Category Archives: Starting Out

Marketing For Bootstrapping IT Firm

I have just joined a bootstrapping IT firm as partner. Now the company provides a number of services like web development, app development, and ERPs etc and has many solutions like management softwares for School, Hospitals and Restaurants etc.

Basis profitability and competition points of view, I would like to focus on ERPs and the ready solutions and not on web/app development. Now the question is that with limited money, how do I run campaigns for awareness and lead generation for these individual services/solutions? This company is in Jaipur- a non-metro tier-1 city of India fyi.

As of now, my plan is to start with School Management system, generate leads from cold calling the decision makers(free of cost), pitch our solutions to them and get some money. Use that money to create visibility using FB and google ads (for other solutions too). Plus, some BTL stuff (standees, brochures in newspapers) in office/school areas. After that, we can start going to events which we can use to increase awareness about our brand as well as for networking. What do you think? What else I can do?

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Jay’s Answer:  Focus narrowly on a niche, and become the expert on their types of needs. Then, leverage your niche expertise on another niche. Trying to do everything for everyone is a recipe for failure with limited resources.

Given you’ve tried to reach out to principals with zero response, I don’t imagine that simply showing up will produce any better results for you. Instead, have you met with a group of principals to understand what their needs are, what their buying cycle is, and how/why they’d consider switching to an unknown system such as yours? These types of meetings are called “informational interviews” and the purpose isn’t to sell (to talk), it’s to learn (to listen). Once you know more about their timing needs and decision making, you can market in that timeframe. It may also be the case that you need to market to the school board, rather than the principal. FB may be appropriate for the school, but it may be better to use professional school journals/newsletters, etc.

How to Start My Business?

I have planned for my startup and i need guidance whether to get register my company or first try to sell the product. keeping product price and marketing it.

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Jay’s Answer: In your county, there may be a legal requirement to register your company first. Otherwise, it’s best to simply see if there’s public interest in your offering before investing in your business infrastructure.

How To Launch An Online Yoga Business

I have a successful fitness/rehab facility in Ohio and wanted to get my online yoga concept up online but my work is not progressing.  How do you know when something is going to work or not?

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Jay’s Answer: It’s a good question, but there’s likely a lot of information that’s needed to evaluate your issues in-depth, including:

  • What are your goals?
  • How are you measuring results of your efforts?
  • Have you been able to identify who specifically would be interested in your online classes?
  • Are these the same people who would take your classes in Ohio, but can’t because they’re not nearby?
  • Are people looking for a class such as what you offer?
  • When they find your class, what’s their reaction?
  • What’s the promise you make as a result of taking the class?
  • Are people looking for solo practice or group practice?
  • Is your online class the right pacing/style/format for your prospective customers?
  • What are your competitors doing that’s more successful (both in content & marketing)?

Preparing For My Technical Interview?

I’m preparing for interviews this week for a media associate position. I need advice on what technical questions to expect. I’m interviewing for entry level positions. The main responsibilities are day-to-day management of clients’ campaigns and reporting performance of media. I have 1 year of experience with a small full-service agency. I started as a TV media assistant, where we analyzed media performance daily and adjusted our spots weekly. Then I became the assistant print media buyer. This involved more ad trafficking and media research, but only weekly performance reporting. Please let me know what sort of questions might come up in these interviews. Thank you!

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Jay’s Answer: Don’t simply wait for their questions. Do your research and ask some of your own. What have they done recently? What are they proud of? What clients have they recently lost? Won? What awards have they won or competed for? What have been the results of their efforts in the past?

Name My Indian Wedding Planning Business

I’m starting a wedding planning business in India. Since I’m new to this, please suggest me some sweet names & also few marketing tips for my business.

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Jay’s Answer:  Congratulations on starting your new business. The best way to market yourself is to first clearly identify those who might be interested in what you’re selling. Where are they located? What age? What gender? Why would they hire you instead of your competition (or doing it themselves)? What makes you special? These seemingly simple questions are the core for your marketing strategy. Everything you do in your business (including naming it) should align with the answers to your questions.

Help Naming Our Flooring Company

My husband and I are starting a flooring company. We’re starting out staining concrete but we want to be able to expand later on. He doesn’t want to use our last name in it. We are from Arkansas. We are targeting both home owners & contractors. My husbands works currently for his father doing audio care such as security alarms, home installments, direct tv, surround sound, just about anything. They have a good group of clients & know them all personally so he has a head start on clients. Plus there are not many flooring companies around us. At the moment he wants to start off just staining concrete. But after awhile he wants to hire some more people to help to do wood flooring, carpet and everything in between. We’re having a mental block trying to figure this out so we could really use some outside advice!

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Jay’s Answer: If there’s not many flooring companies around, then pick a name that makes it clear who you serve: Ashley County Flooring (for example). Your tagline would then explain your specialty (for now): Specializing in Concrete Staining.

Name My Party Planning Business

Myself and two of my friends are starting a party planning business. We need a catchy name but since there is three of us we really cant use our names. So any ideas would be great.

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Jay’s Answer: Congratulations on starting a new business! I’ve found over the years that the right way to choose a name isn’t to randomly pick something “catchy” that appeals to you. Instead, you need to pick a name that’s relevant to your future clients. So, you need to get very clear on such issues as: who specifically are your clients likely to be, where are they located, why they’d choose you (instead of doing it themselves and/or hiring someone else), and the types of parties you specialize in. This is the core of your marketing strategy. Without it, you can come up with hundreds of names and find that they’re clever/cute but totally off-base for your needs.

Name my Indian Retail Shop

Hey Jay i  have gone through your blog and its mindblowing work. I wonder sometimes that why dont i get the ideas which you get in your mind. Anyways getting back to the point, I need some assistance from you.

I reside in India and the city in which i reside is under developing city. Few months later i got an idea and decided to open a Retail Shop in here. Now i have all planned and settled with odds in my favour. i am Investing $320k . That includes all the Furniture , Rent of the land and Goods & Products which is to be sold here. Now comes a big question and that is the Shop name and a unique tagline . I went through all the things but did not find any suggestion on both as good as i expected. Now i am really looking forward towards you to help me in both Name and a Unique Tagline.

Basic Info:

  • Men’s Retail Garments Shop.
  • Importing the garments from other country.
  • I am Spending a lot on Design n furniture.
  • it would be a exclusive shop because of the Rich Ambient.

The cloths sold inside would be of the latest fashion and etc.

Hope i have given all the basic info to you, by which you could calculate and suggest a Real Good Shop Name and a Unique Tagline.

And finally Thanks a lot in advance for your time and patience for suggesting and helping me solve this riddle.

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Jay’s Answer: Given the amount of time and energy you’ve already put into your naming “puzzle”, it’s unlikely a few of my off-the-top ideas will serve you well. As you’ve discovered, naming takes a lot of research: knowing a lot about your audience, your competition, and yourself. With this caveat, here are some suggestions to play with:

  • Exclusively Worldwide
  • Seulement
  • Red Top Hat

Name My Event Center

I need some help coming up with a business name.I will have a center that will be mainly for events such as wedding, sweet 16, graduation and such events. however to supplement additional income I plan to have yoga or Pilates class. I need a a functional name to accommodate both ideas. I was thinking peach place, but unsure. This will be like a hall on the weekend. please provide some ideas. Thanks

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Jay’s Answer: It’s important that your business name reflect your goals – and connect with your target audience. The fact that you have yoga/Pilates in the space is irrelevant – unless you want the center to be focused on this specific offering.

You’re best to be thinking like someone who might be interested in renting venues in your area. Why would they be interested in your space? What will you offer that others can’t/won’t? Why should they use your venue instead of a local church, community center, park, or hotel? What types of clients would best appreciate your venue? Why? How do you know?

Once you understand what makes you special, only then start to dream up names. The name needs to set the tone. An informal name connotes an informal venue, etc. Just because you like the name isn’t good enough. It needs to resonate with your clients.

And don’t try to create a name that works for both a venue rental and for yoga/Pilates. Instead, consider that yoga/Pilates is renting the space. Create a name for that business separately – otherwise you’ll convince both venue renters and yoga students that you’re not professional/serious. Keep the names separate. If you do choose “Peach Place” as a name, then your health business could be “Peach Place Pilates” or “Peach Place Fitness”. That’ll build on your name, without confusing your audience.

New Bus Route College Marketing To Parents

The school is is establishing two new school bus routes through the NE suburbs, in addition to the already existing bus route. This has come about following feedback and demand from parents surveyed. It is intended to begin the bus services in 2014.

Can you please provide ideas for a full scale marketing program (Web, Social Media, Print, Guerilla Marketing, Direct marketing, Press Release etc) for the new and existing College families?

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Jay’s Answer:  If there was feedback and demand, then it seems that there’s a market that’s ready. Do parents/students need to sign up for the route? Do parents need to pay for the service? Can you make the bus ride launch unusually FUN (live music, food, sing-along, etc.)?