Archive for May, 2013

3 Ways to Get Capital For Your Small Business

Posted on May 30, 2013. Filed under: Business, Business Development, Business Planning, Uncategorized | Tags: , |

After attending the BE Entrepreneur’s conference earlier this month, I learned about three main ways small businesses can secure capital to grow their businesses:

1.  Traditional financing through a financial institution–  This is probably the most popular or most known type of way to get financing for your small business.  You can go through the Small Business Association (SBA) to get assistance with this type of financing, or you can work directly with a bank or a local credit union.  No matter which avenue you choose, you will be required to have good credit,  good financial statements, a good business plan, and you will be taking on debt for your business.

2.  Angel Investor or Venture Capitalist-  This type of capital I was not as familiar with, but I know it is available for small business owners, but mainly start-up companies and mainly technology companies.  Angel investors use private capital  to invest in start-up companies in exchange for equity in the business, and a Venture Capitalist is a person or company that provides capital for new commercial enterprises.  For angel investors and venture capitalist they are not interested in your credit, financial statement or business plan, but more interested in the business concept, the viability of your  product or services, the management team for the business, and the market demand or potential demand  for your product or service.  Venture Capitalist require equity in your business, so you loose some percentage of control for your business.

3.  Alternative sources of capital–  Alternative sources of capital have become very popular now a days with platforms such as crowdfunding.  Crowdfunding is the collective effort of individuals who network and pool their money, usually via the Internet, to support organizations and companies.  The capital raised is by donations given in return for some item or privilege from the supported organization or company.  The great thing about crowdfunding is your business is not taking on debt or giving away any equity.

No matter what avenue or avenues you choose to use to get capital for your business, be sure to do your research and BE PREPARED before you start any process to gain capital for your small business.

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5 Techniques to Convert Educating Prospects into Paying Customers

Posted on May 6, 2013. Filed under: Business, Business Development, Educating | Tags: , , , , , , |

I have listened in on several webinars and tele-seminars over the last year or so, and I have noticed a trend with the format of each one.  A lot of the webinars and tele-seminars are aimed at educating you on a particular topic or subject, so you willing sign-up to learn more about this topic or subject.  Usually after about 30 minutes or so of good information, the speaker tells you that you can get more of this information by paying for a seminar, CD, book, program, etc.  Depending on the cost of the particular item, the tactic usually works because you are already talking to an active audience who signed up to learn more about this specific subject, so they are obviously interested in the topic.

When I think about the last two items that I purchased from a webinar, I feel there were five main things that enticed me to make a purchase, and as business owners, we should consider these factors when trying to sell a product or service based on an educational webinar or tele-seminar.

  1. VALUABLE INFORMATION–  Did your webinar or tele-seminar provide valuable information?  I define valuable information as information presented in a way that is DIFFERENT or NEW to most people.  When people receive information and they never really thought of that topic in that way before, you are encouraging someone to look at things differently.  This usually brings about an “Ah Ha!” moment, people love “Ah Ha” moments because it allows them to think differently and thinking differently can lead to different results.  If the information presented is information you’ve heard already or presented in a way you have seen before, you would be less likely to buy into the information.  Also, how the information is presented makes a difference.  A professional format with visuals are key!  When people not only hear what you have to say, but see it through the presentation slides or video, it makes a HUGE difference in the effectiveness of the presentation.
  2. PRICED RIGHT–  The product or service offered at the end of the webinar or tele-seminar needs to be priced right.  Now when I say priced right I don’t mean “cheap” or “inexpensive”, because if the participants believe in the value of information presented, they will pay the monetary equivalent as to what they feel it is valued to them.  However, the product or service must be priced in a way that is affordable, but also expensive enough to show its value.  For some reason most people are pricing their product or service ending with a “7” $97, $197, $297.  I am sure there is some information out there that says that pricing ending with a 7 tends to work well, why so many people are pricing their products or services that way.
  3. ADDED INCENTIVES–  I have purchased many items because of the added bonus that was included in the offer, so not only did I feel the information presented was valuable, but the bonus that they offered made it even more enticing to purchase the item, so think about adding a bonus course, a live seminar ticket, additional tips, etc.
  4. TIME SENSITIVE–  Of course the offer of the product or service is usually only available for a LIMITED TIME, so this encourages a sense of urgency for individuals to make the purchase.  It is human nature that if we know something is only available for a limited time we have to seriously consider whether we want to take advantage of the opportunity while we have the time.  People who are serious about getting the information will be sure to make the purchase before the time period runs out.
  5. OFFERED SEVERAL TIMES–  Some people require hearing or seeing an item more than three times before making a decision, so it helps to make the offer more than one time on the webinar or tele-seminar and even following up with a couple of e-mails regarding the offer.  The last purchase that I made from a webinar was after I had signed-up for the webinar twice (I missed the first one and signed up several months later for the 2nd one),  and received about six e-mails about the webinar and two follow-up e-mails about the offer, so technically it took about 8 contacts before I actually placed an order, so don’t neglect the power of following up.

If educating consumers about a subject or topic is a part of your marketing strategy, then be sure to consider the techniques listed above as a part of your formula to successful covert educating prospects into paying customers of your product or service.

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