How to Know if You Should Pivot Your Business

As both mothers and entrepreneurs, we are all familiar with the ever-changing life stages that we go through in our lives, families, and businesses. These stages are often defined by our children, their ages, our businesses, careers, our ages, and other circumstances. And, of course, these all very much have a tendency to impact one another.

When to pivot

So, how exactly do you determine when to pivot? Consider if you or your business have needs or goals that are not being met for any reason. Have you noticed a steady decline in new clients or your profit margin? Remember that your entire reason for having established goals and KPIs (Key Performance Indicators) in the first place was to be capable of tracking and measuring them. Then consider possibly why you are not achieving them. This is the signal that it is time to pivot. You just need to determine what to pivot for your business specifically. Some of the most common and effective can be:

  • Changing your target audience: Sometimes after many years of working with a certain demographic, you naturally gravitate toward another. This isn’t something to pull away from, but rather something to embrace. It is very important to be super clear about who you are specifically marketing to as to not waste time or resources marketing to whom you have always marketed to instead of who you should be.
  • Changing your niche: Have you found that your products or services seem to hold a lot more value to another niche or category than you originally intended?
  • Changing your business name: Does your business name still reflect your primary products or service offerings or have those changed since your businesses establishment? Does your business name still serve you and your zone of genius or does it unintentionally wind up minimizing you and putting you in a box where you don’t necessarily belong? Though changing your business name or branding can feel like a scary jump, especially for established companies, remember that your clients who already value you will follow you, but new clients can be more aligned with your current value.

There may even come a time that you decide you are truly interested in selling your business entirely and making a much, much bigger pivot. Maybe you want to start another company that you feel will allow you to be more intentional about your gifts and your long term life goals. The need to pivot is certainly not always out of desperation or a big event in your life. Having to make a change or pivot is not something to be afraid of or avoid altogether, it is simply being a responsible mompreneur and staying ahead of the curve!

Thinking about a big change? Not sure where to start? This is where I can help you as a coach. Contact me today for a free discovery session and let’s find out if coaching is right for you!

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Do You Need a Coach?

business coaching

Being a coach, it is an unfortunate belief that I am always going to push the importance of a coach and that it is always a great idea to hire one. But, you all know I’m more about upfront honesty than a hard sell! I want anyone hiring a coach to be doing it at the right time and for the right reasons. Sometimes it is just not the right choice or the right time. I have had a couple women come to me about hiring me for coaching and, believe it or not, I have actually helped them realize that maybe it’s not the right thing for them right now. I have done this because I care about their success and their investment and maybe they just weren’t quite there yet.

Coaching Takes Work on Your Part

For example, coaching requires a lot of work, commitment, and inspires change in many facets of your life and business. So, if your absolute priority right now is the need to keep things the same, then it is probably not an investment that you are really ready to make. There is nothing wrong with needing some stability, sometimes we all need that in life. Maybe you have gone through some major changes and upheaval recently and you just need some time for recovery. Coaching requires you being able to look forward into the future and for you to make changes, and sometimes if you are in a fragile or delicate place then it may not be right for you and could even do more harm than good, in some situations. Healing may need to happen before you can make the progressive changes that coaching brings. Therapy is always a great option for help during your healing time.

Coaching is NOT a Blueprint

Additionally, maybe you are just looking for a best practice, a blueprint, or a tried and true path to a certain achievement or goal. There are some coaches out there that market themselves like that. They lay claim to having a blueprint and a path of how they achieved something and that you will do it that way too—you will achieve precisely the same results. Those coaches are really a bit of a hybrid. What they are actually selling is more of a product than a full coaching experience. They really fit more into the realm of a business consultant than a true coach. A coach will ask you a bunch of how and why questions about what you are looking to accomplish. How will it fit into your plan? How will it mesh with your priorities and your lifestyle? These are questions you will need to answer for yourself and your coach.

Coaching Helps You Find Your Version of Success

The time to hire a coach is when you are really ready to make adjustments and changes for the sake of progress. When you find yourself saying “I’ve tried this and that” or “I’ve GOT to make the changes or decisions and I know what I need to do, but I don’t know how.” A coach will help you to determine what is really best for yourself, your business, and your family on a one-on-one basis.

It’s very easy to get sucked into every different version of success, but which one is the best for you, your business and your lifestyle right now? Some people can spend $10,000 on a program that requires 60 hours per week of work to achieve the results, but they just had a new baby. That simply isn’t realistic and is going to require you to push yourself far too much and you may still not achieve the results because there are simply different needs for mompreneurs. A coach will help you to develop the goals that you need to fit with the stage of life that you’re in.

Coaching Means Support and Accountability

My core belief is that people need to decipher what their priorities are, then have support to create goals that align with those priorities. The last piece of the puzzle is having someone to help them stay accountable to those goals. I believe the most crucial time to hire a coach is when you have a major lifestyle change. Things like having a new baby, quitting a part-time job or getting a job, retiring, adding on employees or expanding your business are times when you could use the clarity and assistance that a coach can really provide.

In the end, it is not always right to hire a coach and that’s perfectly fine. It is always important to do what is best for you, your business, and your family. Feel free to connect with me and we can do a free 20 minute strategy call and I will help you determine if it’s your time for coaching!

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Things to Think About When Setting Your Prices

If there is one question that can keep you up more than any other as an entrepreneur, it is probably the question about how you value what you do or sell. How do you set effective prices?

Trouble can easily be created when you set your prices too high or too low. It can be very challenging to know exactly where you should be pricing—it’s not an exact science—but there still is some science that can help you. Pricing can be especially difficult if you are just starting out in your business or if you are rolling out something new. How do you know whether it’s the right price and if it is going to work for your audience?

There are three key factors to focus on when setting prices:

  1. Your target customer
  2. How much your competitors are charging
  3. Understanding the relationship between quality and price

It can be a very common mistake, especially in the beginning of your business, to underprice everyone else. It is a common misconception that if you are the least expensive, you will get more volume, purchases, or sign ups. This is simply not always the case. If you have less of a reputation than the competition you are undercutting, you risk being perceived by potential customers simply as cheap. You will see that most people are unwilling to purchase from someone who they believe has less value.

As a dear friend of mine always says, be wary of the bottom feeders or the ones who are just looking for the cheapest price. That person will never be loyal to you, they will always move to the lowest price.

Who is your ideal client?

No matter what you are creating, if you take the time to figure out who your ideal client is, that information will serve you well in the long term. Are they an avid shopper? Coupon collector? Are they more price or value sensitive? Customers need to believe that they are getting the best value for their money. It’s hard to drive value when someone cannot come in and touch something physically, so you have to focus on creating your customer experience.

What are your costs?

Something that absolutely everyone should do, but gets skipped all too often is knowing your costs. What costs do you have do you have to run your business, develop your products or services? Hard costs and soft costs should both be factored into your overall price model. Do you have costs for labor, marketing and selling or operating expenses? Literally, keeping the lights on, using your cell phone for your business, mileage on your car and your personal fixed assets. These are all things that are depreciating in value and being used due to you owning your business.

How much do you need/want to make?

It is also a critical step to define what your revenue target is for the year. From there, you can determine how many of each product or service you need to sell to reach that target, which can in turn shed some light on your pricing structure.

What value do you add?

Always remember your individual value that you bring to the table. Do you add extra services, guarantees or bonuses that your competition do not? What do your customers receive for buying from you instead of someone else? Figure out what your audience will pay for what you are selling, and then consider what you can do to distinguish yourself from the rest. Your pricing will fall into place.

Need help figuring out the answers to these questions? Not sure where to start? Contact me today for one-on-one coaching!

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Top 10 Signs It’s Time To Hire A Coach

Hire a CoachYou’ve got some big goals. You’ve been in business for a while now and you’re ready for things to make a turn for the better. You’re involved in the MomBiz community and consuming as much information as you can. But at some point you say, “That’s it. I’m ready. I’m going to do it.” Is it time for you to hire a coach? If you’re trying to figure out if you’re at that point, this blog post is for you. Is it time for you to stop doing everything you know to do and reach out for help? That’s what I do for a living, girls. You know that. Maybe today isn’t the day for you, but when it is I’d be honored to help you.

 

Here are the top ten signs that you might need to hire a coach:

 

  1. You are overwhelmed. When you’re doing it all as fast as you can, and you don’t even have time to stop and think and plan and have a vision and check in with yourself and make sure that you’re actually doing what you said you were going to do… this is an awesome time to hire a coach.

 

  1. You can’t even remember why you started this business in the first place. Have you “lost that lovin’ feelin’” when it comes to your biz? Chances are your priorities have gotten lost somewhere along the way. You started this business with a set of ideals in place. Let’s get you back to that.

 

  1. You are stuck in learning, learning, learning mode. You absolutely have to keep learning. However, you also have to be the one who leads your team so that your business stays on top, becomes more profitable, and offers more and more value. If you’re off learning, learning, learning, who is minding the shop? This might be the time to hire a coach.

 

  1. Your sales are falling off and you don’t know why. It could be a lot of different things. The market, your clients, your product funnel, types of offers, target audience… How do you know? That’s my job. I can help you figure that out.

 

  1. You’re following the book on marketing to the letter, but you can’t get new clients. The most common reason for this, if you are indeed doing best practices for engagement and content marketing, is that you are just not visible and credible enough to your audience yet. A coach can help you build the credibility and visibility necessary to bring those clients to you.

 

  1. You’re at a crossroads and you need to make a big decision. “Is it time for me to really ramp it up, get a nanny, hire employees, go big or go home?” These are the kinds of decisions you should make with a trusted partner, guide, coach. I would love to help you with that. I can help you make a powerful decision, not one that you felt you had to make under pressure, backed into a corner.

 

  1. Your husband, your family, and your friends have no idea why you’re working so hard. Listen, there is nothing worse than busting your butt, having a passion, and being all fired up about it, and having the people closest to you in your world just not get it. It hurts. I know. I’ve been there. I can help you figure out how to communicate what’s so important to you and why it’s so important to you so that you can get the buy-in you need from the people you love the most.

 

  1. Your partner is putting pressure on you to either make more money or call it quits. Let’s make you some money! A coach can help you choose the most viable path for that goal.

 

  1. You’re doing every single thing you know how to do, you’re doing it as fast as you can, you are working as hard as you can, and you just can’t do anymore. My friend, let’s talk about delegating. Let’s talk about managing your business through processes, systems, and automation, key factors in any successful business.

 

  1. You are ready for a change and you want a guide or mentor who has been there, done that, and can help you. Well, hey, that’s my job. Contact me and let’s talk about how I can help you reach the goals you’re so passionate about.

 

I love to hear from you, so leave me a comment!

 

Have you ever worked with a coach?

 

Evaluate these signs today. Is it time to make that leap?

 

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10 Reasons To Hire A Life Coach: Part 2

Reasons to Hire a Life CoachWhy should you hire a life coach? If you missed my previous blog post, you can find it HERE. We talked about how a coach can help you establish boundaries, expectations, critical time-management strategies, communication techniques, and business and marketing plans—all toward your goal of being a successful mompreneur. If you’re still not convinced… stick around—the day is young—and these next five points really dig into some of the biggest issues we face as moms in the marketplace.

Let’s dive right into our next five reasons to hire a life coach:

6. Focus. Now I know that may sound simple, but mompreneurs are notorious for virtually bursting at the seams with creativity, great ideas, ambition, and passion. So often we are running as hard as we can, working as many hours as possible. Many times we do not get adequate rest or we’re not really spending quality time with our family. So while we’re working so hard at our business, without some external focus to keep us rooted and grounded in our goals, becoming frazzled, overwhelmed, or even stuck are very real dangers. Having that outsider’s perspective is key, and sometimes it can be just the thing you need to help you stop spinning your wheels and get you moving forward again.

7. Get out of your own way. I mentioned being stuck, right? So many of us have hang-ups when it comes to being able to really “sell” ourselves or our businesses. We may pay money to advertise in a magazine or directory, but when it comes to face-to-face contact, we often allow that to become a wedge that can stall our progress in a major way. A life coach can help you get out of your own way and back on the path toward business development, growth and success.

8. Commitment. I know some of you are probably groaning right now. Please hear me out. We all struggle with this to some degree or another. It’s the allure of the “next new thing,” isn’t it? We get interested, we get started… and then some other bright, shiny object comes along and all of a sudden we’re not as committed as we thought we were. Well, if you’re going to be a real, true, honest-to-goodness business owner, you are going to need some stickiness. So what a coach can do is help you practice making commitments and sticking to them by providing accountability, something that is often lacking in our adult lives, but also something that can take us to that next level when it comes to being a successful business owner and mompreneur.

9. Celebrate. Who doesn’t love to celebrate, right? As a coach, I am here to sing your praises, to shout, “Woohoo!” and to cheer you on when you do a good job. Often we just do not get enough acknowledgement from those who are closest to us. We, as mompreneurs, need to hear that we are being successful along the way. A life coach will celebrate those successes with you, and train you to recognize them yourself. I promise that will be the thing that helps lift you up when times get tough.

10. Accept the path you are on. One of the things I believe strongly in is that wherever you are is where you need to be. You know exactly what you need to know. You are having exactly the experience you need right now—tough as it may be—in order to get you to that next place down the road. A coach—and this is one of my favorite things I do as a coach—can help you see that whatever you are going through is actually the perfect next step for where you are headed. Knowing that is such a support and really a firm foundation on which to build your business.

I hope this has been helpful to you. If you have been thinking about whether a life coach might be right for you, these are some really great points to ponder.

I love hearing from you! What about you—have you worked with a life coach? What has been your experience? Have you evaluated these points in your own life?

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Guest Blog Post: End of the Year Legal Checklist for Busy Mompreneurs

Today, I welcome Nellie Akalp, CEO and Founder of CorpNet.com. CorpNet.com is an incorporation filing service specializing in assisting mompreneurs in getting their businesses off the ground quickly and affordably, whether it be incorporating their business, forming an LLC or filing a DBA. The year is ending and us mompreneurs need to make sure that our finances are in order!

She joins us today to share her End of the Year Legal Checklist for busy Mompreneurs.

We’re in the homestretch of 2010. And while our lives may have been hectic throughout the year, the intensity seems to heighten every December. There’s holiday shopping, travel plans, school vacations, baking, family… and then of course, there’s your business. If you’re a business owner, December is also that time of year to make sure you’ve got everything squared away for the New Year.

Yes, December is busy. But some legal and administrative decisions shouldn’t wait until you write your New Year’s resolutions. Here’s a snapshot of some of the things you should be thinking about while it’s still 2010…

If you have a new business, think about incorporating it before 2011

If you’ve started a new business in 2010 and still haven’t incorporated or formed an LLC, you might want to do so before 2011. Of course, bear in mind that your corporation’s ‘start date’ is not retroactive. Any tax benefits you might receive apply from the date you incorporated (if your corporation forms on December 11, you’ll still need to fill out your taxes as a ‘sole proprietor’ for all the previous months in 2010). For this reason, incorporating or forming your LLC is one issue which might be better deferred until 2011.

Of course, be aware that January is the absolute busiest time of the year at your state’s secretary of state office. By waiting until January, you will be at the mercy of a long backlog. However, you can also choose a ‘Delayed Filing’ with a document filing company. This means you get all your paperwork submitted now, and it will be held and filed on the first business day of 2011. And the good news is, you’ll be at the front of the line.

File your Annual Report for your corporation

Make sure you keep your business in good standing. Most states require some form of an annual report filing (some every year; some every two years). If your state requires you to file this report, there is a specific due date — in some cases, it’s on the anniversary of your business’ incorporation date; in other cases, it’s when your annual tax statements are due; and in some cases, it’s at the end of the calendar year. Be sure to know your specific filing deadline (check with your state’s secretary of state office). Missing this deadline can result in penalties and late fees — and in the worst case scenario, your company can be subject to suspension or dissolution.

If you’ve made any changes to your corporation, file your ‘Articles of Amendment’

Did you change your business address? Drop the ‘.com’ from your official company name (or make any other name change)? Did a board member or director leave the business? Any time you make a change to your corporation or LLC, you can basically count on having to file an official notification (referred to as an “Amendment”) with your state. In many states, these are called Articles of Amendment.

Tie up any legal loose ends before the New Year

As busy moms, we all have to prioritize…meaning some things get left behind. The end of the year presents a perfect opportunity for you to tie up any loose ends that you’ve put off throughout the year. For example: Did you file a DBA (Doing Business As) for your business name? Do you need to file for a trademark? Did you get a Tax ID number (or, Employer ID Number)? Are all your necessary licenses and permits in order?

If you have an inactive business, close it before 2011

Maybe you formed an LLC for a part time accounting business a few years ago. But over the past year, you’ve focused on other things, and haven’t actively promoted this business.  It has no revenue, no customers. In every sense, you’ve basically closed your business – but you still need to file a formal termination of that LLC or Corporation. Otherwise, you can still be charged fees associated with the business. You’ll still be expected to file an annual report (where applicable). You’ll still be required to submit tax returns to the IRS and state.

You’ll need to file “Articles of Dissolution” or a “Certificate of Termination” document with the Secretary of State within the state that your Corporation or LLC was formed (and in most cases, you’ll need to settle any owed taxes before you can do this). Along these lines you should also cancel any kind of permit or licenses you hold with the state or county. And if you’ve been using a fictitious business name, you’ll need to file an abandonment form. Again, make sure to take care of these matters while it’s still 2010. There’s simply no reason to pay an extra cent in fees toward a business you know you’re retiring. Put that money towards your family or next venture instead!

While December may be a busy month, be sure to set aside some time to address your administrative obligations. In some cases, taking care of an issue in 2010 can help save you money in fees and penalties moving forward. And you can cross a few more things off your never-ending to-do list to start fresh in 2011.

About Nellie Akalp:

Nellie Akalp is the CEO & Co-Founder of CorpNet, Incorporated, her second incorporation filing service company based on the simple philosophy of truth in business and her strong passion to assist small business owners and entrepreneurs.  To learn more about Nellie, view free guides on starting and running a business, receive a special discount, and see how she can help your business get off the ground quickly and affordably, please visit CorpNet here: http://bit.ly/cjBEwb
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Blog Talk Radio Tips for Mompreneurs

I’ve really enjoyed hosting my radio show, The Mom Biz Coach Show, on Blog Talk Radio for the last year or so. I have been approached by many mom entrepreneurs who want me to mentor or coach them on how to start their own shows, so I thought I’d put together a short podcast on one of the hottest topics: how to find and manage guests for your show.

Just click on the link below to hear my advice on the following topics:

How to find guests for your show
How to prep your guests for their appearance on your show
How to engage your guests in conversation during the interview
What to do if you have technical difficulties, or if a guest doesn’t show up

Click below to listen!

Blog Talk Radio Tips 021710

Got a Blog Talk Radio Show of your own? Share below your suggestions for newbies or how you handled a particularly challenging interview.

If you are ready to get your show started and would like someone to walk you through it every step of the way, I can help. Just click here to learn about my Podcasting Mentoring Services.

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5 Ways to Improve Your Business on a Micro-budget

Guest post by Mike McClure, Partner, Executive Creative Director & Social Media Director for The Yaffe Group

LinkedIn photoIf you’re an entrepreneur or smaller business looking to get more business on a small to miniscule budget, there’s good news and bad news. The good news is that with all the free and low cost tools available in the digital and social media world, you can be quite effective without spending a lot of money. The bad news? To make it work, you do need to invest a lot of time sprinkled with inspiration and innovation. Having a personality helps, too.

More good news: many individuals and companies are finding a lot of productive leads and connections through these channels. More bad news: it’s not a quick fix. It’s something you need to commit to and keep at. That doesn’t mean it will take you a year or two to see any results. But, it does mean you can’t just post a brilliant blog or open a Twitter account and expect the new business to start flooding through your doors.

Here’s 5 ways you can start improving your business without seriously hurting your bottom line:

1. Connect, connect, connect.

Use all the social networking tools available to you. Social networking is a great way to connect with people who may need your product or services. Just make sure you don’t start by broadcasting how great you are or trying to sell something. It’s like a cocktail party. Start with small talk; find out where you have common interests and where you can help them with their needs. It’s a good way to get to know someone you’ve never met before. Once they like and know you, they’ll be much more likely to want to do business with you.

I would suggest starting with LinkedIn if you haven’t gotten into any network. It’s the most business oriented site. Here’s a good post on how one business owner used LinkedIn to get a board of directors seat (http://bit.ly/21gfNB). From there, it’s a matter of preference and what type of business you’re in. You may want to start a Facebook fan page or personal page next. Or you may find the immediacy of Twitter is more to your liking. Here’s a good post by Lara Galloway on how she uses Twitter as one of her main new business tools (http://bit.ly/1wTAFo).

2. Answer Questions on LinkedIn

One the best features on LinkedIn is the Q&A section. Why? It gives you a chance to meet people out of your network, help them with a problem they have and display your expertise. Just go to the sections where questions are being asked on subjects that fit your business offerings and your area of expertise.

Here’s just one example of how that’s worked for me. I saw a question from a guy writing a book on social media. He was looking for examples of social media success stories. I told him about a campaign we’d done for one of our clients that had worked well. He liked it, we linked together and over the next 6 months had several conversations through LinkedIn messaging. This fall he was looking for judges for a big Blog Off competition his company was having. I volunteered and became part of an international “Dream Team” panel (http://bit.ly/6xs3XH) Besides the publicity of the contest itself, I will be listed in an upcoming book as one of the world’s top social media people, will be talked about on a Blog Talk Radio show that reaches millions and in video shows by one of Europe’s top providers of online content.  Not bad for a small business owner in Detroit.

3. Use Blog Talk Radio

This is a free, easy way to create podcasts for your own enterprise. There are two ways you can use Blog Talk Radio to help your business. One is to sign up at blogtalkradio.com and host your own show. This way you can have your own radio talk show.  You can invite guests who will speak on subject matters relevant to your audience or you can invite guests who represent companies you want to do business with. Or you can sometimes just speak on subjects you’re knowledgeable about and make those podcasts available to your potential clients. For an example of doing your own show, you can look at the Mom Biz Coach show. (http://www.blogtalkradio.com/mombizcoach)

The second, and easier, way to use Blog Talk Radio is to volunteer your expertise to someone who has a show. Our head of Yaffe Direct, Michael Morin, went on the Chuck Talks Business show and had an hour long interview. It went well and, with Chuck’s permission, we downloaded the podcast and posted it on our Yaffe Tidbits site (http://www.yaffetidbits.com/podcasts/radio/morin_marketing.html). We then edited a 2-minute teaser of some of the best parts of the interview. We emailed the two minute version to a list of prospects along with a link to the full podcast. Within a few weeks we got several inquiries from potential clients who we never would have gotten to talk to otherwise.

4. Buy a Flip Camcorder

You can get a really nice Flip Camcorder for around $125; I’d also pop for the small tripod that’s about $20-25. The Flip is an extremely easy way to shoot, edit and post videos to your site, blog, Facebook fan page, YouTube channel or wherever you can add video to your online presence. Video is a way to really put a face on your business. You can simply set it up on the tripod, point it at yourself and record a video blog. You can also record and post client testimonials. (http://bit.ly/8UXVZ8)  It’s also small and portable that you can carry it with you when you go to a conference, meeting, seminar, tweetup or wherever. At these events you can ask people’s opinions on whatever issues you’d like to cover for your clients/potential clients. It takes nothing to plug the Flip into your computer and use the included edit system to string together the comments you like and post that video to one of your sites. All this adds to both your content and your credibility.

5. Blog about potential clients

If you have a blog for your business (if you don’t, start one now), you can meet potential clients simply by asking them if you can interview them for an upcoming blog post. It’s a great way to meet and get to know someone in a non-sales environment (important note: don’t try and sell yourself or company during the interview). Who doesn’t like the idea of someone wanting to interview them for their expert opinion? More often than not, you’ll be able to find someone willing to talk about their business for the free publicity for both their company and themselves.

Even if you don’t get an interview, do research on the company and write a blog post about what they’re doing right as a company. Here’s an example of a post I wrote about Biggby Coffee. (http://bit.ly/6Hferc) After creating it, send the post to them. Even if it doesn’t peak their interest in you, they may link the post to their own site or blog. We still get traffic to our blog from companies that have linked to a post about them from many months ago.

There you have it. Five ideas that should get your business some attention without spending an arm and a leg. I’d say good luck, but it really is just a matter of good hard work.

To learn more about Mike McClure, The Yaffe Group and the great marketing work he does for his clients, visit his site and be sure to follow him on Twitter!

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How to Reach Your Target Market

 

 

target_market

If you’re like many of the work-at-home-moms and mompreneurs I know and coach, you probably got into business for yourself despite your lack of an MBA in marketing. So figuring out how to get people to buy what you sell can be a bit like explaining what galaxies are and where they exist in time and space to an inquisitive seven-year-old.

how to grow your businessI don’t have an MBA, either, but I’ve learned a lot from the school of “learning by doing.” Here is the methodology I teach my mom entrepreneurs to use to get more clients and make more money, without spending much of their money or time.

Make Sure Your Niche Is Narrow Enough

Most of the mom entrepreneurs who hire me as their coach are extremely resistant to choosing a narrow niche market. They want to market themselves to “moms” or to “parents” or to “middle-aged women” or “empty-nesters.” It’s always better to be the big fish in a smaller pond (i.e. “I coach mompreneurs who have been in business less than five years and are raising small children”) than a tiny fish in a big pond (i.e. “I’m a business coach for entrepreneurs.”). Simply put, you can make a much bigger splash in a little pond and get visibility you would be hard-pressed to earn in the big pond.

Identify Your Ideal Client

Once you have a narrow niche, you can focus on the individuals in it. Think of your ideal clients. How old are they? Where do they live? What do they read? What do they spend money on? Where do they shop? Do they buy for themselves or for family members? Do they hold the purse strings? Do they make enough money to afford your product/services? Are they the type people who already value what you have to offer?

Identify Their Top Challenges and Needs

Now, with as specific a person in mind as you can muster, think about their life. What’s good about it? What’s not? What do they keep tolerating? What drives them nuts? What would make their life better, easier, more fun?  If you can identify their biggest problems, then you can tailor your products and services to solve them. People want to feel better, be happier, live longer, be healthier, etc. What can you and your business do to help them with this?

 

Create Products and Services That Solve Their Problems

Knowing this, you’ll be on your way to creating valuable content in the form of products and services your clients will willingly pay for. You’ve tailored your business solutions to meet their top needs and challenges. This isn’t just marketing–you’re listening to your market, doing market research within your specific niche, and you’re creating solutions to their problems. Your clients will pay for people and things that make their problems go away. With this understanding of your client’s needs, you’re well on the path to creating a great marketing funnel.

Go Where They Are and Share Your Powerful Message

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You may be wondering why the title of this post is “How to Reach Your Target Market” when I haven’t talked at all about traditional methods and venues for finding clients. That’s not an oversight; I promise. Now that you’ve customized your offerings and made them solutions to your ideal customer’s problems, you’re ready to reach out and start attracting them to you. I’ve said many times before, “I’d rather attract my clients to me than have to go hunting for them.” Show up/present yourself, your business and your marketing message to them where they are (in the print publications they read, in the blogs to which they subscribe, in the organizations to which they belong). Do so in a way that shows you know who they are, what they need, and that you understand them.  Saying: “I help families and children who struggle with chronic problems like headaches, ear infections and dizziness” is much more powerful than “I’m a chiropractor.”

Learning how to reach your target market isn’t rocket science, but there is definitely a strategy involved. Entrepreneurs who truly understand their ideal clients and who learn how to create solutions to their customers’ needs will have little trouble growing their businesses!

Want to get some more suggestions about how to reach your target market? My business coach and mentor, Rhonda Hess, has agreed to join me  for a 75-minute teleseminar to share with you some of the same proven strategies she shared with me to rapidly grow my coaching business. If you are an entrepreneur in a services business, this is the information you’ve been looking for to understand how to finally get your clients to come to you!  Please join us tomorrow night!

Here are the details:

Title: “When a Niche Is Not Enough–Three Steps to Become Essential to Your Target Market (and Win Raving Fans for Life!)
Date:  Thursday, October 1
Time:  8pm-9:15pm ET
Where:  On your phone and computer (bridgeline details and PowerPoint presentation will be sent to you when you register)
Register:  Click here!

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You’d be a good fit to my coaching group if…

  • women-group-pic-mom-biz-coach-mom-entrepreneur-coach-mompreneurYou signed up for both motherhood and being an entrepreneur (What were you thinking? Ha! You’d be in great company here ;-).
  • You thought you’d be able to work less and be with your family more by working for yourself, but have found quite the opposite to be true.
  • You have noticed your competition doing strange, interesting, amazing things and are feeling like your own new ideas are about as interesting as reading “Good Night, Moon” for the 23rd time in a row to your toddler.
  • You’re ready to throw in the towel and “get a real job” (like the one you left behind a while ago because it no longer meshed with your values and priorities).
  • You have so many great ideas but lack the ability or knowledge of how to get them done.
  • You work because you are driven by your passion and purpose.
  • You are tired of doing your work for free or very little pay.
  • You realize you can’t call it a business if you don’t make a profit at some point.
  • You aren’t clear on your target market or how to reach them or how to create solutions to their problems.
  • Your heart tells you you’re doing the right thing, but your spouse or your family doesn’t understand why you’re working (and in fact, even resents your work).

If even a couple of these statements remind you of words you’ve heard coming out of your mouth lately, chances are you’re ready for a change. You’ve tried everything you know how to do to be successful, or to get the results you want, but nothing seems to work. That’s okay. We have all been there, and done that.

In fact, all the mom entrepreneurs who are members in my coaching groups have “been there, done that.” Most of the statements above come from comments made by my clients at the beginning of my program.

Here’s what they say once we’ve been working together for a while:

“Lara, you really have a way of saying exactly what I need to hear. I wonder sometimes if you’re somehow reading my mind.”

“I did exactly what you told me to do and I’m getting new customers and new orders from twitter several times a week now!”

“I didn’t realize before I joined this group how lonely I was. It’s so great to have a group of women I can trust and bounce my ideas off of. I love how we trade ideas with each other. It’s like we’re each others’ “Board of Advisors.”

“The most valuable thing I got from our coaching call today is that I’m not alone in feeling like I’m the only one who doesn’t understand this stuff, and the inspiration to stay committed to my goals thanks to everyone’s support!”

“Everytime I hear one of the other members share a story about her success, I get so charged up because I realize I can achieve my own version of success, too! You girls are amazing and are motivating the heck out of me!”

I’m a woman, a wife, a mom to three kids under the age of seven, and I’m a coach and an entrepreneur because I need to work in order to be satisfied and happy. It’s who I am. I’m a straight-shooter, an open and honest communicator, and extremely compassionate while still supporting you to do what you’re committed to, even if it’s hard and a little (or a lot) scary. I’ve learned a lot in my four years of coaching and running a business while raising a family. And I’d love to share everything I know about helping you be successful in the work you do while creating a life you love to live.

Care to join us? I have four openings in one of my mom entrepreneur coaching groups right now. We meet the 2nd and 4th Thursdays of each month for an hour at Noon ET via my free conference line. The cost is $195/person (with a maximum of five participants per group). Plan to make a six month commitment so you’ll get the full value of the coaching experience.

Call me (519-990-4458), email me at lara (at) mombizcoach (dot) com, or tweet me if you’d like to schedule a 20 minute session to brainstorm an idea and see if we’re a good match for each other.

I hope to be talking to you soon!

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