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Overview of six topics related to small business and small business owners

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    1. Refresher Course Start It Right! September Roundtable

    2. Topics • Marketing Plans • Branding • Effective Networking • Search Engine Optimization • Marketing & Money • Social Media startitright.com

    3. Topics • Marketing Plans • Branding • Effective Networking • Search Engine Optimization • Marketing & Money • Social Media startitright.com

    4. Marketing Plans • Marketing • Gathers and shares knowledge in the form of tools that a company can use to increase profitability • Marketing Plan • Defines what you’re going to do over a period of time, perhaps one to two years, to secure your place as a recognized company in your industry startitright.com

    5. Marketing Plans • Executive Summary • Concise 1-2 page description and review of full plan, Written last • Product/Service Description • Detailed descriptions and reasoning, How does it fit with existing goals? • Market Analysis • Trends/Issues, Market size, Economic factors, Detailed customer profile • Competition • Primary companies / products / services, Market share, How will you move forward? startitright.com

    6. Marketing Plans • Differentiators • How do you stand out from the pack? • Client Base • Demographics, location, seasonality, buying patterns • SWOT Analysis • Strengths • Weaknesses • Opportunities • Threats startitright.com

    7. Marketing Plans • Objectives • Enhance relations, new customers, differentiate product, attain meetings, be recognized as industry “expert” • Strategies • Train staff, create system for referrals & opportunities, establish business “champion” to be the face to clients and industry • Tactics • Branding, Website, PR, Advertising, Direct Marketing, Events, Meetings, Conferences, Promotional Items, Social Media startitright.com

    8. Topics • Marketing Plans • Branding • Effective Networking • Search Engine Optimization • Marketing & Money • Social Media startitright.com

    9. Branding • Brands are NOT: • Logos • Products/Services • Taglines • Brands ARE: • Singular or combinations of a name, term, sign, symbol, or design intended to identify differentiate the goods and services of one seller/group from those of other sellers/groups • i.e. your brand is that gut feeling and sets you apart from the crowd startitright.com

    10. Branding • Poor Brands • Lack consistency, are hard to communicate with, do not leave prospects with impression of products and services of your company • Average Brands • May not be consistent, does not help or hurt your company, may not think it’s relevant startitright.com

    11. Branding • Successful Brands • Customer knows exactly what you deliver • Easy to engage with customers • Easier to close deals with prospective clients • Able to charge premium for products and services startitright.com

    12. Branding • Defining your Brand • What are your most valuable products or services? • What sets you apart? • How do you describe your business in one sentence? • How does the market view you? • Who is your target customer? • What is your company personality? • How does that personality work with your target market? startitright.com

    13. Topics • Marketing Plans • Branding • Effective Networking • Search Engine Optimization • Marketing & Money • Social Media startitright.com

    14. Effective Networking • Business Networking • Group of like-minded professionals who produce business activity • Cost-effective way to generate new business • Specific groups meet monthly or weekly startitright.com

    15. Effective Networking • Elevator Pitch • 30 second to 2 minute idea that is well thought out and practiced • Know your objective and say as much as possible with as few words as possible • Don’t highlight everything about your business right away, leave prospect wanting to ask questions • Talk about what your are familiar with, avoid slang and jargon • Use examples and be specific startitright.com

    16. Effective Networking • 5 Networking Basics • Be distinctive, don’t just blend into the crowd • Be FULLY present and engaged • Ask questions, have a genuine interest in the person you are speaking with • Reinforce what you’ve already stated and make yourself memorable • Contribute to the conversation, say one intelligent thing that will make people remember you startitright.com

    17. Effective Networking • Profiting from Networking • Choose to attend networking events that make sense for you and your business • It’s better to establish a relationship with a few prospects rather than speak briefly with too many people • Speak loud and clear, you have one chance to make a first impression • Strike curiosity in your prospects, this will make them ask more about your business • Follow up the next day and add a piece of the previous conversation to the follow up email / phone call startitright.com

    18. Topics • Marketing Plans • Branding • Effective Networking • Search Engine Optimization • Marketing & Money • Social Media startitright.com

    19. Search Engine Optimization • Process of improving the volume or quality of traffic to your website from search engines • This is done by “natural” or “organic” search results based upon keywords and keyword phrases startitright.com

    20. Search Engine Optimization • Age of domain name • Domain registration length of time • Content is current and updated • Site load time • Website design startitright.com

    21. Search Engine Optimization • Get company input for keyword selection • Research competition • Major directory submission • Local search directories • Build link popularity • Google analytics / webmaster tools • URL Structure / Navigation / Picture Alt Tags • Social Bookmarking & Blog Posting startitright.com

    22. Search Engine Optimization • Ongoing process monitored and edited on regular basis, key is to increase ranking over time • If you are unclear about what a company is doing to help your SEO ask questions! • No one can guarantee #1 ranking on Google – there is no priority submit startitright.com

    23. Topics • Marketing Plans • Branding • Effective Networking • Search Engine Optimization • Marketing & Money • Social Media startitright.com

    24. Marketing & Money • Message • Should reflect not only what product or service you deliver, but also the flavor of your personal passion • Audience • “Most likely to purchase” • Look at your current client base and quantify characteristics that you find in common startitright.com

    25. Marketing & Money • Sphere of Influence • Friends, Family, Organizations, Community • Action Plan • Can include e-blasts, phone calls, direct mail, social media, signage, advertisements, sponsorships and PR • Has been proven that it takes seven touches before someone has remembered enough information about you to make a buying decision startitright.com

    26. Marketing & Money • Tracking • It is imperative that you track your Action Plan activities and the results you produce • Keeps you focused • Lets you know what is and is not working • Helps you move forward with subsequent campaigns startitright.com

    27. Topics • Marketing Plans • Branding • Effective Networking • Search Engine Optimization • Marketing & Money • Social Media startitright.com

    28. Social Media • The Big 4 • Facebook • Twitter • LinkedIn • YouTube • Blog linked to company website is also important startitright.com

    29. Social Media • Facebook • Companies should have page not profile • Applications let you minimally customize page and also let you promote your website • Can post pictures, videos, links startitright.com

    30. Social Media startitright.com

    31. Social Media • Twitter • Conversations known as “tweets” in 140 characters or less • Good way to establish popularity and consumer base • Pose questions, get direct feedback • LinkedIn • Business networking site to establish industry connections and build contacts • Create company and individual pages • Participate in forums, create and join industry groups startitright.com

    32. Social Media startitright.com

    33. Social Media • YouTube • Video hosting – public tv station • Gives direct insight into company • Can do product demonstrations, tutorials, training segments, etc. • Blog • Easily publish information • Increases your SEO • Gives “face” to your business • Can customize design and content to specific brand standards startitright.com

    34. Social Media startitright.com

    35. Questions? startitright.com