Tag: small business arizona

How to market your business better one word at a time 29 Aug

It’s Not Who You Reach, It’s What You Say – How to Market Your Business

How to market your business better one word at a time…

Too many SBOs (Small Business Owners) fall into the trap of confusing marketing tactics for marketing strategy – often an expensive mistake.

Tactics, simply put, are the methods of communicating your message to prospects and customers. Important? Absolutely. Strategy, however, is the message itself. Important doesn’t cover it. The right message is critical to the success or even the survival of your business.

And here’s the kicker – Tactical Marketing usually takes upwards of 80% of a three-year marketing budget. So if you don’t have the right message, you’re often just throwing your money down the marketing rat hole and blaming whatever media you’re using at the time – TV, radio, postcards, Facebook Ads, brochures and your website.   But once you have a consistent, compelling, unique message, all your tactics will be more effective and produce superior results.

At SCORE’s September 15th workshop you will take a trip through the mind of former Madison Avenue copywriter, brand strategist and author, Alan L Tarr (www.MoneyWordsMarketing.com). You will learn how, with some information, inspiration and a few strokes of your pen (or pecks at the keyboard) to create a unique, winning message for your business or product and how to structure your marketing materials, website, advertisements, signage, elevator pitch, etc. to generate attention, interest and bring in more customers.

You will learn that “the beginning of greatness is to be different and the beginning of failure is to be the same.” By the end of the session, you may never look at marketing and advertising the same way again.

If you want more business without increasing your marketing budget, come to this workshop. If your sales force has had trouble closing, come to this workshop. If you are questioning the value of where you’re spending your marketing dollars, come to this workshop. I promise you will leave with answers – and information – that will help you reach your goals now and into the future.

About the Author:

Alan TarrAlan Tarr is a master copywriter and brand strategist. Author of Marketing Is…, The 7 Deadly Sins Of Marketing, Win The Marketing Game And Stop Wasting Money!, and Marketing Tips, Insights & Secrets From The MoneyWords Copywriter. Reach him at: atarr@MoneyWordsMarketing.com. http://www.moneywordsmarketing.com/

 

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Elements of a Restaurant Startup Business Plan

Any new business needs a plan. Here are the key elements of a strong Restaurant Startup Business Plan. This is part 2 of the series for Restaurants Startups. Read part 1.

Concept:

Restaurant startup business planPortraying an unambiguous clear-cut concept lets the customer know what to expect. Examples are Mexican, Seafood, Asian, Cowboy, Diner, etc. Items that are influenced by the concept:

  • Image
  • Name
  • Exterior Design
  • Interior Design
  • Employee Uniforms
  • Menu Design
  • Menu Choices
  • Menu Changes
  • Type of Entertainment
  • Production
  • Consistency
  • Service
  • Future Opportunities

Category

  • Quick-service
  • Midscale
  • Upscale

Market Customers

  • Colleges and Universities
  • Local Population
  • Tourism
  • Local Businesses
  • Market trends

Market Locations

  • Access
  • Visibility
  • Parking

Market Competition

  • Competition
  • Competitor’s Profile
  • Competitive Strategy
  • Competing categories of food providers.
  • Distinct Competitive Advantage

Marketing Strategy

  • Unique Selling Proposal
  • Digital Media – website, social media, videos, search engines
  • Print Media- local newspapers, magazines and student publications
  • Broadcast Media- local programming and special interest shows
  • Hotel Guides- concierge relations, Chamber of Commerce brochures
  • Direct Mail – subscriber lists, offices for delivery
  • – yellow pages, charity events, community involvement
  • Public Relations – special events – print and broadcast coverage, especially at the start up
  • Point of Sale
  • Advertising – online and offline
  • Mobile Marketing – SMS text messaging, mobile app, mobile listing, Google Maps
  • Promotion
  • Customer lists
  • Target Market Location
  • E Mail

Operations

  • Facilities & Offices
  • Hours of Operation
  • Employee Training & Education
  • Systems & Controls
  • Food Production
  • Delivery & Catering

Management & Organization

  • Key employees & Principals
  • Compensation & Incentives
  • Staffing
  • Job responsibilities
  • Selection
  • Training
  • Perks incl. meals
  • Compensation
  • Motivation
  • Board of Directors (if warranted)
  • Consultants & Professional Support Resources
  • Management Structure & Style
  • Ownership

Management

  • Controls
  • Shrinkage
  • Waste issues
  • Delivery issues
  • Bar costs
  • Start-up costs
  • Operating costs
  • Food costs
  • How to grow business
  • How to raise capital
  • Seasonality
  • Franchise
  • Independent
  • Resources (NRA ARA ASBA Local Colleges etc)
  • Service standards
  • Hours of operation
  • Distinct Competitive Advantage
  • Leases / rents
  • Licenses / permits
  • Health dept. issues

Legal Structure

  • Sole Proprietorship
  • Partnership (General or Limited)
  • Corporation (C or S)
  • Limited Liability Company

If you need help with your Restaurant Startup Business Plan – a SCORE mentor can help you for free! Click here to schedule an appointment.

About the Author:

Roger_RobinsonRoger Robinson, PhD has been a SCORE mentor for over 16 years. His specialties include non-profits, business planning, specifically in restaurants and hospitality, recreational and arts and entertainment verticals. Read more about Roger here. Click here to schedule a free mentoring session with Roger or another SCORE mentor.

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Free ebook: Take Your Small Business Online 7 Jun

Free ebook: Take Your Small Business Online

It’s a fact: If your small business isn’t online, you’re missing opportunities.

Take your small business online.Stats from the Pew Research Center show that nearly 90 percent of adults in America use the internet — and they turn to the web more than any other source to find local businesses and services. A web presence gives your business the opportunity to:

  • Be more accessible. Unlike a physical storefront, a website is open 24 hours a day, seven days a week, to showcase your products and services, contact information, store hours, and more.
  • Build your brand. You don’t need a huge advertising budget to build your brand. No matter how small you are, you can afford to use a website, social media profiles and other web-based efforts to raise brand awareness, establish credibility, and develop a loyal customer base.
  • Establish credibility. These days, if your business doesn’t show up online — with a website, a Facebook page, online reviews — people don’t think you’re legitimate.
  • Connect with customers. From social media to email marketing, web-based tools offer endless possibilities for engaging with your target audience. And you don’t even have to change out of your sweats.
  • Generate leads. By taking a strategic approach to online marketing, you can leverage a website, social media profiles, contact forms and email marketing campaigns to get sales leads. And that’s what it’s all about, right?

With a little help, you can get your business on the web — with a dedicated website, social media pages, and online directory and map listings — in less time (and likely with less money) than you think.

Get a step-by-step guide to take your small business online:

If you’re ready to take your business online but aren’t sure how to get started, check out our new ebook: Take Your Small Business Online: A Step-by-Step Guide for Launching Your SMB on the Web. Just follow that link over to the GoDaddy Garage to download your free copy and learn how to:

  • Secure a domain name that represents who you are and what you do at a glance. Get the skinny on new industry- and geo-specific domain extensions.
  • Launch a website dedicated to telling your story. We’ll walk you through your website building options, whether you want to take a DIY approach or hire a pro to create a site for you.
  • Create web content that will resonate with customers and potential customers. Learn how to text and images can work together to make your brand shine online.
  • Get started with search engine optimization to make sure the right people see that content. From incorporating keywords into your website copy to taking advantage of metadata, you’ll learn how to take SEO baby steps to attract the attention of search engines.
  • Use social media to promote your brand and build relationships with customers and prospects.
  • Generate leads with your website, professional email and online directories.
  • Measure your website’s effectiveness with Google Analytics.

The free ebook includes practical worksheets to help you plan and execute your online strategy. Plus, checklists at the end of each chapter make managing your progress a breeze. Ready to get started?

Bio:

Andrea RowlandA former small business owner and newspaper journalist, and a published nonfiction author, Andrea Rowland helps craft compelling communications for small businesses through her work as managing editor of the GoDaddy Garage. When she’s not writing or editing, she likes to experiment with baking, travel, read, and dip her toes in the ocean.

 

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Welcome Greater Phoenix SCORE’s new President: Jay Gladney

Jay Gladney, new president of Greater Phoenix SCOREWhenever the leadership “baton” of an organization is passed to a new person, we always wonder what does person have in mind for the organization? What is his or her vision for the group? What do they bring to group in the way of experience, etc.?

On May 1st, 2016, the role of president of Greater Phoenix SCORE transferred from Andy Beran to Jay Gladney. Those of you who have been involved with SCORE in the last years is familiar with Andy as he’s hosted many of the large events. Here you get to meet Jay:

Jay’s Background:

Forty seven years of service in the U.S. Intelligence Community—23 as an Air Force officer and non-commissioned officer focused on intelligence collection and analysis—and 24 years with Defense contractor organizations supporting the Command, Control, Communications and Intelligence (C3I) mission area (including 18 years with Oracle Consulting up to the position of Regional Vice President). Associate Professor at the U.S. Air Force Academy.

Senior-level information systems engineering professional services executive and project/program manager.  Co-founded and served as CEO for a telecommunications consulting partnership. Had P&L responsibility for an Oracle consulting group engaged in support of the Intelligence Community.  Managed software development teams for successful commercial software. Developed and taught project management courses. An Oracle University-certified instructor for Oracle Project Manager and Oracle Team Lead courses.

His Vision for Greater Phoenix SCORE:

To make the Greater Phoenix SCORE Chapter better known, more relevant, and more effective in supporting the establishment, growth, and profitability of small businesses. It is our goal to become the primary business advisory and coaching resource for Phoenix small business owners.

Also on the board are Bill Morgan, VP of Operations; Patrick Ingram, VP of Client Education; and Doug Hughes, Treasurer.

Jay, and all of the officers, are a Certified SCORE Mentors.

Click here to schedule a free mentoring session with a mentor near you!

 

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Online Customer Service Basics: A Primer

Online Customer Service Basics: A PrimerAs a small, but growing business, you might feel that your options are limited for interacting with your customers. This feeling is especially relevant for businesses that have no physical location. You may think that without being able to physically interact with your clientele, you will have a hard time getting to know the people who contribute to your success.

While it’s true that many great relationships have roots in personal interaction, the ever-evolving online world has provided us with a whole new realm of possibilities for getting to know your customers — and for attracting new ones.

In fact, in-person marketing may not always be the best option for a small business owner. Why? You’re busy. It might take a full day to speak to 100 customers face-to-face, while you can interact with at least that many clients via online tools like email marketing campaigns and social customer service.

Likewise, you can address issues of importance to your customers through digital platforms such as blogs, podcasts and videos. In some cases, you may even consider launching a customer service line or offering chat support.

What medium of communication you choose will depend on the nature and size of your business. 

Regardless of what method(s) you use to communicate with customers, there are some universal expectations that you should have of yourself — a customer service code of conduct, if you will. It is important to understand these guidelines going in, not just to avoid ugly disagreements, but to foster a sense of trust between you and the public that will reward you with loyal return customers.

Online customer service guidelines

In no particular order, here are some useful guidelines to follow when interacting with customers online:

Mind your P’s and Q’s!

A rude business owner or employee will drive customers away faster than anything else. Respect and courtesy always come first. Never lose your temper with a customer or let them push your buttons.

When communicating in written form, take care to use proper grammar, complete sentences, and spell everything correctly. Use “too” instead of “2,” capitalize your I’s, and know the difference between “your” and “you’re.” Part of professionalism lies in appearance — and if your customers can’t physically see you, you need to be mindful of what they can see.

Be quick to respond.

Whether you are using a real-time chat app, or are emailing back-and-forth, you don’t want your customers to feel neglected. Be mindful of how long it takes you to respond, and consider what an acceptable time-frame for a response is. This will vary depending on your method of contact, but it’s critical to be prompt and efficient in your communications.

Be clear and concise.

You and your customer might not be on the same page. Since you can’t rely on each other’s body language to help clear up any confusion, it’s important to ask the right questions and repeat back your understanding of the issue. Explain to your customer the situation as you understand it, explain to them any policies in place, or why you came to the decision you did.

Offer to help in any way you can, but be clear about your reach. It is good-natured to want to step out of your bounds to help others, but make sure that doing so does not put you in over your head.

Pretty simple stuff, huh? Even if it is a brave new frontier for your business, the basics of online customer service don’t differ too widely from your expectations in-person. Just equip yourself with some foundational knowledge and you will be ready to conquer this new medium in no time.

About the Author

Eirk WongErik Wong is a small business/tech consultant for GoDaddy and a freelance pop-culture writer. He has written a regular column for a current events blog, and his commentary has been featured on realclearpolitics.com. Connect with Erik on Google+. The world’s largest domain name registrar and Web hosting provider, GoDaddy gives small business owners the tools to name their idea, build a beautiful online presence, attract customers and manage their business. To get more tips for your small business—including articles, videos and webinars—check out the GoDaddy Training Hub.

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Networking event coming up in Phoenix! 18 Apr

Get your Networking on at NetworkingPhoenix.com

It’s not who YOU know, it’s who YOUR FRIENDS know! That’s the essence of networking.

If you’ve never been to a NetworkingPhoenix.com signature event, you need to check it out! Where else can you be in the same room with over 1000 area business people!

In this video, NetworkingPhoenix.com founder Gelie Akhenblit, explains what a great event this is:

In this video, she explains how NetworkingPhoenix.com service and website works:

The popular NetworkingPhoenix.com Signature Event only takes place twice a year, so don’t miss your chance to attend this prime networking opportunity.

With 1,300+ of Phoenix’s finest entrepreneurs, small business owners, and professionals in attendance, you are bound to make amazing connections!

When: Monday, April 25th from 6:00pm – 9:00pm

Where: Chaparral Suites – Conference Center
5001 N. Scottsdale Rd.
Scottsdale, AZ 85250

Stop by the Greater Phoenix SCORE table & say hi!

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