not producing the results they want. Sometimes this can be stubbornness on the part of the business owner and sometimes it can just be a matter of not knowing anything else they can do. Be aware, do what works for you and your business, and try something different to find your unique success.

You Can Be a Mom and a Successful Entrepreneur!

More and more women and moms today are becoming successful entrepreneurs and business women. It only makes simple sense, for more women to learn from example and take on the entrepreneurial road. But the question that hits most of us is how? What market segment should I enter, and what kind of product should I sell? More often than not, the biggest success stories of businesses lie in the founder’s passions. Most of these business magnates have had a burning desire to do something that is close to their hearts. In this article, I will address how to identify WHERE to start.

Step One -What Is YOUR Passion?- What brings you pure joy? It might be a love for cooking that could lead to being a personal chef or it might be passion for fitness that might make one a personal trainer and lead her to own her own personal training studio. Even someone who feels strongly about making the right investment choices and has a keen business and market sense might end up owning an investment banking advisory firm. The options are limitless and growth unbound. You set your boundaries by setting your goals. Don’t let anything else deter you from realizing your dreams.

Step Two- Who is already doing it? When you identify what it is you love and what you would do for free, begin doing your homework. Who is already doing what you want to do. What is your competition like? How can you change or improve on what the majority is already doing?

Step Three- Begin writing your business plan. What is your first step? How much money do you have to apply to your business? Where can you get the money you need? How RESOURCEFUL can you or must you be in order to turn your dream into a reality? What tools do you need in order to put it all into place?

You can achieve your dream on your own as many women have and still do, however the most successful women who are now making 6 and 7 figures have the support of a coach, mentor and support group. They clearly understand the value of having all of these as part of their business plan. Their success came to them quicker and more clearly as opposed to doing it all on their own.

Small Business Funding Investment Opportunities

You should never let a lack of funding stop you from attaining your goals in business, especially if that goal is to expand your business. There are many small business funding and investment opportunities that small businesses and entrepreneurs are able to take advantage of.

Funding sources, such as banks, government institutions, venture capitalists, and angel investors, are very diverse, so it is important to see what the requirements are for each type of lender or investor.

If you are seeking funding for an existing business or company, lenders are interested in finding out the history of your company. The kinds of things they will want to learn are things such as if your company has a good track record of management and performance skills. They will also want to know if you have the ability financially to be able to repay a loan, as well as what your current cash flow situation is. This will allow them to then figure if your business is capable of handling any extra debt. This is actually a good practice, because as much as you want to succeed, lenders want to see you succeed, as well.

Another factor that will come into play is you own personal credit history. If your own credit is great, you will get the loan; however, if you have problem credit or no credit at all, you may at first be declined, but you can talk with the lender to let them know what steps you have taken to turn your life and business around.

One way to make your chances of obtaining a loan better is to put up some form of collateral. This will help reduce the risk being taken by the lender in the event that you should default. This also shows lenders that you are willing to put your own personal property up for your business which shows confidence in your endeavors.

Sometimes, a loan will be declined because the presentation has been poorly written, there has not been enough collateral put up, there is not enough cash flow, or there is simply not the requisite amount of management experience needed.

Some of the main sources for small business funding and investment opportunities are:

Banks or credit unions, and sometimes finance companies are the primary sources of funding for small businesses. These institutions have small business departments that are experienced in handling small business loans. The best place to begin your search is at your own personal institution. It can work in your favor if you become more than just an acquaintance of the manager and the staff at the bank. Shy away from using the ATM for all of your business, and go inside and be friendly. This does not guarantee that you will get the loan, but it will help your presentation go much more smoothly.

As you can see, there is money out there for small businesses to take advantage of. With a carefully prepared proposal and the right approach, you will be able to obtain the funds that you need that will match your ability to repay.