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The most important aspect of any business is selling the product or service. Without sales, no business can exist for very long. All sales begin with some form of advertising. To build sales, this advertising must be seen or heard by potential...
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Successful Marketing for Home Based Businesses

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'A successful marketing strategy is not based on doing what you like but liking what you do...'

Are you looking for information to build and grow a home-based business? If so, you are in the right place! Here you will find information on implementing a successful marketing campaign and growing your home based business.

The Problem

Many home-based business owners don't know how to best market their businesses. Some ignore marketing altogether, hoping that customers or website visitors will appear out of thin air. Others market in a scattershot way producing untargeted traffic or unqualified prospects. Either approach will keep you from achieving your business potential and reaching your financial goals and possibly even damage your reputation.

The Solution

Whether you've been thinking about starting a home business or you're already a seasoned home-based business owner, the principle remains the same. Your business' survival and success rests on how effectively you market your business or product. Examine some of the following marketing strategies and tools to help you boost your home based business profits.

Home-Based Business Advantage

Low overhead costs, no commute to work and the ability to work around your children are some of the few advantages for home based business owners. Gear your marketing efforts to capitalize on these and other home-based strengths including:

Adaptability - Information Technology has escalated the rate of change in the marketplace. To survive and thrive, you must be prepared to act, and act quickly. As a home-based business owner, you can make adjustments instantly, without having to cut through the red tape of bureaucratic decision-making procedures common in larger businesses.

Technology - Computers, the Internet, PDA's, and other emerging technologies can take home based businesses to a more level playing field with bigger companies, empowering home based business owners to accomplish tasks that used to require hiring staff to perform. Try to keep up-to-speed with technology.

Flexibility. - Unlike traditional businesses that require full-time attention and high overhead costs, home based businesses can be operated part-time, at low cost, and depending on your financial goals can be phased into full-time operations.

Taking Your Business To The Next Level

A common reason home businesses fail is because owners neglect the up-front planning needed to position their ventures. Once you have defined your market position and where you want to take your business in the 12 months you will have moved one step closer to success.

If you already have a business begin by taking inventory of where your business is right now. What specific goods and services do you provide? How do you set yourself apart? What is your business' reputation? How are you perceived by your customers or clients as far as your prices, reliability, and other elements of your products or services?

The next step is to project where you want to take your business in the 12 months. What market position do you want to occupy? Is the niche market you want large enough? How will your benefits outsell those provided by the competition? Do you have the ability, capital, resources and support to make your market position a reality? Your answers will give you the information you need to begin designing or updating your marketing plan.

Planning Ahead

Once you have determined where you want to go, outline the essential steps to get there. Begin by writing a one sentence purpose (mission) statement for your marketing campaign. The rest of your plan should include a brief description of each of the following:

Benefits of your products and services.

Your target market.

What marketing tools will best help you achieve your mission.

Your market niche. What sets you apart in the market place.

Your marketing budget.

Keep your marketing plan brief. The more concise you make your marketing plan, the more effective it will be in evaluating your marketing efforts.

Finding Your Niche

This is often the hardest task for a beginning home-based business owner but also one of the most crucial. In order for your venture to survive in a competitive marketplace, you must distinguish yourself from other businesses and find a niche. What makes your business unique? Why should someone choose to buy from you over a competitor? Prospective clients want to know. If you can give them a compelling answer, you will position yourself as a leader in your industry boosting your profit potential. Research your market thoroughly before jumping in.

Marketing Tools

No matter how you choose to publicize your business, one quality will set you apart from your competitors: The ability to write effective ad copy. You're vying for the attention of consumers bombarded each day with advertisements. It is estimated that the average person is exposed to over 1,200 advertising messages per DAY! Make sure your advertisement stands out from the rest of this 'noise'.

When you have determined your market position and drawn up a marketing plan you are ready to start spreading the word about your products and services. One effective way is using the existing offline media in your area. You have a variety of media choices depending upon your target market and your advertising budget including magazines, newspapers, television, radio, and the internet. Start by evaluating how and where your competitors advertise. What's working for them? Take their best ideas; then design your own winning layout, positioning yourself as having the best offer.

The Importance of Headlines

As the first phrases seen in advertising copy, headlines should arouse enough interest in the reader so that they will want to read or listen on to learn more about your business or product. To get ideas about what headlines will work best for you, scan different types of ad copy, particularly those from your competitors. Create a swipe file of different ads and ideas that you come across from different sources. But remember to be careful of using other peoples copyrighted material.

Capture your customer's interest with a compelling statement of offer

Highlight the most important benefits

Offer extreme value

Make a call strong call to action.

Testing Your Ads

Advertising can be expensive, but for just about any business a mandatory investment. To get the most out of your ads, test them by the following criteria:

What is the quantity of leads or prospects that the ad generates? Compare this amount in terms of a unit cost of advertising (dollars in advertising per leads generated).

How many of these leads convert into sales? Different advertising media due to the audiences they target will vary in the numbers of actual closes.

Continually check the response from your ads, make changes or run a new ad if necessary. Use ad trackers and keep testing, testing testing until you achieve the response required.

Internet Marketing

Imagine! You can have a salesperson working for you 24 hours a day, seven days a week even while you sleep. A web site and effective use of e-mail marketing can turn your small home-based business into a global business putting you on a level playing field with large corporations. With easy and afforbable web design tools getting a web site up and running is within reach of everybody.

Sell Benefits Not Features!

Any seasoned business owner knows that it costs five times more to sell to a new prospect than to an existing client. Studies show that each satisfied customer will spread the good word about your business to at least one other person. On the reverse side of the coin a dissatisfied customer will complain to up to five or ten potential customers. Your mission in getting customer referrals to turn passive satisfied customers into actively enthusiastic supporters who will promote your business. The best way to do this is through:

Offering outstanding value to your customers

Delivering your product on time.

Solving customer's problems.

Maintaining regular contact with customers through feedback forms

Following up your customers regularly.

Creating long-term relationships with customers.

Personalising your product or service.

Finally...

Whether you're just launching your home based business or have been building one for years, don't allow lack of information keep you from achieving your financial dreams. Study your marketing options and decide which marketing strategy will best position you for long-term success.

Declan O'Reilly

For more articles on building a successful business and to download FREE marketing e-books go to: http://www.a1home-business.com

A1 Home-Business was established by Declan O'Reilly in Melbourne, Australia in 2003. I am originally from Ireland but I have lived in a number of different countries including the US, UK, the Netherlands and currently living in Australia.

Subscribe to eBusiness Success to find out how I achieved online success. Go to: http://www.a1home-business.com for more details

affiliatestar@yahoo.com

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Starting A Home Based Business Dealing With The Yo Yo Effect

 
Do People Make A Living With Home Based Businesses

Why a Newsletter Will Help Your Home Based Business

How To Balance A Job A Life and A Home Business

How to Stay Focused on Your Home Business Goals

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