17 12 2009

I remember reading a quote from Wil Schroter “Pitch everyone, all of the time”.  If that isn’t the answer to the million dollar question.  When creating these ideas remember the Art of building a business.  Create something that will make an already good idea better, right a wrong, or will add to the quality of life.

Right now investors are looking for the next best thing, and you never know who may be in the room.   I have met a many a investor via Skype and Facebook.  One thing you will find is that when they give you the downside of your “astronomically mind boggling” business idea they are really trying to help you along.  If you have a box or cute little bag write them on a small card, jot down the strategy or how it will make the investors money then file it away until you are ready to use it.

Here are 10 of the questions most asked:

1.  So tell us about your business?

This is the opening to the inevitable “elevator pitch”.  Please don’t spit on the VC while trying to get as much out of your mouth as you possibly can.  A business plan overview is good enough. Grab their interest.

2.  What is going to stop the “Big Boys” from copying you or smashing you like a bug?

Remember they have more money, and a broader reach.  Never say “Nothing” or  “Nobody is doing what we do”.  There is always competition.  Say something like:

  • We can move more quickly
  • The “Big Boys” have to much to manage and can’t take the time to innovate the needed changes.
  • Or the famous, they would be better off acquiring us than copying us

3.  Why are you raising the money you want to raise?

This is very important.  It is very important that you do your homework here.  Never give conservative numbers.  Be ready to explain them and how you arrived at them.

4.  What are your benchmarks for the money and how far will this get you?

“6 months past launch when we expect to be cash flow positive”.  You gauge this by looking at it this way, how long would this money last you if you had zero revenue.

5.  Who are your customers?

Try to get testimonials. Remember Google Ad Planner.

6. What is your marketing strategy?

This is critical to your success, so plan for it now.

7. What are you coding in?

Hello, this is your company please know this.

8.  Are you handling the technological infrastructure for scaling?

Who is your support.  When consumers rush in will your servers hold up.

9.  Who are the members on your team?

Have some resumes.  And please have a decent web presence.

10.  What is the ROI on this venture?

Give an approximate date or period of time for ROI, figure in unforeseen occurrences.  (Over deliver and under promise.)



25 11 2009

Let me get right to the point. The single most powerful small business marketing tool on the planet is a marketing system.

But, when I talk about a marketing system I am not referring to those academic exercises found in college marketing books.

A marketing system by my way of thinking is a simple (in many cases one page) document that specifically answers who you are, what you do, who needs it, how you plan to grab them by the throat, when you plan to do it and how you plan to pay for a way that everyone in your organization, network, and client base can clearly understand.

So, let’s break it down into some simple steps.

1) Narrow Your Focus – create a description of your ideal client. Describe them as though they are sitting across the desk from your at this moment. Define only the market that you know needs what you offer and values what you have to offer. It is just as important to understand who you don’t want as a client.

2) Find and Communicate Your Core Difference – Even if your make it up, you’ve got to find something that makes your business stand out from the pack. Once you do, you’ve got to build your entire marketing program around this difference. Is it red trucks, is it an unheard of guarantee, is it a very specific market niche. You can’t stand out trying to be all things to all people.

3) Package Your Business – Look for ways to build your unique difference into the experience your client or prospect has with your firm. Everything about your firm should communicate and deliver your unique promise. Package your services as products, communicate your unique process, name your service offerings.

4) Educate – Throw away the sales brochures and create marketing materials and web site content that clearly speaks to your ideal client and gives proof that your indeed uniquely qualified to solve their problems. Create case studies, testimonial sheets, client lists, process description, service descriptions, the story of why you started your business.

5) Install the Lead Generation Trio – Advertising that generates permission, public relations that provide proof and referral systems that guarantee trust. Each of these three lead generating tactics works hand in hand to create a non stop flow of highly qualified leads.

6) Automate and Dominate – Once you start to create a flow of leads let technology do the heavy qualifying and selling for you. Ezines, email, blogs, web sites, white paper delivery, subscription lists – all must be automated in order to most effectively communicate as consistently as is necessary in today’s advertising message onslaught.

7) Live by a Calendar – Create the system and then work the system. Do whatever you must to make sure that you do at least one marketing activity every single day. Create a monthly calendar and give each month a marketing system theme. Get everyone in your organization involved – put the calendar in a very public place.

by:John Jantsch