When Were You Last Creative?

artAs an entrepreneur, you’re probably a pretty creative person by nature – but when was the last time you did something creative outside of your small business?

Most small business owners just don’t have the time to pull back from the business and do something for themselves. When you have ten or more hats to wear (sales, marketing, production, etc.) it’s hard to find time to take them all off. However, according to Shelley Carson, those creative endeavors you take on just for yourself can have a positive impact on your business.

It seems that the more you engage in creative activities the more you can transfer that kind of thinking to your business endeavors. Creativity breeds more creativity – so your ability to see a potential picture frame in a pile of scrap wood is the same ability that will allow you to identify an idea for a powerful viral video campaign.

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Global Entrepreneurship Week Survey: Do Americans Outsell Canadians?

On November 15, over 90 countries on six continents launched Global Entrepreneurship Week.

What is Global Entrepreneurship Week, you ask? From their website:

“Each November, Global Entrepreneurship Week connects millions of young people everywhere in a growing movement designed to help them explore their potential as self-starters and innovators. Students, educators, entrepreneurs, business leaders, employees, non-profit leaders, government officials and many others participate: to think big — and to turn their ideas into reality.”

To celebrate Global Entrepreneurship Week, we surveyed 25,000 online businesses to discover some interesting trends (see the first page below). Read More

Creating Successful Entrepreneurs One Step At a Time – WomanzWorld Academy

new-1Ever wonder about your building your online business model? Or have questions about how to grow your customer base? Maybe you want to learn how network like a rockstar?

Womanzworld founder and Forbes.com contributor (plus CityMax.com guest blogger!) Natalie Sisson is holding an exclusive online business coaching program at Womanzworld starting next week.

For anyone from new startups to entrepreneurs in their early years, you will get access to business tools that help you formulate a clear plan of execution and avoid critical mistakes that are common among small business owners. At the end of the 60-day program, you will walk away with a clear vision and message for your target market, access to a set of tools that takes the guesswork out of reaching your revenue goals, and the accountability and structure to take action.

Natalie has also hooked us up with a 20% off code to use – HappyMonday (it expires in 3 days). Don’t miss out! Click here for more info: http://womanzworld.com/startup-academy/

Three Secrets to Getting More Customers

2010-02-23-secretsThe one question that every small business website owner asks themselves at some point or another is: “How can I get more customers?” Surprisingly enough, it’s not as difficult as you would think!

Here are three secrets that the best marketing minds rely on:

1. Identify Your Strengths

It’s pretty much guaranteed that no matter what industry you’re in, you are going to have some competition and you are going to be compared against them. So what can you do to stay ahead of the game?

The key is to identify what it is about your business that should make a customer choose you over anyone else. Pick something that you are or want to be the best at, then make sure you keep it that way. That “thing” is your silver bullet – in marketing speak it’s called your Unique Selling Point or USP. For example, if you sell protective cases for cameras, your USP might be that your cases are indestructible.

2. Pinpoint Your Customers

One of the common mistakes that small business owners make is thinking that their products are perfect for everyone. No matter how great your products are, there will always be a subset of people that are your TRUE customers. These are the people that make up your perfect target market and are also the people that you should be developing your marketing messages around.

If you already have a customer base, take a closer look at them. Who are you selling to primarily? Who is making you the most money? Look at age, location, gender, lifestyle habits, education level, and more. From there you can start to create a clear picture of who you are selling to, and what is important to them.

In following with the protective camera case business, it’s likely that an ideal customer might have the following characteristics:

  • Between the ages of 25 – 35
  • College/University educated
  • High amount of disposable income
  • Athletic and adventurous (“adrenaline junkie”)

3. Target Your Message and Make It Matter

Once you know what makes you stand apart from the competition and who you are selling to, your marketing is much easier to figure out. When you craft your marketing messages around your USP and your ideal customers, you should end up with a campaign that really communicates the right message to the right people.

Let’s talk about those camera cases again.

John is a 29 year old male who loves mountain climbing, biking, and snowboarding. He’s broken three digital cameras in just over a year. He’s trying to find a way to stop wasting money on cameras, but he’s not convinced that there’s anything out there strong enough to withstand his lifestyle.

Knowing that John is your ideal customer, one way to connect with him might be through video. Take an action shot of the camera case being dropped on a trail ride, then being “accidentally” ridden over by the camera owner’s friends. Afterwards, show the unscathed camera – and maybe even some accidentally captured images of bike tires riding over it.

By figuring out what makes your business different and who you are selling to, you identify your own niche and create room for growth. As a side benefit, you may also be able to identify additional products that are sorely needed by your ideal customers – products that nobody else has recognized yet and that will give you the additional advantage of being first in the space.