Business Development

How To Start A Business With No Money

This Question Is A Trap To Avoid

There are very few barriers to starting a business. It costs next to nothing to register a company name and secure a website address. Boom, you’re in business, and you’ve spent very little money. Now what? The problem is not, how to start a business with no money. The question is, what business is worthy of your blood, sweat and tears for the next five years or more?

What Does Starting A Business With No Money Mean?

Starting a business with no money means something different for everyone. No money often translates into discretionary funds. It’s money you can invest without taking out a loan, tapping into your line of credit or credit card.

No money might mean you plan to invest other people’s money rather than your own.

No money is tens of thousands for some people, and for others, it literally means no money.

What do you mean when you say no money?

No Money Businesses Are A Myth

Starting a business with no money means you plan to invest more time in your business than money. But since time equals money, you’re still spending money.

Investing your time in business setup and operation means you’re giving up money you would have made working on paying activities elsewhere. There is always a cost.

It’s easy to convince yourself that your time is not as valuable as real money. This self-deception makes it easier to rationalize your huge personal investment.

Every start-up entrepreneur sinks thousands of hours into their new venture hoping the payoff will somehow justify the sacrifice. Most people invest many thousands of real dollars as well. Sadly, the vast majority of these businesses fail in their first year or two.

It’s A Sobering Statistic

Despite all the time and money invested, most businesses fail. Even worse, many invest years into building a company that has no hope of ever being profitable enough to compensate for the up-front investment.

These zombie businesses are just successful enough not to die. They linger and survive, but they never thrive.

These undead businesses rob you of your time, health, relationships and more. And they keep you from investing in other ventures more worthy of your time and commitment.

Just like movie zombies, these ventures are incredibly difficult to kill. Why? Because of the herculean effort you invested. It leads to attachment. It’s your baby. Plus, you feel compelled to recoup your investment, justify your effort and save face.

Maybe rather than looking for a business to start with no money, there are better and more useful questions to ask?

Alternative Questions To Consider

Half the battle in any inquiry is asking the right questions. Some alternate questions to consider include:

Is this a business where:

  • I don’t have to invent anything
  • there’s significant demand for the offering
  • there’s limited competition
  • there’s potential to grow and scale
  • it’s a good fit for me and my personal goals
  • costs are low, and margins are high
  • the business is easy to explain, refer to others and sell
  • I’m passionate about the business purpose and will stay fully engaged for years

Or is this a side-hustle:

  • with low up-front costs
  • where I can keep my day job
  • where I can make enough money to make it worth my time
  • where I already have the skills and equipment
  • where there’s pent-up demand for the offering
  • with limited certification, regulatory or insurance requirements

In both scenarios, you’re looking to be as purposeful. strategic, and selective as you can.

Critical Self-direction Questions

Perhaps more important than selecting a business is getting clear on your reasons and objectives for starting a business. Without first being clear on why, it’s nearly impossible to make a good choice.

Without knowing your reasons and objectives, you’re likely to get into a business that sparks a passing interest rather than one that makes good financial sense.

Clarifying questions to consider:

  • Why do I want to start a business?
  • Do I want staff, or is this more about lifestyle and self-employment?
  • Do I have the communication skills to direct and manage others?
  • Am I looking for time flexibility?
  • Am I okay with working behind a desk, or do I need to be outside?
  • Do I want to work from home, a physical location or on-site with customers?
  • What businesses do I already understand and have experience in?
  • Is my partner on board for this marathon rollercoaster ride?
  • How much money do I need each month to live?
  • How much financial risk am I willing to take on?
  • How much money can I invest?
  • How much time can I commit to this venture each week?
  • Can I keep my day job until this business cash flows?
  • What skills will I need to develop, and am I willing to learn?

That’s A lot Of Questions

Yes, it is. And there are many more questions like these to consider. These are just the preliminary scoping questions. If you don’t like disciplined and critical thinking, business ownership might not be right for you. That’s okay too.

Why Answer All These Questions?

It’s vital to answer all these questions carefully because you have so much at stake.

People often worry about the cost of getting into a business. They may not appreciate the ongoing expense of being in a business or the cost of getting out of a business.

Starting and running a business is much more demanding and time-consuming than people realize. If you’re going to be a business owner, you need to go into it with your eyes open and a solid dose of reality.

The reality is your odds of failing and losing your investment are much higher than your odds of success.

What’s On Today’s Low-Cost Business Menu?

Let’s get back to your original question. “How Do You Start A Business With No Money?” There’s no shortage of articles offering lists of business ideas you can start for almost nothing. There are links at the end of this article we hope you’ll find useful. It can be interesting and thought-provoking to see and consider so many different business ideas.

And if you’ve already asked yourself a bunch of qualifying questions, a list of business ideas can be quite helpful. You can scan these lists for suitable options you might have never considered. You can shortlist these options and test their fit against your selection criteria.

Which Businesses Have the Lowest Start-up Costs?

If you’re really tight on funds, a service business is usually the least costly option.

What’s A Service Business?

A service business, in simplest terms, involves someone helping someone else get something done.

Obvious right? There are thousands of different types of service businesses to consider, categorized into five broad groupings.

Service Business Categories

  • Unskilled Labour
  • Personal Services
  • Skilled Trade
  • Professional Services
  • Unregulated Services

Unskilled Labour Services

Unskilled Labour Services include businesses such as junk removal, litter cleanup, grounds maintenance and different types of cleaning services. It’s not that there is no skill or care involved, it means you don’t need a diploma, degree, or certification to offer the service.

These businesses rely on your communication skills, workmanship and whether you are trustworthy. These are great businesses for physical people who loath the idea of working a desk job.

Being social or anti-social doesn’t impact these businesses. Often the so-called unemployable people find a home here since they can set their own rules and timetables.

These are often the simplest and easiest businesses to start with almost no money.

These types of companies may not be as glamourous or as high-tech as other businesses, but that does not mean they are not worthy of consideration. These businesses are often overlooked and, as a result, may have fewer competitors.

If you truly have no money and want to get into business for yourself, then look very closely at this business category.

The website you’re on now is such a business. We invite you to look at how our company works if you fit this category.

Personal Service Businesses

Personal Service Businesses serve people’s individual needs, but they require vocational training.

Hairdressing or fitness instruction are examples of personal services. The benefit of personal service businesses is their nearly universal appeal. Realtors fall into this category, as do wedding planners, personal organizers, house sitters, and many others.

Skilled Trade Businesses

These businesses require a trade school education, apprenticeships, and several industry certifications. Skilled trade businesses commonly include electricians, plumbers, carpenters, tile setters, gas fitters, welders, mechanics, truckers etc.

If you have a skilled trade, this may be the business category to consider.

Professional Service Businesses

These businesses are for people with advanced degrees, board certifications and years of experience. The most common examples include accountants, engineers, architects, dentists, chiropractors, and doctors.

As with skilled trades, if you have a professional designation, your business of choice may be obvious.

Unregulated Service Businesses

Unregulated service is the catch-all category for the remaining service businesses. Several new business models get lumped here. Many internet-related service businesses such as graphics design, social media, SEO consultants and content creators fall into this category.

Why Write This Article?

We prepared this article because we get asked the, how to start a business with no money question a lot.

We started our business over 40 years ago with almost no money.

We started our business part-time, at night, until it grew enough to operate full-time. People call these part-time businesses side-hustles today, but 40 years ago, they called it moonlighting.

We spent years growing our side-hustle, then business into a $600,000 per year operation.

While we’ll never compete with Elon Musk or Jeff Bezos in the race to the stars, we’ve been successful.

We’ve been our own boss for over 40 years. We’ve travelled and financed our kids’ university educations, and we’ve not wanted for anything. We’ve been where you are now, and we know what the path you’re on looks like.

After 40 plus years in the litter cleanup business, we’re approaching retirement and would like to help others experience the success we have.

We’re not selling a franchise or pitching some expensive training program. We’ve created a training manual for motivated, ambitious, and hard-working people who want more control over their lives.

What we’re offering is a book that details how our business works. We also offer free coaching and mentorship from our founder to help you do what he did.

What he did was create a great life with a very simple business idea he started with almost no money.

If you’re interested, you’re one click away from discovering America’s simplest business. We hope you’ll take a minute to learn more.

Are You A Fit For This Business?

You might be if:

  • you live in or near a city of at least 30,000 people
  • you prefer to work outside, on-location at a customer’s business
  • you’re physically fit and enjoy walking
  • you can lift 10 to 30 lbs a few times per day
  • you’re diligent and willing to speak to property managers to sell your services
  • you have a reliable vehicle and a cell phone
  • you’re willing to show up consistently and pay attention to details
  • you can invest about $200 in learning and equipment

If this is you, we hope you’ll consider our low start-up cost business idea.

Either way, please invest the time and answer all the questions posed. The time you spend up-front researching and getting clear on what’s right for you is the most important step you can take.

We wish you well in your path to successful business ownership. It was the best decision we ever made. We hope you have a similar experience.

Our Favourite Articles Listing Low-Cost Business Ideas

These are the best articles we could find offering tips on how to start a business with no money.

12 Low-Cost Business Ideas for Introverts
12 Side Hustles That Pay Well
16 Easy Businesses to Start
20 Cheap Businesses You Can Start in Your Spare Time
25 Businesses You Can Start for Less Than $100
26 Businesses You Can Start for Free
27 of the Most Profitable Small Businesses to Open in 2022
The 49 Best Home Business Ideas for 2022
50 Self-Employed Business Ideas You Can Start for Under $100
65 Businesses You Can Start While Working Your Day Job
70 Best Ways to Make Extra Money on the Side in 2022: $500+
How To Make More Money – 100+ Great Ideas
200+ Small Business Ideas with Low Investment

If you have a favourite article you would like to see in this list; please share it with me and I’ll add it to the list.

Inspired Money: How To Make $650,000 Picking Up Litter with Brian Winch

 

Brian was recently a guest on Inspired Money where he spoke about growing Cleanlots from a part-time job to a full-time business, types of customers served, and factors that go into pricing litter pick up.

Here are three key takeaways from the interview:

Start Small

When starting a business, it’s less risky to start small. At 21 years old, Brian started Cleanlots without a college degree, no business training, and little extra money. He called property management companies and quickly landed three accounts. In three or four months of part-time litter cleaning, he was making more money than his day job, so he quit that to build his business full-time.

“The intention was for it to be a side gig and eventually become a full-time business — a simple one-man operation. Out of necessity, because my clients were so happy with my service and I didn’t want to turn them down or turn any work down, we scaled up into a profitable business where three or four people are working. Then it continued to grow where we’ve got about ten or twelve people working for us full-time. It’s a pretty simple service that we provide, and it’s almost as easy to do as going for a walk.”

Stay Focused

Over 40 years, customers who come to know, like, and trust you tend to ask for additional services, but Brian learned to stick to his core business. “We bill out over six figures, typically about six hundred thousand dollars a year, in litter picking work and we don’t do anything else. We don’t do snow removal, we don’t cut grass, we don’t do pressure washing.” The result has been a great business with loyal customer relationships that can last over 10, 20, or 30 years.

Brian says that it’s important to provide great service. “What you need to do is provide that extra value, and so we make that point when we’re out cleaning our properties. If we see things like somebody’s dumped a sofa and mattress at the back of the building or their wall has been tagged with fresh graffiti or a stop sign has been run down in the parking lot, we always contact our clients and let them know about these things. It shows them that we were out at the properties cleaning them, but we’re also an extra set of eyes for them. It helps us to strengthen the relationship with that particular client, so that they’re more likely to want to continue doing business with us and send business our way because they get that little bit of extra bonus.”

Hard Work Pays Off

Cleanlots has survived through many recessions and continues to thrive even during a global pandemic. Brian said, “We were very concerned when businesses were being shut down. When businesses aren’t making money, they can’t pay rent. If landlords or property management companies don’t have that money coming in, they can’t pay their service vendors.”

It turns out that business remained busy with an increase of litter like latex gloves, masks, and sanitary wipes being left in the parking lots of grocery and drug stores.

Not one to rest on his laurels, Brian pitched this story to his city’s largest TV station. Within 15 minutes, a producer contacted him, and the news station filmed a story about Cleanlots cleaning one of its customer’s parking lots. This PR was positive for current and prospective customers to see.

While not everyone wants to do this job, Brian encourages those who want to work outdoors to consider it. He even sells a Cleanlots Operations Manual, a how-to on starting a litter clean up business, and provides free support. “Here’s a way that you can start your own business and be successful, provided that you are passionate, patient and persistent. If you work your business, the business will work for you.”

Find show notes at www.inspiredmoney.fm/150 and listen to the entire Inspired Money interview on your favorite podcast app that’s probably already on your smartphone.

 

 

About Inspired Money: Improve your money mindset with host Andy Wang, named a top influential financial advisor by INVESTOPEDIA, as he interviews actors, entrepreneurs, non-profit leaders, and even a former WWE wrestler to help you get inspired, shift your perspectives on money, and achieve incredible things. Whether you want to launch a side hustle, pay down debt, or give money to charity, listen to Inspired Money because big things begin with just a little inspiration.

 

Cleaning Business Essential Service – COVID-19

Has your government ordered all non-essential businesses to close as a means to stop the spread of the COVID-19 virus? Have they released a list of essential businesses or services that are permitted to remain open? Most governments that have done so thus far have included cleaning businesses as an essential service.

If you haven’t communicated a COVID-19 Response Plan to your clients yet then you should do so. Feel free to use the following as a template:

March 30, 2020

RE: QUALITY MAINTENANCE INC. – COVID-19 RESPONSE PLAN

The province of Alberta ordered the temporary closure of all non-essential businesses effective March 27, 2020.

The Alberta government has defined a list of essential businesses that may remain open to ensure the health and well-being of Canadians. These include businesses that provide support and maintenance services to maintain the safety, security, sanitation and essential operation of commercial properties. Quality Maintenance Inc., falls within this definition and remains open and fully operational.

The health and well-being of our workers is our top priority and foremost concern. We are encouraging frequent hand washing/sanitizing and cleaning of work vehicles/spaces. We are practicing social distancing. Our service hours limit exposure with the public. Our actions are consistent with guidance from Health Canada, provincial and local authorities and the World Health Organization. To date, we have had no cases of the COVID-19 infection.

We understand our duty to continue providing our service during this battle against COVID-19. Our dedicated team members continue to work hard on the front lines to support  our customers and we will do so in the safest manner possible.

Thank you.

 

Now more than ever is it important to communicate with your customers. Keep them informed about maintenance issues and your health and safety policies.

Stay well and good luck!

Brian Winch

7 Reasons Why You Need a Business Mentor—And How to Land One

One way to get strategic with your business trajectory is to land a trusted adviser in the form of a mentor. Mentoring can take many forms, such as a one-on-one relationship or a mentoring circle within an organization. The best mentor-mentee relationships involve two-way learning and reciprocation.

Mentors help professionals feel more engaged, derive more meaning from their careers, and grow their businesses. According to the Small Business Administration, small business owners who receive three or more hours of mentoring report higher revenues and increased growth.

Need more of a push? Here are seven reasons why you need a mentor this year:

1. A good mentor will help you identify blind spots

Blind spots are a funny thing because they exist for everyone—even the most successful leader. But when blind spots are our own, we are oblivious to them. While you yourself may not easily recognize where your weaknesses lie, a mentor can help you improve self-awareness. Think of this aspect of mentoring as a healthy reality check.

2. Give you access to a sphere of influence

mentor can offer a large network of connections that you might not otherwise have had access to. Would your business benefit from introductions to more distributors, potential customers, or new vendors? Your sphere of influence facilitates these key interconnections.

How many small business resources can you name that cost $0? Not that many. And you can’t put a price on a mentorship, except for time spent. Both parties should agree to meeting parameters, times, dates, and agenda items so you can meet as efficiently as possible. When you enter a mentor-mentee relationship in an organized way, it will be time well spent for both parties.

4. Cheer you on through ups and downs

We could all use a cheerleader in our corner, especially when it comes to the trials and tribulations of running a successful small business. When you are paired with the right mentor, they genuinely want you to succeed. Your mentor will encourage you during your lows and be one of the first to celebrate your highs.

5. Challenge you in positive ways

Short-term and long-term goals aside, a great mentor will also challenge you to think outside the box. In an article in Inc., John Brandon explains one of his own techniques for mentoring: “One strategy I’ve used with those I’m mentoring is to assign a fairly difficult task to complete—something that will require my involvement. I don’t see mentoring as just a weekly chat. It’s an ongoing relationship and one that should always be moving toward a specific goal. It has to be intentional and specific, not vague and by the seat of your pants. Keep track of the task together and use it as a teaching aid.”

6. Share what they’ve learned from their own experience

Learning from others’ mistakes can be priceless. Who wouldn’t want to shorten the learning curve when it comes to building your small business? In most scenarios, a mentor is older, wiser, with years more business experience. With that experience comes tales of far reaching success, and also brutal failures. Honest, vulnerable conversations with your mentor will help shape your future business decisions.

7. Help you overcome your complacency

Have you ever felt stagnant in your business? A good mentor will help you establish realistic goals, hold you accountable to the tasks that help you achieve those goals, and push you when you feel like giving up.

How to find a business mentor

Once you have decided that you would like to have a mentor, how do you go about locating the right one for you?

Look at your current network. Is there another small business owner whose company’s growth is something you’d like to emulate within your own business? Take stock of your LinkedIn connections to see who is open to mentor-mentee opportunities.

Check for local SCORE opportunities. SCORE was founded in 1964 as a nonprofit resource partner of the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA). The SCORE network includes 10,000+ expert volunteers offering business mentoring and workshops at 300 SCORE offices across the country. Visit the SCORE website to find the closest local office; your local SCORE chapter will help pair you with a suitable mentor.

Investigate contacts within your specific industry. You might think this suggestion is counterintuitive for competitive reasons. However, seasoned professionals who are passionate about their field often offer mentorship services to other small business owners in their own industry.

Finding someone you admire should be a top priority. Make a short list of potential candidates and see where your personalities align. You can feel them out by having informal meetings where you discuss your goals and trajectory before officially asking them to be your mentor.

When asking a person to become your mentor, you want to be direct. Try something like, “I can see you’re a great team leader and I’m managing a team for the first time. Would you be able to work with me over the next year to become a great team leader?”

Once you have committed to the process, good luck. And if years from now you find yourself being asked by someone to be their mentor, draw on this experience and pay it forward!

How to Close: The Complete List of Sales Closing Techniques

Like any game in life there are rules to selling, particularly when it comes to how to close a sale. Since there can be so many different variable involved there isn’t one favorable closing style for every situation. It’s not surprising that most salespeople find closing a deal to be the most difficult aspect of selling.

You typically get one chance to close a sale. If you’re successful, the preparation you’ve invested in the whole sales process will pay off in spades. You have to keep in mind that when trying to make a sale, the prospective customer needs to come first. Focus on selling how your prospect will benefit from doing business with you. Don’t sell features. Learn how to close a sale with effective strategies.

No matter what industry you’re in, identifying the decision maker is crucial to closing a sale. If you’re unsuccessful in doing so, you’ll simply be wasting your time. Ask who decides on awarding service contracts or makes purchase decisions. You don’t want to waste your time and effort dealing with anyone else.

Here are some tips on how to close a sale that I’ve found to be effective:

*  Know your competition. Competing for business is tough. Make note of something that you’re doing that your competition isn’t. This can be your biggest selling point.

*  Communicate clearly. It’s important to convey to the prospect that you care about their business and not just in getting a deal done. Speak clearly and confidently. Make eye contact with your prospect. This suggests interest in them and confidence in yourself and in what you’re selling.

*  Smile. Use humor. You’ll close more deals if you can get your prospect to lighten up or even laugh. You want to be real and personable, but also remain professional. Do you have a good story to share that’s relevant?

*Stay positive. Closing a sale is a game of percentages. You won’t close every deal, but over time and experience you’ll become more successful.

Aja Frost shares a number of closing styles on how to close a sale in the post How to Close: The Complete List of Sales Closing Techniques. Check it out.

https://blog.hubspot.com/sales/how-to-closeModern buyers can spot high-pressure closing tactics from a mile away. To sell in 2017, you need a strategy that’ll help them make a decision — not manipulate them. These tactics will help you do just that. How to Close: The Complete List of Sales Closing Techniques

 

How to Raise Prices Without Losing Customers | SCORE

You want to raise prices but you’re concerned how your customers will react when they’re given the news. Sure, a price increase may cost you a client or two but you may still end up increasing your sales. Use a tactful approach to informing your customers that you’re about to raise prices. It may also transform the way you do business.

Retail businesses typically raise prices without their customers noticing too much. But if you own a service business you’ll need to notify your customers in advance of your price increase.

How long has it been since you last raised your prices? What’s your competitors doing? Are prices staying the same or going down as a result of more competitors entering the field? If you decide to raise prices then you’ll need to briefly explain to them your reasons as to why you’re increasing your prices with the focus being on how your customer will benefit.

Clients who are focused mainly on price may decide to stop doing business with you, but are they really the clients you want to keep? They often times also are very demanding with their service expectations and take up more of your time than your other customers. Many times, service business owners discover raising prices results in attracting new, more profitable customers who have no reservations paying a higher price in return for better quality work.

Have you heard of the 80/20 rule? Basically, it states that 80% of your sales will come from 20% of your customers. More often than not, this 20% of your client base loves to do business with you and most likely will do more. You need to focus your sales efforts and time on these clients and weed out the undesired and unprofitable.

SCORE and Canon U.S.A., Inc., offers these 5 do’s and don’ts to raise prices without losing customers.

https://www.score.org/resource/how-raise-prices-without-losing-customersYou’ve been tracking your small business’s numbers regularly, and you know it’s time to raise prices. Follow these five do’s and don’ts to raise prices without losing customers. Read more…

 

Customers Are Lost Most Often Due to Neglect

Good customer service means being proactive about keeping in regular contact with your clients to lessen the risk of losing them to your competitors. Most customers are lost due to neglect. Your phone calls, texts, emails and periodic meetings on-site demonstrates to them that you care about their needs.

You must do everything you can to retain clients against a surge of salespeople trying to steal them away. If you fail to manage your customer relationships and use the opportunities to reinforce the value of your product or service, you allow those salespeople to take advantage of the situation to sell your clients on their solutions. That’s a reality of business.

In my experience, a quick phone call goes a long way. Sometimes an email with an attached photo provides more detailed information and is a better option. Both demonstrate to your clients that you care about their business. Make a point to check-in with them on a regular basis. Over time you build a relationship that promotes additional business.

I operate a parking lot litter removal business. I provide a daily on-foot service using hand tools to clean up litter outside commercial properties. Almost as easy to do as going for a walk! We also act as an extra set of eyes for our clients. We notify them of any property damage, graffiti, illegal on-site dumping, burned out lights or anything else they would like to know about. Why? Because it reinforces the value of our service. Anyone can clean, but will they go the extra mile?

Check out the post from Jeb Blount, You Don’t Send Me Flowers: Customers Are Lost Most Often Due to Neglect. He’s the author of People Love You: The Real Secret to Delivering a Legendary Customer Experience.

http://www.businessknowhow.com/marketing/lostcustomers.htm#a1Have you ever been taken for granted? Can you describe the emotion? Does it make you feel unimportant, small, resentful, angry, and indifferent? Read more…

 

Billing Made Easy for Home Based Businesses

Being a small business owner often means there’s an endless list of responsibilities to manage. Some of these tasks take time away from the bigger picture of growing your business. Most small home based business owners don’t have an accounts payable department; usually the job of invoicing and keeping track of payment falls to you. Take control, and save time and money with a reputable, billing made easy, invoicing website.

Along with invoices some sites also generate quotes, estimates, purchase orders, sales receipts and credit memos. You’ll want to create or use your own business logo on your business forms to help your business appear professional. Some solopreneurs avoid online invoicing sites or software due to not wanting their own forms marked with the others name. Not all do so.

Most sites are easy to use and provide tutorial videos to get you started. If you bill the same clients the same monthly contract price, there’s often an option to copy invoices to speed up your invoicing process. Your invoice numbers will automatically populate based on the previous invoice number keeping your invoices in an orderly sequence. You can print them off to mail to your clients if they prefer snail mail to email. Security shouldn’t be a concern as all data communication on the site’s servers are encrypted. All invoicing sites provide automatic regular backup of all data.

Pricing plans vary. A new option, Invoice Home, offers free and unlimited plans ($5/month) to stay on top of customer accounts. Visit Invoice Home today to see how they make billing easy for home based businesses.

Check out Jill Bowers post for toptenreviews.com on their review of The Best Billing and Invoice Software of 2017 for software options.

https://homebusinessmag.com/sponsored-content/billing-made-easy-home-based-business-owners-invoice-home/Read more…

 

5 Easy Steps: Create an Elevator Pitch That Will Get You Places – Discover & Learn – RBC Royal Bank

You’ve just bumped into a friend you haven’t seen in a long while. After exchanging small talk, he asks you what your new business does. You start to speak but soon become tongue tied. That’s why you need to perfect your elevator pitch (also known as an elevator speech or elevator statement). It’s a brief description you can use to explain your business to anyone that takes no longer than a short elevator ride, hence the name.

You can use an elevator pitch in a number of situations. For example, you can use one to introduce your business to prospective clients or existing customers. You could use one to tell people about the project or initiative you’re leading. You can create one to inform people what you do for a living. A good pitch explains what makes you, or your business, product, service or project unique.

How you say it is as important as what you say. Practice your pitch until your delivery sounds like a natural conversation. You don’t want to talk too fast, sputter or forget parts of your pitch. Take the time to get your pitch right. Amanda Reaume has written 5 Easy Steps: Create an Elevator Pitch That Will Get You Places. Check it out.

https://discover.rbcroyalbank.com/5-easy-steps-create-an-elevator-pitch-that-will-get-you-places/Here are the five easy steps you need to take to create an elevator pitch that will knock the socks off anyone who hears it: Read more…

 

You’re Missing Local Sales If You’re Not Listed on These 5 Sites – Manta

Once upon a time, not too long ago, a small business had only to place its name, address and telephone number in the yellow pages phone book and then wait for prospective customers to call or visit them. Yellow pages is still with us but has made the shift from hard copy directory to online listings. If you’re trying to improve your local SEO, then you need to get your business listed on YP.com and other influential online business directories.

You don’t have to be a web developer to help your small business show up in local search results. You need only to make sure that your business name, business category, information, imaging and how you want people to contact you is consistent. Start with the 5 online directories which are the most relevant with customers and in search algorithms.

Kitty French provides more details in her post, You’re Missing Sales If You’re Not Listed on These 5 Sites.

http://www.manta.com/resources/small-business-tips/youre-missing-local-sales-youre-not-listed-5-sites/?bt_alias=eyJ1c2VySWQiOiAiMCJ9Posting details about your business correctly on these listings sites is the best way to show up in local searches for your services. Read more…

 

It’s 2017. How Can You Not Have a Website Yet? | TheSelfEmployed.com

A surprising percentage of small business owners in 2017 do not have a website yet. Where do your prospective customers find your business if you don’t have a website? Do you have a social media page? Can they learn more about your business and even make a purchase there? In most cases, the answer is no. A website should be the foundation of your marketing efforts. You can’t hope to compete effectively without one.

It’s fairly easy and inexpensive to create a business website. There are a number of companies that offer DIY website templates you can use to build your own website. Many also help you register your domain name, offer hosting and help you promote your website with local search directories and SEO.

You don’t need an elaborate website if you own, for example, a commercial litter removal business based from home. All you need is 3 or 4 pages with your basic information (contact, services, FAQ’s, About Us, Contact Us page) and links to your social media. This is your “brick and mortar” storefront as you’re operating your business from home. Your website provides you with a virtual 24/7 sales representative.

Check out more from Rieva Lesonsky, including some of the ways you’re missing out if your small business doesn’t have a website.

https://www.theselfemployed.com/start_ups/2017-can-not-website-yet/In a recent Capital One study, just 56 percent of small businesses say they have a company website. Of those, only 53 percent of their websites are mobile-optimized. Read more…

 

7 Bad Habits That Make Salespeople Look Really Unprofessional | Inc.com

Salespeople are often broken off into two distinct camps; those who can and those who can’t. We’ve all encountered the pushy salesperson. They’re often too eager to make a sale or are uninterested in our wants or needs. Striking the right balance is necessary if you don’t want to come across as unprofessional to potential customers.

We’re all salespeople, by trade or not. Some of us are better, but sales is a skill that we all learned from an early age. You must remember selling your parents about why you needed a raise in your allowance. If you’re married, you first dated, followed by a period of engagement, resulting in you selling yourself as the right choice for spouse. You competed amongst many other job applicants to sell yourself as the right choice for the job. I think I’ve made my point. Call it what you will – sales, persuasion or convincing, we all do it  in everyday life.

Here are some sales tips we can learn to become better salespeople:

  1. Know your product or service so you can answer all your prospect’s questions.
  2. Listen to what your prospect says. You need to be able to explain how you can solve their problems.
  3. Turn your products or services features into benefits. How your prospect benefits will persuade them to buy
  4. Persistence. Repeat previous 3 tips. Most sales are not made on one attempt.

Remember, great salespeople are made not born.

Here’s another perspective: 7 Bad Habits That Make Salespeople Look Really Unprofessional, by Peter Economy.

http://www.inc.com/peter-economy/7-bad-habits-that-make-salespeople-look-really-unprofessional.html?cid=nl029week04day26Making sales is hard enough–don’t add to your difficulties by doing these things. Read more…

 

This Old-School Marketing Technique Can Triple Your Responses | Inc.com

Direct mail marketing, regarded as old-school or junk mail by some people, is still paying off for many smart entrepreneurs. Direct mail can produce a better response rate than digital marketing techniques according to a recent report as well as the experience of many marketers.

When done correctly, the return on investment is impressive. The more tightly you specify your mailing list, the better your response rate. Rates can almost double when you use your “house list” of existing customers and opt-in recipients. That’s significantly superior to the response rates scored by all of the tracked digital methods, according to the Direct Marketing Association’s 2016 Response Rate Support.

What’s a good response rate to a direct mailing? People want a hard number such as 1%, 2% or 5%. A successful mailing is one that makes money. Last, but not least, a direct mail marketing campaign is a sustained effort over time. So mail often!

Check out the article written by Etelka Lehoczky. Using these strategies, you can turn “junk mail” into customers.

http://www.inc.com/magazine/201611/etelka-lehoczky/from-mail-to-sale.html?cid=nl029Bweek43day27Outsourcing your mailings to a specialist shop means you won’t need to study postal regulations, mailing-list composition, or what’s ominously called “list hygiene.” Direct mail must be sorted by ZIP code and route, and doing that “improperly might cost an additional two pennies per piece,” says Brian Johnson, owner of Mail Shark, a direct-mail services company. Read more…

 

5 Great Tips to Attract New Customers If You Are a Small Business

Finding new customers for your small business can seem like a daunting task, but it doesn’t have to be difficult or expensive. You can still attract customers successfully with a small budget. Posting your flyer on free community bulletin boards or mailing your sales letter to qualified prospects can still produce results. For other ideas, try these 5 sales tips to attract new customers from Jane Hurst.

http://www.lifehack.org/448319/5-great-tips-to-attract-new-customers-if-you-are-a-small-businessTo drive traffic and customers to your website, it’s crucial to play to your strengths. Why should customers choose your company over the others? What’s your competitive advantage? Is it high quality? Reasonable pricing? Or unrivaled customer service? Read more…

 

10 Online Classes Every Entrepreneur Should Take Before Starting a Business | Inc.com

Are you considering starting-a-business? Experienced entrepreneurs understand that great rewards only come to those brave enough to take calculated risks. But they’re also smart enough to know they need to learn as much as they can about business to become successful. Rhett Power provides the sources for 10 online business classes that will help you get on the right path to business success.

http://www.inc.com/rhett-power/10-online-classes-every-entrepreneur-should-take-before-starting-their-own-busin.htmlYou need a good education in the business of doing business. Read more…

 

Sales Tip: Stop Listing Features. Tell Your Customers the Benefits.

Factual statements about a product or service (features) aren’t why customers buy. Benefits clearly identify the customers wants or needs. How do you know the difference between a feature or benefit? In this edited excerpt the authors of Guerilla Marketing in 30 Days explain how to identify the benefits, not the features, of your product or service to help you increase your sales.

https://www.entrepreneur.com/article/234200How do you know if you’re touting a benefit or a feature? It’s actually easier than you think. Can you give an affirmative answer to the question “Will this one thing improve the life, cost, health or well-being of someone?” If the answer is yes, then you have a benefit that can be marketed to this someone who’s part of your target market. If the answer is no, chances are, you’ve identified a feature. You must now find the benefit associated with that feature. If there’s no benefit, forget about it. Read more…