Category Archives: Starting Out

Poster Bikes?

We run a street marketing service in the Bay Area- distributing flyers, posters and postcards and we are considering adding bikes with poster trailers.The bikes pull a small trailer that has a two sided poster board standing vertical. It would be mobile and travel throughout the city. Does this seem like a service that would be of value?

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Jay’s Answer: Why not simply test market the service? See if people notice, and the call-to-action on the signage works. If so, you’ve got something that’s easily explained to be effective.

Name My New Business – Too Many Choices

My background consists of sales, marketing, management, food industry, retail, Real Estate Licensee, wedding and event planning. I live in South Lake Tahoe and there are so many wedding chapels and businesses here, although I can’t decide if I want to go into property management or my desire is to coordinate weddings and plan events…. So names? Business direction? To be top of mind ahead of the already existing competition. I moved here in November.  My background has been working in Beef, Chicken food manufacturing as Executive Assistant, Logistics, Sales and Marketing, Senior Services, Independent and Assisted Living, Jewelry sales, there is so much talent. My father was a minister and I like speaking to women’s groups…so maybe my web-site should be a professional motivational speaker?

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Jay’s Answer: Names are irrelevant unless you’ve got a focus. So, let’s talk focus.

  • Do you want to work for yourself or others?
  • Do you want to work in B2B or B2C (i.e., do you want businesses or consumers as your audience)?
  • Do you want to work locally at South Lake Tahoe, or travel, or work virtually (with people from afar)?
  • What truly excites you? You’ve listed a number of skills, but I didn’t hear what YOU want to do.

And that’s just the start of a longer conversation that we could have about where you and and where you want to go.

My suggestion is that you should hire a professional coach to help you narrow down your wants/needs and help you achieve your goals.

Tagline for Business Consulting

I am working on my logo and website but I am really struggling with creating a tagline.  I have started a consulting and training business serving small to medium sized not for profit organizations.  I work them to create solutions to the challenges they maybe having with governance, policy development, and volunteer resources.  I also offer proposal writing, program evaluation, and facilitation. Any ideas would be greatly appreciated.

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Jay’s Answer: I think the problem you’re having crafting a tagline is because it’s not clear WHY your target audience needs you. “Creating solutions to the challenges they maybe…” isn’t a strong offering. What could a non-profit do better as a result of hiring your services? Why couldn’t they do this in-house? Why should they trust your knowledge?

The more specific your offering, the easier it’ll be to sell yourself to them. You don’t want them to have to wade through a menu of services to figure out if you’re the right person for them. If you position yourself as the expert in a specialty, then it becomes much clearer if there’s a fit.

I strongly suggest spending the time developing your marketing strategy. If you need assistance, hire my services. Or, start doing it yourself. But, don’t develop your website/logo any more until it’s clear what you’re offering. Otherwise, you’re going to confuse a lot of people, and they won’t come back to your website after you “tighten things up”.

Can a Psychic use Affiliate Marketing?

I’m a phone and email reader with great reviews, reputable, etc. What kind of network might I use are there networks that will pay by performance or by sale? Looking for a site that does this.

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Jay’s Answer: While I’m sure there are affiliate networks that you can use, my strong suggestion is not to use them, for the following 3 reasons:

  1. Since there are lots of competition for affiliates, to get any quality leads, you’ll need to give a large % of your fee to your affiliate.
  2. Affiliates are best used for selling a concrete product, not a service. Products are easily quantized, but services are hard to compare/contrast.
  3. Affiliates may misrepresent you/your services.

The fantasy is that you can have an army of people who’ll act as your 100% commission sales force. And it’s just that – a fantasy. To help others sell your offering, you need to help them do it. You’ll need marketing materials, case studies, guarantees, etc. to help them to learn about you. Then, if you do get a lead, you won’t know what the “magic” was to attract them, so you’ll never be able to grow your own business.

My suggestion is to get crystal clear about who you’re trying to attract as your customer, and consider why they should use your services (instead of a personal coach, or a business coach, or take classes in a local school, etc.) and trust your advice. From some of these questions are the kernels of your marketing strategy.

Tagline For New Travel Company

Along with a couple of friends we are starting our new travel company..cannot think of a good tagline..we would really be grateful to you if you can suggest us something good..we have great deals on holiday packages and we specialise in tours..we thought a few like..best deals always and travel deals simplified. i look forward to your reply. Our company name will be travista.

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Jay’s Answer: The name you chose is already the name of a worldwide travel company: travistaworldwide.com – if this isn’t your company, you’re likely to find that you’re attracting your prospective customers to their website or have their lawyers request that you change your company’s name.

As to a tagline, “specializing in tours” and “best deals always” are promises that many other travel companies make as well. That’s why you’re having problems creating a great tagline for your business.

Instead, you need to start at the very beginning of your marketing strategy:

  • WHO specifically are you looking to attract to your business?
  • Where are they located? Where do they travel? How often do they travel? How exclusive are their travel needs? The narrower your niche, the easier it is to market to them.
  • HOW do you differ from your competition?
  • If you’re offering the same things as everyone else, then you need to find something that no one else does (that people care about) and do it well. For example, do you send your customers movies about the area they’re planning to visit for free? Perhaps a bonded housesitting (or petsitting) service at no additional fee?
  • WHY should they believe you?

Anyone can make a claim, but few can back it up. What proof can you present that shows what you’re saying is true. Consider testimonials or 3rd party independent investigators.

 

Name My Highly Professional Mortgage Company

homeI have been in the mortgage business for 8 years in Hawaii. I have focused mainly on high-end jumbo loans and have become almost too niched. No one thinks of me for conforming or average loans. I am starting my own company. I am looking for a name that exudes professionalism, confidence, knowledge, trust, etc. I want to cover the entire market not just jumbo. We may want to get licensed in other states so the name has to cross state boundaries. I am really looking for something new and fresh. Any help would be appreciated.

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Jay’s Answer: Here are a couple of names to play with:

  • The Loan Wizard
  • Mortgage Master

 

Help Me Launch my Indian Electronics Store

How to launch a electronic retail store in a mall in India?

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Jay’s Answer: Since you’re hoping to open a shop in a mall, your target audience are initially the people already visiting the mall. What other electronics stores are in the mall? What are they NOT selling? What are people visiting the mall likely to need/want? If you don’t know, visit the mall and survey the visitors.

Next, focus on WHY they should visit your store, instead of any of your competition’s locations (including online). Will you have a selection of impulse items? Do you carry products that are hard to find? Will you offer amazing service guarantees? Do you have knowledge about the electronics that no one else does? Will you offer complete customization of their purchase?

Finally, focus on HOW to attract people to come to the mall and your store. How can you co-market with other stores in the mall to make it a smart use of people’s time and money?

Help Me Start My Wedding Planning Business

I am currently a student and wanted to start being a wedding planner. I need help. Can u help me by  suggesting the name and the work regarding it. i would be thankful to u

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Jay’s Answer:   You don’t start building a business with a name. You start building a business with a plan. Once you have the well-thought out plan, then you can begin to craft your marketing strategy (where you name is one part of it). By starting with a name, you’re assuming you know how to find your customers, what they need, why they should trust you, and how you compare to your competition.  I suggest starting by reviewing this article of mine: http://www.manygoodideas.com/2008/10/01/unpeeling-your-marketing-onion/

Name My Wedding Planner Business

I need a name 4 my wedding planner business.

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Jay’s Answer:   The process for naming your business should start with your marketing strategy.

Who are you targeting (other than “people who want to get married”)? Are these people located in a specific region? A certain age? Men and women? A certain income bracket? A certain religious background?
Why you’re different. Assuming that the people you’re targeting already know they want a wedding planner, how do THEY decide on who to hire. It’s not about (simply) price – it’s about the value, the skills, the contact, and the special knowledge the planner has. What do you offer than others don’t?

For example, you can call yourself “Chicago’s Wedding Planner” (which clearly says you specialize in wedding in Chicago) or “Pagan Wedded Bliss” (for specialty for a type of wedding). The narrower you define your target audience, the easier it will be for them to find you and for you to be seen as the specialist for them.

I Want To Start A New Business – But What?

I am looking for a business for myself.  I have been told to get into business for myself many years ago and always worked for someone else!  I have been unemployed now for 9 long months and need an income.  Sorry about being drawn out!  The things I like beauty, making people feel special, and travel. all combined into one!  I also love feet and had a great idea and found out that was already taken!

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Jay’s Answer:   You’re halfway there – identifying some things that you like to do. The next step is to figure out what people will pay you to do that involves your passions. Maybe you can be a tour guide to pampering locations, or teach people the tricks of looking good while traveling, or being an aesthetician. The trick is balancing your loves with other’s needs. Ideally, find a need that people are asking for but haven’t be able to find (look online at discussion groups to see what people are talking about).

Also, any of these ideas may be able to make you successful, the fact is you need to balance the dream with reality – needing an income today. So, perhaps by working for a tour operator, or in a spa, or for cruise line can both help to pay your bills TODAY and to learn more about the business and identify things that people would pay you for.