Tag: target market

How to start a business in 10 days. 24 Oct

How to Start a Business in 10 Days

What! Start a business in 10 days?!

Yes it can be done! However, you really have to be motivated to start a business.

Follow these steps from Entrepreneur Magazine and in 10 days you can have a business running.

(Whether you quit your day job right away, is up to you.)

Here’s a rundown of the steps to start a business:

  1. Create a business plan – whether on a napkin or complex software write it down!
  2. Study the market – define your target market, do some research on them and the industry.
  3. Build your brand – it’s more than just a logo!
  4. Incorporate (make it legal) – at least create an LLC to protect yourself. (No lawyer needed)
  5. Set up a lean machine – keep costs down initially
  6. Tell everyone you’re in business and have something unique to offer – spread the word!
  7. Work the media – and not just print and broadcast.
  8. Fake it to make it – think BIG!
  9. Work on your business – focus on income generating tasks
  10. Party, thank everyone and get feedback

But even BEFORE creating a business plan, attend one of the workshops/seminars that Greater Phoenix SCORE has to offer. Click here for the schedule.

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Who’s Your Restaurant’s Target Market?

This is the next in the series of posts on opening a restaurant. In this part we cover how to determine a restaurant’s target market, the marketing plan and location, location, location!

Target Markets

Who's your restaurant's target market? No single food-service operation has universal appeal. Focus on the 5 or 10 percent of the market you can get, forget about the rest. The main market targets of food-service business customers:

  • Generation Y. Born between 1980 and 2000, A prime target for a food-service business, Generation Y goes for fast-food and quick-service items. About 25 percent of their restaurant visits are to burger franchises, follow by pizza restaurants at 12 percent.
  • Generation X. Born between 1965 and 1977, they are concerned with value, they favor quick-service restaurants and midscale operations that offer all-you-can-eat salad bars and buffets. Offer a comfortable atmosphere focusing on value and ambience.
  • Baby boomers. Born between 1946 and 1964, boomers make up the largest segment of the U.S. population. Many can afford to visit upscale restaurants and spend money freely. Many are becoming grandparents. Offer them a family-friendly atmosphere and/or provide an upscale, formal dining experience.
  • Empty nesters. Early 50s to about age 64, typically have grown children who no longer live at home. They continue to increase as boomers grow older and their children leave home. With the most discretionary income and the highest per-capita income of all, they typically visit upscale restaurants. They focus on excellent service and outstanding food, they like elegant surroundings and a sophisticated ambience.
  • Age 65 and older, often on fixed incomes they tend to visit family-style restaurants that offer good service and reasonable prices. They typically appreciate restaurants that offer early-bird specials and senior menus with lower prices and smaller portions.

Marketing Plan – concentrate on local area

  • Generally lunch requires at least 10,000 potential customers within a radius of 1 mile
  • Generally dinner requires at least 60000 potential customers within a radius of 3 miles
  • Identify competitors
  • Loyalty programs with significant rewards
  • Direct mail
  • Churches (ads in directory)
  • Schools (fund raisers – PTO/PTA)
  • National Restaurant Association (NRA) for additional information see website
  • Door hangers
  • Inserts in local papers
  • Co-op marketing with non-competing businesses
  • Personal contacts with hotel concierges, car dealerships, large employers
  • Grand opening campaign / specials

Location, Location, Location

Where you locate your restaurant is importantChoosing the right location for your business is important. Considerations include the needs of your business, where your customers and competitors are, and such things as taxes, zoning restrictions, noise and the environment.

The better the location, the fewer marketing funds you have to spend. Your restaurant should be highly visible and located in an area with a large number of customers you’re trying to attract – don’t forget to include availability of easy parking.   Don’t make the mistake of leasing a location before you’ve got a solid business model. Don’t sign a lease until the concept and business plan is complete and you’ve reviewed it with a SCORE counselor and an attorney.

Note that not every food-service operation needs to be in a retail location, but for those that do depend on retail traffic, here are some factors to consider when deciding on a location:

  • Anticipated sales volume. How will the location and seasonality contribute to your sales volume?
  • Visibility, Signage, Accessibility to potential customers. How easy it will be for customers to find you, to get into your business. If you are relying on strong pedestrian traffic, will nearby businesses will generate foot traffic for you?
  • The rent-paying capacity of your business. Do a sales-and-profit projection for your first year of operation? Use that information to decide how much rent you can afford to pay.
  • Zoning, Restrictive ordinances. You may encounter unusually restrictive ordinances that make an otherwise strong site less than ideal, such as limitations on the hours of the day that trucks can legally load or unload.
  • Traffic density. Carefully exam of foot traffic. Two factors are especially important in this analysis: total pedestrian traffic during business hours and the percentage of it that is likely to patronize your food service business. Estimate sales potential based on pedestrians passing a given location.
  • Customer parking facilities. The site should provide convenient, adequate parking and lighting as well as easy access for customers.
  • Proximity to other businesses. Neighboring businesses may influence your store’s volume, and their presence can work for you or against you.
  • History of the site. Find out the recent history of each site under consideration before you make a final selection. Who were the previous tenants, and why are they no longer there?
  • Terms of the lease. Be sure you understand all the details of the lease, because it’s possible that an excellent site may have unacceptable leasing terms. Be sure to negotiate a tenant improvement allowance for build out costs. Caveat CAM (common area maintenance costs).
  • Future development. Check with the local planning board to see if anything is planned for the future that could affect your business, such as additional buildings nearby or road construction.

If you are thinking of opening a restaurant, we’ve got mentors who have been there and done that! Click here to schedule a free mentoring session at a Phoenix location near you!

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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Take Social Media Seriously in 2016 9 Dec

Take Social Media Seriously in 2016

If you thought that social media and digital marketing were a fad when you first heard about it, I certainly hope that you now realize that social media is not going away and everything is going digital.Social Media is here to stay. Resistance is Futile!

Resistance is Futile

Remember the Borg? OK, that’s something sci-fi fans will recognize from Star Trek the Next Generation. Their line:

You will be assimilated.
Resistance is futile.

Well, digital marketing is similar. If you don’t assimilate it into your business, you are going to be left behind in the dust. Resistance is futile and very unwise.

So what do you have to do to take your business to the next level in 2016? Make a decision. And it all stems around your budget. Now’s the time when you should be thinking about your business plan and budget for 2016 – so it’s vital that you include social media marketing as part of your marketing plan.

There’s two ways you can approach this.

Hire someone to do it for you or learn how to do it yourself.

If you want to hire someone to do it for you, your choices are contracting with a social media services company or an ad agency. This takes a hefty budget. Depending on their experience, anyone worth their salt charges from $500 – $2500 a month depending on what needs to be done.

The other option is hire someone to do it in-house. Here you have to factor:

  • Education – has this person been trained how to properly and effectively market on social media and by whom?
  • Experience – how long have they been on social media? Just because they are young and know how to post on Facebook and Instagram doesn’t mean they know how to market on social media.
  • Time – are they going to be full-time or part-time? If part-time, do they have another job that may be conflicting? If full-time, take into consideration salary, benefits, etc.

Yet another option is to train one of your current staff members on to marketing properly on social media. This person should be creative, somewhat tech-savvy and eager to learn. Think about how he or she is going to incorporate their current tasks and social media along with blogging 2-3 times a week. You can also rally a team of different people with various skills which would require a comprehensive strategic and tactical plan and someone to be the leader.

OR you can learn how to do all the social media yourself. Here you’ll have to carve out the time to:

  1. Take classes to learn how it all works and how to do research, planning and analytics as well as when, where and what to post on which networks.
  2. Do research to get to know your target market, find out which networks they frequent and what their interests are.
  3. Learn the culture and lingo of each of the major networks.
  4. Learn how to use the tools to curate content, schedule out posts, blog and monitor your social messages.
  5. Analyze your efforts each month to see what’s working and what’s not working, if you met your goals and to plan for the next month.

It’s your choice, but you cannot afford to ignore it any longer. Why?

  1. No one is going to find you on Google search
  2. Your competition is going to beat you out
  3. No one is going to know you exist

What do you want to do next? Not sure? It wouldn’t hurt to talk to a SCORE mentor – especially when it comes to budget/cash flow, business & marketing planning. Click here to schedule a free mentoring session.

I’ll also be happy to give you a free 30-minute phone consultation and analysis of your current efforts. Click here to schedule yours.

About the Author:

Giselle Aguiar, AZ Social Media WizGiselle Aguiar, founder of AZ Social Media Wiz is a social media, inbound and content marketing strategist & trainer helping business owners learn how to leverage the power of social media marketing, increase traffic to their websites, generate leads, increase brand awareness and establish themselves as experts in their fields. She’s the official Social Media, Newsletter and Blog Manager for Greater Phoenix SCORE and offers Social media classes at the new AZ Social Media Training Center. 602-738-1700. You can connect with Giselle online at LinkedIn or on Google+.

 

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Holiday Candles 30 Nov

Use social media to showcase your brand’s holiday spirit

No matter what winter holiday you celebrate (or don’t celebrate), you can tap into the holiday spirit to benefit your small business.

‘Tis the season for intense shopping and searching for the perfect gift, and for giving back to individuals and causes that matter. That’s an ideal opportunity to use social media to showcase your brand in the light of giving and receiving—and promote the stuffing out of it.

The key? Be AUTHENTIC. People are getting sold so much they don’t need one more brand trying to convince them to commit to something they don’t want or need. Make your business stand out among all the holiday noise by:

  • Focusing on helping your customers, instead of selling to them.
  • Giving them sincere advice, related to your brand, that will help them survive and thrive during the holidays.
  • Connecting with them on a more personal level via any and all social media channels you use.

If you are familiar with social media, you understand that each type of social channel has its own unique personality. Here are a few holiday marketing ideas for some of the most popular social networks:

Facebook

Use your business’s Facebook page to show your followers what the holidays really mean to you by featuring people in your company. It gives your followers and inside look at your business and makes your brand feel more human. It is also a great time to showcase philanthropic events your brand is participating in; make sure to post pictures and videos of the event! Encourage others to join in on the generosity as well.

GoDaddy Cares Facebook post

Instagram

Instagram is all about the visuals! Host an Instagram contest that features your customers and how they spread cheer! Ask your customers how the celebrate the holidays and have them share their photos by tagging your brand and including a specific hashtag in their caption. Reward your followers with a worthwhile prize and watch the pictures pop up in your feed! You can even repost the customer-curated images throughout the season. Bam!

Twitter

Twitter is a conversational platform that operates in real-time. To get the convo going, create a themed hashtag to spark a discussion between you and your customers. Host a twitter chat about holiday tips and tricks. This lets you connect with your followers AND provides an opportunity for them to learn and share.

Pinterest

Pinterest is the place people get inspired! Pin pictures of table settings or how to get your holiday meal prepared with no stress. Create boards that will help your followers keep calm and collected during this often stressful time. Use Pinterest’s buyable pin feature to slip in a relevant product or two.

Pinterest holiday contest

Whatever social media networks you choose to leverage for your small business this holiday season, just remember that the holidays are about more than gift-giving. Give your followers and opportunity to see your brand in authentic, generous light. By doing so, you’ll be sure to inspire others with your brand and truly stand out in the crowd!

Greater Phoenix SCORE regularly holds classes on marketing and social media. Click here for upcoming class schedule.

By Jillian Johnson for GoDaddy

About the Author:

Jillian Johnson with GoDaddyJillian Johnson is a social media specialist at GoDaddy. She’s committed to contributing bold and innovative ideas for sharing brand and personal narratives online, and believes that a carefully crafted digital identity can be a game-changer for both businesses and individuals. In Jillian’s world, there’s a GIF for every emotion and a dance battle is the best way to settle a conflict. In her spare time, she is exploring Seattle, one local spot at a time.

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Big Data - how to use it to learn about your target market 17 Nov

Big Data: Where to get info on your Target Market [Infographic]

One thing that technology, social media and the new digital marketing has given the marketer is Big Data.

Every time someone likes your Facebook page or shares your post, it gets recorded. On your website, your site stats can tell you how many people visited, where they came from, what they clicked on, and how long they were there. When a user searches for something, it’s recorded.

There are 3 components of Big Data:

  • Volume
  • Velocity
  • Variety

This infographic from Asigra touches on some “data” from earlier this year:

Big Data Infographic

There’s actually too much data! So where do you go to learn about your target market?

Well, first you need to Define Your Target Niche – who are they, what do they like, what don’t they like, what are their pain points?

Once you’ve clearly defined your target, then you need to do a little research. Most of these sites offer free information, but they have paid areas with more, in-depth data.

One of the sites that I like is eMarketer. Click on “Articles” then search for keywords pertaining to your target. They’ve got lots of charts and articles that tell you what devices they use – desktop, laptop or mobile, which social networks they frequent the most and what they do online.

If you’re local and B2B, your local business journal can help you tremendously with the everything from who’s who to the largest companies in any given field or industry.

Marketing Sherpa offers case studies. These are very useful to learn what other businesses like yours are doing and what’s worked or what hasn’t.

Facebook has expanded their “Audience Insights” with the purpose of attracting advertisers, but you can use the tool for free. Choose your target audience by age and gender, location, their likes, what other pages they like, etc. Then you can see how they use Facebook – what types of posts they like, what brands they follow the most, their purchasing habits, household income, how they engage with the brand pages and posts – liking, sharing or commenting.Facebook Audience Insights

Here are some other of my favorite sources of social media news.

All this helps you get to know your target. Each network also gives you analytics and insights on your followers (“fans”). This is crucial information so you can see:

  • If your followers really reflect your target
  • What posts got the most engagement so you can feed them more of them
  • What other things interest them

The more you get to know your target, the easier it is to put yourself in their shoes and think like them.

What are they going to enter into the search box to find you?

Don’t let Big Data scare you. Infographics help alot. Many companies use them to help showcase important data. Do a Google or Bing image search for an industry or topic and add the word “infographic”. You’ll get a variety of pictures.  Note: always check the date and source of the data to make sure you have the most current information from a reliable source.

Start here. Download the free “Define Your Target Market Workbook” to help you identify your perfect customer. Then you can shape your marketing plan to meet their likes and needs.

A SCORE mentor can help you with this vital step. Click here to schedule a free mentoring session.

By Giselle Aguiar, AZ Social Media Wiz

About the Author:

Giselle Aguiar, AZ Social Media WizGiselle Aguiar, founder of AZ Social Media Wiz is a social media, inbound and content marketing strategist & trainer helping business owners learn how to leverage the power of social media marketing, increase traffic to their websites, generate leads, increase brand awareness and establish themselves as experts in their fields. She’s the official Social Media, Newsletter and Blog Manager for Greater Phoenix SCORE and offers Social media classes at the new AZ Social Media Training Center. 602-738-1700. You can connect with Giselle online at LinkedIn or on Google+.

 

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