How to Successfully Launch a New Business
Every week I talk with business owners who tell me how excited they are about their
new product, service or business opportunity. Usually, their comments include
something like, "Everybody needs it. I know I'm going to make a lot of money with this."
They sincerely believe it will be easy to generate hordes of customers standing in
line to spend money. I really hate bursting their bubble. But, it's not going to
happen that way. Building a successful business is hard work. Most of that work will
be devoted to finding customers. Finding customers will be your toughest job.
You need a detailed strategy to attract the number of paying customers required to
meet your financial goals. By trial and error over many years, I've developed a five
Step marketing strategy that enables me to launch a new product or service profitably
every time. You can copy this system to launch your own new enterprise or to revive a
Step 1: Identify Your Target Market
The first Step in developing your strategy is to isolate the best target market for
your product or service. Your sales efforts will be most effective if you focus on a
group of prospects with common characteristics and similar problems.
Start by defining on paper your ideal customer or client. List all of the characteristics
you expect to find in good customers or clients. Be sure to include characteristics
that make your product or service valuable to them. Then, use this list to identify a
target market. Define your target market in writing.
Step 2: Find Your Most Appealing Customer Benefit
Exactly what is the most compelling problem you can solve for prospects in your target
market? Why is your product or service the best solution to their problem? Your
answers to these two questions reveal the customer benefit(s) to stress in your sales approach.
Step 3: Develop A Few Motivating Offers
Develop two or three offers that motivate prospects to take buying action immediately.
For example, can you use a special discounted price offer with a deadline? Are there
bonuses you can add if prospects order or sign up before the deadline? Can you
combine both into a "special price plus bonus" offer? Decide which offer on your list
is the most powerful and use it in your sales material and/or your selling presentation.
Important: A special offer providing obvious value always increases your sales volume.
It's a proven way to overcome buyer resistance and procrastination. A special offer
also provides a logical reason in the buyer's mind to justify what may actually be an
impulsive decision to buy now.
Step 4: Decide How To Publicize Your Business
How will you introduce yourself to prospects in this market? Will you use classified
or display ads in print publications or on the Internet? Will you use direct mail? Is
broadcast media such as radio or TV appropriate and cost-effective? What networking
can you participate in locally or on the Internet to draw attention to your business?
What other methods of promotion can you use? Prioritize each method on your list and
develop an action plan with deadlines for implementing them.
Step 5: Establish A Plan To Promote Customer Loyalty
Decide what you will do to cultivate customers so they continue to do business with
you and give you referrals. For example, write or call your customers or clients
immediately after a transaction and thank them for their business. Ask them if they're
pleased with what they received. Most will express their satisfaction. That's the
ideal time for you to follow up with a request for referrals.
Don't be afraid to uncover an unhappy customer. When you do, take whatever action you
must to leave them feeling good about you, even if your only recourse is issuing a
prompt refund. Most dissatisfied customers won't take the trouble to contact you about
their problem. They'll just take their business elsewhere and tell other people about
their negative experience with you. That will cost you a lot of future business.
I've used this five Step process successfully many times. It reduces risk by replacing
guesswork with a proven strategy that gets results. You can follow this system to
successfully launch a new enterprise or to revive an existing business that isn't growing.
Bob Leduc is a Sales Consultant with 30 years experience in generating low-cost leads.
He recently wrote a manual for small business owners, "How to Build Your Small Business
Fast With Simple Postcards", and several other publications to help small businesses
grow and prosper. For more info: Email: BobLeduc@aol.com
Subject: "Postcards" Phone: 702-658-1707 After 10 AM Pacific Time/Las Vegas, NV