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  • #969269
    Tippy
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    Hi as a reasonably new member this is my first posting of a new thread. I have been setting up a small business, working very hard at it in most of my “spare” time, but I’m finding it slow and frustrating, you know sorting out how things should be done. Marketing is one of my biggest bug bears. Ive missed the yellow pages until next years edition, my web site is not returning positive hits, I’ve listed in various directories and newspaper advertising is too expensive at this stage of my early development. As it is a home based business I find networking difficult.

    Since many of you would have been through this could you please give me some advice? Any advice would be gratefully appreciated.

    Thanks
    Tippy

    #1037789
    yourvirtualboard
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    Hi Tippy,

    Marketing is really just telling people what you do and even on a forum like this you could have potential users of what you provide / sell.

    Tell us all a bit more about your business and I expect you’ll have a good response and many great ideas from so many that contribute on this forum.

    #1037790
    Tippy
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    • Total posts: 6
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    Thanks Harry for taking an interest. My business is a word processing and secretarial service – all documents, data entry, transcription, internet research. powerpoint presentations etc. Qualifications include a BSc and MAgeHlth and I am presently completing Cert III Bus. Admin (Medical).

    I have just enrolled in 4 sessions of internet marketing workshops through a local Business Enterprise Centre, however I don’t think I could do better than learn from other’s experience. I am open to all suggestions.

    Tippy

    #1037791
    John Bogiatzis
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    • Total posts: 38
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    Hi Tippy,

    A warm welcome to FS.

    Great to learn a little about your business.

    The first thing to consider when you begin to market your business is: WHO IS YOUR TARGET MARKET? I really can’t stress this point enough.

    Having a clear idea of exactly WHO your target market is, where they exist and what solution you offer is the first step you need to take prior to any additional marketing.

    John Bogiatzis
    Universal Seminars

    #1037792
    JohnPhillips
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    • Total posts: 35
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    As John said, the first thing you need to be doing is nail down exactly who your target market is. Once you have done this, you can think about how best to reach them.

    Since you’re doing a certificate in medical administration, I assume you’re targeting medical practices. You will need to be very clear about why they would buy from you and effectively communicate this in your promotional materials.

    Before sending anything out into the market, it is critical to establish a means of measuring the results of your activities. Without this, you won’t have any way to know what is working and what isn’t. For example, if you put an ad in the Yellow Pages, how will you know if people are actually calling you because they saw the ad?

    #1037793
    yourvirtualboard
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    John does have a point – if you are a little clearer on who you believe could use your services it then does help to get focused on how and where to approach these people / businesses.

    Initially though it may all be a little overwhelming and it would be nice to get a bit of traction and some positive reaction and this will really only happen when you are able to connect with those who may be able to use your services – start simply by telling all your friends and family and asking that they pass this on for you too. Let schools, clubs, associations you have anything to do with know you’ve started out and what you’re able to do (be specific – even better give examples).

    Keep at it and be positive – expect results and remember Effort = Reward

    #1037794
    Tippy
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    • Total posts: 6
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    Thanks to everyone who has contributed to answering my post. Yes, I would ultimately like to specialise in medical transcription, however at the moment I want to make every post a winner ie generic. I would like my word processing service to reach out to any business that requires that extra help or simply doesn’t want to employ a permanent word processor.

    Your advice is very welcome – let’s see how I go!!!

    #1037795
    Michael_R
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    • Total posts: 130
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    A famous man once told me:

    To make a sale you need to show either;
    How you can save them time
    or
    How you can save them money

    Now you just need to think about your message in your marketing and I would forget the yellow pages – so many other cheap and free marketing that you can do that is going to give you a much better return!!

    Have you thought about a social media strategy?

    #1037796
    JohnPhillips
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    • Total posts: 35
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    Generically targeting businesses will be a lot harder than targeting a specific niche. If you want to specialise in medical transcription, you need to find out exactly what medical practices/doctors look for in a transcriber.

    I can think of a couple of ways to do this. One is to guess, the other is to ask them. Doctors tend to be pretty busy and hard to catch on the phone, but you could just book an appointment (which you will have to pay for), then when you sit down in the doctors surgery, explain that you are establishing a transcription business and would like to know what they look for when choosing a service provider. Note down the answers, record them if possible, then use the key words to form your marketing messages.

    I imagine there are plenty of people out there who sell lists of medical practices, if not, you could just make one yourself/jump on elance/frellancer.com or one of the other site and pay someone a small amount to create one for you. This sets you up to do a good direct mail campaign.

    #1037797
    mike@engagemarketing
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    • Total posts: 300
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    Hey Tippy,
    congratulations on starting starting the business. I think that we all get frustrated at some point, wanting to see the end results sooner. We’re all pretty inpatient by nature!

    Re: your marketing. It’s a good thing that you weren’t able to get your Yellow Pages ad listed in time. Think about your market. If you are a SME and you want someone to type up your documents, you will not go to the Yellow Pages to find a solution. Most people won’t even know that they need the solution, so direct mail and some quality networking could do the trick. If you do go seeking a solution, it is likely to be online.

    It might be best to start looking for areas that you can pick up tiny little jobs, show how much easier it is making things for the client, and then discussing using you in a great capacity. If you follow & interact with enough people on Twitter, i’m 100% sure that small opportunities will come up for you to get your foot in.

    Cheers,
    Mike

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