How To Online Market Your Start Up Bar Business

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Following a lifelong dream or just looking for a change of career? Starting and running your own bar in your town or city can be a fun and viable business option for many people. It can also bring about a good turn of profit. In 2014, a study showed that the US alcohol industry was responsible for $245 billion’s worth of economic impact on the country. But it’s not all just serving beer and enjoying a tasty payslip – running a bar involves a lot of hard work. Plus, the online image of your bar is now as important as the place itself. If you want your bar to stand out in an already saturated market, follow the online marketing tips below.

Plan your social media strategy

Decide from the word go who is going to be running your social media accounts. Ideally, this would be one or two people from the management side of things, but don’t forget your ‘people on the ground’. There’s nothing better than real-time updates from your bar on social media, so get your staff involved. However, you need to be pretty ruthless with this. Stress the importance of good spelling and a professional photo. If you have members of staff who can’t uphold these values, hand the baton over to someone else. Remember, your staff are also your salespeople. Whether these be head office salespeople (if you’re a bar group) or simply your bar staff, make sure they know how to sell to a savvy, online audience. Sales enablement services can help focus your sales staff and thus help increase revenue.

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Set up a professional website

Your website is how you present your business to the world, so make sure you get it right. In this day and age it is no longer essential to spend a fortune on a professional website designer. Website builders such as Squarespace, Wix or WordPress allow you to use templates to easily create your dream page. Also consider using landing pages rather than a traditional website. This will give your website a more modern, sleek look, and is often easier for the customer to navigate. Stick to a basic colour theme and if you have HD pictures of your products, consider using them as a backdrop.

Be responsive

Give your business a friendly, engaging online voice. If someone gives you a good review (be it on Facebook or Tripadvisor) thank them and tell them you hope to see them again. Likewise, if you have a complaint, make sure to answer it promptly and responsibly. Even if you think the complainant is just a picky customer (and there’s plenty of those about!) remain professional and try to resolve the issue. Much of your bar’s reputation is now built online, so do all you can to keep the peace.

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Engage with local online media

There are plenty of online guides for towns and cities available these days. If you have the funds (and the guts) run a press night where you invite local online journalists and bloggers for some freebies. It will be stressful and tiring, but the glowing reviews and subsequent custom will be worth it!

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What it Takes to Operate a Financial Services Business

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If you want to run a financial services business, first you should ask yourself why you want to do it. You should be going into it for the right kinds of reasons. If you want to make some fast money and move on, this is not the business sector for you. This is a sector in which patience and planning are rewarded with profits. Many people have tried and failed to succeed in this sector. This is usually because they have not planned things properly. It’s a problem that many new business owners make. But it’s something that can be disastrous.

The financial services sector is highly competitive. There is no getting away from that fact. You should be aware of how difficult it is to secure clients and find success when you run this kind of business. That doesn’t mean that it’s an impossible mission though. You just need to know what it takes to succeed and how you can make sure that your first steps are the right ones. Here’s what you should do if you really want your new financial services business to hit the ground running.

Research the Local Competition

The landscape is crowded and competitive in most parts of the world when it comes to financial services. There are many top businesses offering professional and reliable services. It’s vital to understand what your business will be up against when it opens for business. That’s why you should be sure to carry out some market research on the local competition. Then you can find out all about them, and maybe even start to formulate plans to exploit their weaknesses. Without a strong knowledge of the businesses you will be competing against, finding success will be impossible. This should be carried out early on while your business plan is still being put together.

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Understand Laws and Regulations

One of the things that’s vital to understand before you start a financial services business is that it’s a tightly regulated sector. Regulations are in place to protect the finances of customers and prevent exploitation. Therefore, these regulations are important. In the banking and lending sectors, the regulations are even tighter to prevent illegal practices. In the after of the financial crash, regulation was tightened further. It’s vital to understand every applicable piece of regulation, as well as the laws that might affect the sector you operate in. Failing to do so could land you and your business in hot water later on. It’s a risk that’s not worth taking.

Raise Enough Capital

It’s never cheap to start a business. But this is particularly true in the financial services sector. You can rarely find success in this sector without having some form of financial backing. Many new entrepreneurs look for angel investors to put money behind the idea. If you have an innovative idea and a solid business plan to present to potential investors, this should be possible. Many companies that don’t have enough capital fail to survive past the first few months. Because of how competitive the industry is, businesses without enough money simply fall away and fail quickly. If you don’t have the money, it’s important to start looking for investors before the business is up and running.

Established and Clear Services and Fees

Different financial services businesses offer different services. You need to make it very clear to the people what you are offering. Financial services is a pretty vague term. It can mean many things, and you don’t know what people will think of when they hear it. So, consider how your potential customers perceive your business. Then ensure that this perception is correct. You should then set your fees and prices in stone. People want to know how much they have to pay for your services before they even contact you. You can make this possible by making things like this clear on your website.

Secure Your IT and Network

These days, every financial services company has to use complex networks and IT systems. This is simply a part of the job, and it can’t really be avoided. So, if you want to find success, you really need to make sure that they are as secure and as safe as they possibly can be. The fallout in the aftermath of something like a leak or hack can be disastrous for customers and the business alike. And financial services companies are always high on the list of criminals’ targets when it comes to hacks. Getting basic IT support and strong security measures in place is vital, so don’t put this off until later.

Build Trust with Clients

People care about their money. They want to know that the people that they entrust it with can look after it. It doesn’t matter whether you’re handling investments or providing loans; people will only do business with you if there is trust. Why would someone take or give money to a company that doesn’t really seem like it can be trusted? You’ll be working with clients on a one-to-one basis in most cases so that personal relationship is important. If you can manage to make authentic connections with customers, they will find it much easier to trust your company. Once that trust has been gained, it needs to be nurtured and enhanced over the duration of the relationship.

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Know How to Juggle Data and Stats

If you’re the kind of person that is not great with numbers, then your job will be even more difficult. You can’t expect to succeed if you don’t really understand what you’re doing with numbers. Of course, if you hire the right experts and managers to track data and monitor stats for you, you can get away with this. But in those early days when your business is still small, it can make sense to keep your team small and your wage expenditure low. In the world of financial services, statistics and data are vitally important. This is what it’s all about, so you can’t just ignore these important factors.

 

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Constructive Tips For Building A Construction Company

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If you’re looking to start a business, going into the construction sector might be your best bet. Statistics show that five of the ten fastest growing industries in small business are related to construction. It’s a continuously popular sector that only seems set to grow more.

There are many different construction services you could offer. Some construction businesses build residential or commercial buildings, based on plans given to them. Some renovate homes or carry out small maintenance projects. Construction can also include things like roadworks. Whichever you decide to go into, here are some tips to help you build your construction business.

Plan, Fund, And Execute

Like with any other startup, there are certain things you’ll need to do first. Start with a well-written business plan. Think about who your target market is- homeowners or commercial property owners. You could also do construction for real estate companies. Also consider what geographical area you’ll operate in, who your competition is and how you’ll make a profit.

You’ll also need to get funding. Taking out a business loan is the easiest way, but you could also discuss your plans with investors. Funding is of particular importance to construction companies. You’ll need to spend a lot on equipment and materials to provide the best services.

Use Internet Resources

There are many web resources out there designed for construction businesses. It’s a good idea to use the Best Construction Project Scheduling Software for Subcontractors. This can be used on computers and smartphones, so those in the office can communicate with field workers seamlessly.

You can also use websites to advertise your services. Listing your business on HomeAdvisor will make you visible to those looking for building or renovation services. You should also get yourself listed on Google Businesses.

Find Employees

The kind of employees you can use in a construction business can vary. You might have hired employees, subcontractors, independent contractors, or a mix of all of them.

You’ll need to find ways to fill in all the jobs you need doing. For example, if you’ll be using cranes, you’ll need a licensed crane operator. Other types of workers you might need include brick masons, carpenters, and general laborers. Also, make sure to have good management and foremen to overlook projects.

Follow Regulations

The construction industry often involves many dangerous operations. Because of this, there are many laws and regulations associated specifically with the sector. Make sure you familiarize yourself with the things you need to know.

Health and safety measures are crucial when working in construction. Make sure all your workers, including contractors, are protected when working under you. This will prevent any liability issues. There are also a lot of things to consider when constructing buildings. Make sure you use the right materials for each job. Ensure buildings you work on are stable and energy efficient.

Build Your Client Base

With your construction business underway, you’ll want to start finding customers. Construction firms often bid on projects. This usually involves presenting the lowest price to the buyer needing construction work. As your reputation grows, more clients will come to you for your high-quality construction work. Be sure to market your company and let people know what you can offer them.

 

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Keep Your Trucking Business Efficient with These Amazing Strategies

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Efficiency is a major concern no matter what business venture you’re in. And with good reason! Inefficiency costs resources, which ends up costing money, which ends up costing jobs. If you want your business to succeed, you have to tackle inefficiency as a priority.

But how exactly do you do that if you’re in the trucking business? It’s true that it gets a little more complicated here. But that doesn’t mean it’s impossible. Far from it…

Fuel

When people think about efficiency on the road, this is usually what they’re talking about. And thee right to consider it, too. The fact is that the commercial operation of vehicles is responsible for nearly 6% of the total worldwide greenhouse gases. That doesn’t make trucking the biggest offender, not by a long shot. But it does mean that you need to be very careful in this area.

If you don’t want to consider it environmentally, then look at it this way. Fuel efficiency saves you money. Like, a lot. So you want to make sure that all of your drivers are informed about the various dangers to the environment and methods of saving fuel. You can also check the fuel efficiency of a given vehicle before purchasing it for your business.

Networking

What are the biggest problems when it comes to efficiency in trucking? Well, what causes most of the efficiency problems in general business? Often, it’s someone not knowing what to do. When someone is driving out into new territory, they usually don’t know the quickest routes. It can also be unscheduled downtime. This sometimes takes the form of workers… well, not working! Problems in communication also contribute to efficiency drops.

But how can you tell that all this is even going on? When the manager of a given business doesn’t know there are any problems, then there’s not a whole lot they can do to fix them. Some in the trucking business may not understand that there are ways of finding out about these sorts of efficiency problems. The right GPS fleet tracking system can deal with all of the problems mentioned above.

Client location

There are a lot of trucking businesses out there that operate from a single base. This is understandable, of course. The nature of the business is in transport, which makes the entire business model a bit more fluid. But one thing to consider is that this usually means you’ll have trucks going from one place, to all across the country, and then back again. This costs a tremendous amount of… well, everything. Fuel, time, money, you name it.

One of the best ways of improving efficiency in your trucking business may be to expand it. This isn’t an option available to everyone, of course. But if you have the resources, you may want to consider it. While expansion does come with a lot of complexity, it also spreads your business across the country a bit more. That means that drivers can get to client locations faster because they’ll be closer. This may also increase customer satisfaction, bringing more success to your business.

 

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Top Tips to Running an Efficient Online Business

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Running an online business is no easy task. It involves facing constant challenges and trying to overcome them with resources you have available.

Making the transition from a traditional business to an online one can be very stressful. Don’t worry though, as it can be rewarding if extra care is taken.

Being as efficient as possible is key to running a successful online business. Modern customers know exactly what they want, and they want it fast.

If your business can’t handle the demands of your customers, you will never succeed.

This is why it’s very important that you follow the right steps, in order to have an efficient business that runs smoothly.

Going digital

Going digital is quite a big task. It involves a lot of hard work and preparation. It’s rather crucial that you come up with a solid plan prior to opening your doors to the public.

Building a good-looking and functional website is typically the first step to running an online business. It’s where all your products will be presented, and what the public will associate you with.

Having a faulty website that’s constantly down, could ruin your reputation. Customers don’t like waiting, and there are many alternatives they can simply turn to.

You don’t want to lose business only because your website isn’t up to scratch.

Technical difficulties are almost a guarantee so having an IT support team at hand at all times is a must.

There are many such services available out there, such as computer-eyez.com, that offer IT support around the clock.

Depending on what you’re trying to achieve, it could be a wise idea to invest in such a service.

It is normally cheaper for a small business than hiring an entire IT team.

Strategy

Once your website is up and running, it’s crucial that you put a strategy in place to ensure that your business is visible.

Having a strong presence online can make or break an emerging business. If you want to succeed, make sure you have a strong strategy that you can use.

It can be as simple as setting up a social media account for your business. Digital marketing doesn’t necessarily have to be complicated and confusing.

If you’re not comfortable with marketing, you can always start small and see where the journey takes you.

What’s important is that you have a strategy in place, any strategy. It will most likely evolve as time progresses, but having it on paper will help you better manage your business.

The digital world can be a scary place for an emerging business, but it doesn’t have to be. If you start out the right way, you are going to be successful. Don’t let the fear of the unknown stop you from running a successful online business. Remember that we all have to start from somewhere. Just because you’re not an expert today, doesn’t mean you’re not going to become one in the future. Don’t be afraid to think big, just remember to be smart about it and you will succeed.

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Internet & Modern Business: The Good, The Bad, And The Ugly

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The internet and modern business go hand in hand. But, is it a match made in heaven? In this article, I’ll look at some of the good, bad, and ugly things about the internet and businesses.

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The Good

Easier To Start A Business

There’s no denying that the internet has made it much easier to start a business. All you need is an idea, and everything else can be set up in no time at all. Often, you don’t even need a business loan to get started. People are setting up businesses from their bedroom, and making a lot of money while they’re at it.

It’s opened the door for young entrepreneurs to step in and take advantage of modern technology. There are plenty of businesses you can set up online, using the internet. The most popular of which has to be an online retail store. Selling things on the internet is simple. It doesn’t cost a lot to set up, and the money can be brilliant.

The internet has also made it easier to start traditional businesses too. People can apply for business loans online and get the money to finance their startup. There are also loads of articles providing tips and guidance for people wanting to start a company. They can read up and gain knowledge of how to do things, which makes it easier for them to start.

More Effective, Targeted, Marketing

The growth of the internet has led to more effective marketing for businesses. What’s more, marketing is now more targeted than ever. You can zero in on your target audience and promote products to them.

Companies are far better off because of internet marketing. It offers a more cost-effective way of promoting your business too. Social media can be used for free, and is highly effective. The best thing about internet marketing is that you can extend your reach. Instead of only promoting to your target market locally, you can promote to the world!

All of this means there’s a greater chance of your business finding customers. What does this lead to? More sales, of course! More sales mean a higher chance of making a profit, which means your business is successful.

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The Bad

Increased Copyright Infringements

The internet has made it easier for people to steal other companies work. To make matters worse, it’s also harder to deal with copyright issues. There could be a website out there that sells your products without you even knowing about it. Or, they could use your brand name and logo, and you may be none the wise.

 

In the business world, copyright is a serious issue. There’s nothing worse than having your work/ideas stolen. You spend hours and hours building your business, just to see that someone has tried to steal and copy things. Back in the day, it was harder for copyright to go unnoticed. You’d easily spot it, and get it dealt with as quickly as possible.

But, the internet is a very big thing. There are billions of people using it, which makes it hard to police. And, when you find copyright infringement, it’s difficult to take all of it down. Thankfully, there are companies that offer a DMCA takedown service. They find all your copyrighted work and get it taken down as soon as possible. It can still be tough to get rid of everything, but it’s certainly easier than doing it alone. Make no mistake about it; the internet has made it harder for modern businesses to deal with issues like copyright infringement.

More Competition, Harder For Small Businesses

As mentioned earlier, the internet has made it easier for people to start businesses and grow. It doesn’t take long to set everything up, and you can rake in loads of money. However, this increased ease has led to a problem. There’s now so much more competition out there for budding entrepreneurs. As a result, many small businesses find it hard to survive.

The problem is worse for businesses that don’t operate online. All those small family businesses that spent years working hard are now in jeopardy. They’re being brushed aside by new and exciting online businesses.

Don’t get me wrong, competition in business is a healthy thing. You need competition to motivate you and push you to be better. But, the internet has made it difficult for some businesses to compete. They don’t have the resources to stand up against some of the big online businesses of today.

The Ugly

Internet Abuse

Obviously, the internet can be a very good place for businesses. But, it can also be a horrible place too. And, when I say this, I’m mainly talking about social media. Everyone knows that it’s a fantastic marketing tool. But, there are some shocking truths about it that hardly anyone mentions.

 

Namely, social media sites are a breeding ground for internet trolls. Anyone with a business account can testify that you get your fair share of abuse. No matter what you post, someone will pop up with an abusive and disgusting message. Often, it’s not directed at you, but at other people engaging with you. There are no two ways about it; it’s just an ugly mess at times.

 

The thing is, it’s also a big problem for your business. It makes you look bad if you’re constantly bombarded by internet trolls. Other people will see the abuse and get put off by your company. They’ll wonder what you did to deserve all these horrible things being said. In reality, you’ve done nothing, and an internet troll is just doing what they always do. But, you can also receive abuse from disgruntled customers. When something goes wrong, they’ll take to social media and let it all out for everyone to see. The internet has made it much more difficult to have private conversations with customers. If one person has a problem, you can bet they’ll let the whole world know about it in seconds.

As you can see, the internet isn’t 100% positive for businesses. There are some bad things that occur because of it. However, it’s not going to disappear, so companies need to get used to it.

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How To Write A Business Plan And Open A Car Wash Or A Gas Station

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A car wash that is attached to a gas station, or either a separate gas station or a separate car was all can be great businesses. These can be great businesses to franchise, and run as a family business if that is something that you would like to do.
Once a car wash or a gas station gets established in its neighborhood and with people regularly driving by them, it can be a nice and profitable business that is mostly run on cruise control (pardon the pun). And since you will be able to run a single location on cruise control, that will give you the opportunity to open another location, and then another. And pretty soon you can begin accumulating real wealth, owning many such locations.

Business Plan For A Car Wash Or A Gas Station

The business plan for a car wash or a gas station has to make a few things clear. The first of those things is how much money you will need to start this business and turn it profitable, and how you will come up with that money.

You will also need to explain why your gas station or car wash will have an advantage. Will it be from the skills or experience of your founding team, or will it be from an amazing location that you can get cheaply?

Here is a full tutorial on how to write a business plan.

Marketing Plan For A Car Wash Or A Gas Station

The marketing plan for a car wash or a gas station is pretty simple. First and foremost you have to make sure that you open your business in an area where there is a lot of traffic. The ability of many cars to see your gas station, gas prices, other offers and the car wash deals that you post will bring you the most customers.

Other than the location you choose, you will also need to do some basic local SEO marketing to make sure that when people are searching for gas stations or car washes nearby, they can find you. You will need to set up your own basic website to rank in Google, and also register it with Yelp, YellowPages, and other local listing sites that are popular in your area.

You can also do flier marketing for your car wash services.

Here is a full tutorial on how to write a marketing plan:

Social Media Marketing For A Car Wash Or A Gas Station

There isn’t a whole lot to do for this kind of a business on social media other than the general good-practice things typically done with social media marketing.

You want to keep and grow a list of local fans on social media. If you get people to follow you on Twitter or like your page on Facebook, you will be able to keep them updated with latest deals and promotions. Deals, promotions and discounts are a great way to get people to come back to your store.

Some of your fans will share your website or promotions on social media, which will help you reach potential new customers.

Here is a full social media marketing tutorial that goes over some advanced social media marketing strategies:

SEO Marketing For A Car Wash Or A Gas Station

The SEO for a car wash or a gas station is pretty simple. You must make sure that your business listing appears on the Google map that comes up when people are searching locally. To do that, you must register with a Google service called Google My Business.

After that, it would be a smart idea for you to create your own website. Your website would rank for all kinds of local searches in Google’s organic search, and you can add your website listing to local listing sites like Yelp or YellowPages.

For now, here is a full SEO tutorial.

Lastly, you should also add your website to Yelp, YellowPages and any other local listings website that is popular in your area. Some people bypass Google search, and search on those websites instead. And you want to be sure that they can find your business there as well.

Website For A Car Wash Or A Gas Station

You can create your own website, on your own and for nearly free. You can even get a free domain name if you don’t already have a domain name for your business. Here is a tutorial on how to create your own WordPress website, and get a free domain name.

Fundraising For A Hardware Store Or Shop

This business does require some serious start-up capital. So you will need to figure out a way to raise money to open your car wash or gas station, and then to keep it open until it becomes profitable.

Here is a fundraising tutorial with 15 different strategies to raise money for your business including grants, loans, getting an investment, or donations, and fourteen other strategies.

How To Choose A Location For A Car Wash Or A Gas Station

I already alluded to this earlier in the article, but you must  make sure that your business will be seen by many cars passing by. That essentially means that you should open your business along a busy street where many cars pass by.

Permits And Licenses For A Car Wash Or A Gas Station

To find out exactly what licenses and permits you need for this kind of business, in the US you must contact city hall for city-level requirements, and the Secretary of State office for your state to find out the state level permit and license requirements. If you have the money, it is also a good idea to hire a business lawyer who can find all of this out for you.

Get Business Help With My 4-App Business Starting Series

 Here is a link to the page where you can learn about my mobile apps to help you plan and start your business.

Even More Help With Business Courses And Books

For even more help on different aspects of starting your business, check out

My 15+ business books and 50+ online courses

Business Coaching Program To Help You Start Your

Do you want professional one on one advice where you and I discuss every question you have about starting your business? I offer business coaching in person and via Skype where I can help and advise you as you plan, start and grow your business. Learn more about me, and my coaching program on this coach where I explain how you can hire me as a business coach.

Books And Coaching To Help You Start Your

Here is a link to my Amazon author page. Here are some books that may be helpful to you as you start and grow your business:

Tutorial On How To Become A Better Entrepreneur

Here is my tutorial for you on how to become a better entrepreneur with 10 of the top strategies that will help you make your business a success.

 

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How To Write A Business Plan And Open A Hardware Store

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A hardware store can be a great business because once you get established in the neighborhood, you become the go-to place for all kinds of home fixing and home repair tasks. Plus, your hardware business can fuel a home repair business like roofing, flooring, handyman business, or any other kind of business because many people will come to you for advice on how to solve their home repair issues, and you can mention that you provide services that they need. Plus, your hardware store can be a good and steady source of income without too much work after the business gets established, and has a steady stream of customers.

Business Plan For A Hardware Store Or Shop

There are a few thing you must address when you write a business plan for a hardware store. The first and most obvious is how much money it will require to open and maintain until the store becomes profitable. It takes some time to get your lease, register your business, hire initial employees, get product inventory, do remodeling and actually get to your store opening. All that time and all those tasks take time and money.

When you open your hardware store, the first months will most likely be difficult, and your store will likely operate at a loss. It can take up to a year before your store becomes profitable.

What you must do in your business plan is to outline all the expenses your store will incur before and after opening, and explain how you will come up with that money. There will be more about that in the fundraising section of this article.

Another thing you must address in the business plan for your hardware store is how you will promote your store. I will cover that shortly in this article as well.

Lastly, you must address how and from where you will get your inventory, and why your founding team is the right founding team (the founding team might just be you) is the right one to open such a business.

Here is a full tutorial on how to write a business plan.

Marketing Plan For A Hardware Store Or Shop

The marketing plan for a hardware store or shop is pretty straight forward. It consists of these major components:

1) Online marketing with local SEO (I’ll talk about this later in the article).

2) Storefront location being in an area where there is enough passer by foot traffic.

3) Being helpful to customers when they are in your store so that they come back next time they need help. Providing a quality service also helps to build trust in your customers, which will help get them to also buy any home improvement jobs they might need to have done.

Here is a full tutorial on how to write a marketing plan:

Social Media Marketing For A Hardware Store Or Shop

There isn’t too much you need to do with social media marketing to promote a local hardware store, but there are some good practice things that might help a little.

You want to keep and grow a list of local fans on social media. If you get people to follow you on Twitter or like your page on Facebook, you will be able to keep them updated with latest deals and promotions. Deals, promotions and discounts are a great way to get people to come back to your store.

Some of your fans will share your website or promotions on social media, which will help you reach potential new customers.

Here is a full social media marketing tutorial that goes over some advanced social media marketing strategies:

SEO Marketing For A Hardware Store Or Shop

The SEO for a local hardware store is usually hyper local SEO, which usually focuses on the few surrounding neighborhoods. After all, any area further from that probably has a another hardware shop there that is closer for the people who live there to get to.

To rank well in search, you must put your hardware store on the Google map that comes up for local searches. It is pretty simple to do that. All you have to do is sign up for a Google service called “Google My Business” and go through their registration steps. Shortly after that, you should begin to appear on the Google map that comes up in search. If you have competitors, you must get good reviews to eventually rank higher than those competitors on the Google map listings.

You should also have a website to ensure that your website comes up in organic Google search. The next section of this article explains how to set up your own website for your hardware store cheaply, and on your own.

For now, here is a full SEO tutorial.

Lastly, you should also add your website to Yelp, YellowPages and any other local listings website that is popular in your area. Some people bypass Google search, and search on those websites instead. And you want to be sure that they can find your business there as well.

Website For A Hardware Store Or Shop

You can create your own website, on your own and for nearly free. You can even get a free domain name if you don’t already have a domain name for your business. Here is a tutorial on how to create your own WordPress website, and get a free domain name.

Fundraising For A Hardware Store Or Shop

Unfortunately, do you need to raise a significant amount of money to open your own hardware store. There are many things you will have to pay for before your business can have its grand opening, and eventually become profitable.

Here is a fundraising tutorial with 15 different strategies to raise money for your business including grants, loans, getting an investment, or donations, and fourteen other strategies.

How To Choose A Location For A Hardware Store Or Shop

The location for a hardware shop should be one which will have enough foot traffic for everyone in the neighborhood to eventually know that there is a hardware store in the area. They will remember your location when they will need it.

You should also make your storefront inviting for people to step into, and make sure that your staff is nice and friendly.

Additionally, make sure to open your hardware store in an area where there isn’t already an existing hardware store for quite a distance.

Permits And Licenses For A Hardware Store Or Shop

To find out exactly what licenses and permits you need for this kind of business, in the US you must contact city hall for city-level requirements, and the Secretary of State office for your state to find out the state level permit and license requirements. If you have the money, it is also a good idea to hire a business lawyer who can find all of this out for you. 

Get Business Help With My 4-App Business Starting Series

 Here is a link to the page where you can learn about my mobile apps to help you plan and start your business.

Even More Help With Business Courses And Books

For even more help on different aspects of starting your business, check out

My 15+ business books and 50+ online courses

Business Coaching Program To Help You Start Your

Do you want professional one on one advice where you and I discuss every question you have about starting your business? I offer business coaching in person and via Skype where I can help and advise you as you plan, start and grow your business. Learn more about me, and my coaching program on this coach where I explain how you can hire me as a business coach.

Books And Coaching To Help You Start Your

Here is a link to my Amazon author page. Here are some books that may be helpful to you as you start and grow your business:

Tutorial On How To Become A Better Entrepreneur

Here is my tutorial for you on how to become a better entrepreneur with 10 of the top strategies that will help you make your business a success.

 

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Tools That Help You And Your Customers Connect

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Businesses live and die on the buzz they generate in the community. Want to thrive? Start talking about what you’re doing and create great content for the community. Want to die? Give up on your customers and step back from making new connections.

In 2016, there’s no excuse for businesses that aren’t connecting with their clients. Today, we have so many tools at our disposal that it’s hard not to stay connected at all times. Here are some of the tools your business can use to bridge the gap with customers.

Online Communities

The statistics on this are quite clear. 25 percent of people enjoy engaging with brands because they want to be a part of a like-minded community. In many ways, this makes a lot of sense. Individuals who like certain brands often share common traits. And so there’s a big incentive for these people to want to gather around a brand.

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Of course, this sort of thing represents a tremendous opportunity for businesses. Companies can use online communities to monitor customer sentiment and get feedback. And they can also use them to grow their brands in exciting ways.

Now there are tools, like Community Cloud that help businesses grow online communities.

Customer Portals

Customer portals are an important part of the way companies engage with clients. Many service-based companies offer portals to customers who are on premium plans. But what exactly is a portal?

Essentially, it’s an area of the website that allows the customer access to personal or restricted content. For instance, each time you log on to Amazon and can see your purchase history, you’re in a client portal.

But the potential of the customer portal platform has grown enormously as technology has advanced. Now you can do a lot more than just store purchase histories and contact details. Services, like Clinked, allow businesses and customers to share documents in real-time over the cloud. Why this is useful might not be immediately apparent. But when you think about it, it’s ideal for B2B businesses. B2B companies often have to collaborate at a high-level, sharing confidential information and documents. Doing this via email or in person is slow and insecure. So it’s far better to use a portal where everybody has access to a shared platform. Documents can be shared in an instant, and it can all be done within a branded environment.

Customer Satisfaction Surveys

The best businesses always want to touch base with their customers after they’ve made a purchase. They want to find out how the purchase went and whether the product has lived up to their expectations. There are loads of potential products to choose from. One of the best known is Customer Sure. This software allows your customers to leave reviews about your product as well as provide direct feedback. It also allows you to collect data with which to make important strategic decisions.

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Floqapp is another customer satisfaction app you might want to consider. This app allows you to drill down into the details of your customer’s responses and find out where you can improve.

Live Chat

If you’ve been on a corporate website recently, you’ll have probably noticed the live chat feature. It’s a little box that pops up in the corner and politely reminds visitors that there is somebody they can talk to. It turns out that this is a rather powerful tool. Offering support to any customer who visits your website is a great way to avoid losing them just because they get confused.

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It’s also relatively non-intrusive, but a good way to drive sales nonetheless. For instance, if you’re a clothes retailer, you can use live chat to offer styling advice. Chat is actually an excellent way to engage with customers and meet their needs in real time. And until recently, this just wasn’t possible on an internet shopping platform.

Online Crowdsourcing

By now, practically everybody has heard of Kickstarter. It’s inventors built the platform when they realized they could harness the power of online crowds. They realized that there were often big crowds that gathered on online forums and that they often had an agenda. The problem was that they couldn’t do anything about it because they didn’t have the means to raise money. Kickstarter found a way to leverage micro-investments from crowds of people to make big projects happen. And since then, it’s become a global investment force.

Like Kickstarter, companies can leverage the power of crowds. Crowds can be used to provide useful feedback and to crowdsource feedback. Sometimes, customers will demand the product that they want, all through the use of forums.

 

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Does My Medical Practice Really Need Marketing?

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People often see medical facilities as something that doesn’t need marketing. They understand that these clinics are businesses, but they don’t see them the same way as they see other businesses. How useful could marketing really be? If people living nearby get ill then they’ll come. If they’re not ill, then they won’t. If they’re not nearby, they’ll probably go somewhere else. When you put it like this, it starts to sound like owners of medical practices don’t have much control over failure or success. Everything is just sort of left to luck, outside of actual placement of your business.

It’s true that there are a lot of things about a medical business that sets it way apart from other businesses. But the fact is that these practices often have to engage in things that any other business would have to engage in. And that includes marketing.

Considering online inquiries

Much of the talk of modern marketing these days involves the Internet. Focus tends to be placed on the website of any business. It’s seen as the most valuable marketing tool any company can have. That’s because getting someone to view your website is often the best way of converting them into a customer.

Most medical practices have some form of inquiry system on their website. This allows people to interact with your business online before decided whether or not to make an appointment. It’s one of the best ways of getting people to come to your clinic, even if most people don’t actually come. You need to remember that this is a form of conversion. By getting more people onto your website, you’ll get more inquiries, thus more chances to convert.

The techniques you need to consider

Medical marketing is, in many ways, like marketing in other businesses. The key is getting the word out there as much as possible, often with your website at the center of attention. Website design will be considered, social media will be utilized, branding will be better defined.

Understanding these various techniques is important. You can, of course, outsource these sorts of jobs. But even if you outsource them, it’s still best that you understand them and their related principles. Consider the concept of conversion that I’ve been mentioning. This is a key concept in both SEO and CRO. It’s worth doing a little research so you can ensure you hire a worthy outsourcer.

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Marketing is needed because things have changed

People don’t usually think about medical practices doing marketing because it’s relatively new. It’s not just because medical professionals didn’t want to engage in these sorts of sales activities. (Though that was certainly part of it, and is a prevalent attitude to this day.) It was simply because they didn’t really need it.

It used to be that referrals were enough to keep a practice going strong. This was definitely the case if the professional in question was a specialist. But due to increased insurance complications and funding pressures, things have changed. While it’s doing a lot of good, the Affordable Care Act has seen sensitive changes to traditional business models. There’s now no question that marketing is required to help keep a practice going.

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