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Business tips from the APNBA marketing seminar

October 1, 2008

By Alliance of Portland Neighborhood Business Associations
From the October Business Voice

Notes from the Seminar
The September seminar on marketing contained a wealth of ideas, tips and strategies for starting, planning, and expanding your business. The following ideas are worthy of note:

The future of small business – Expect an explosion of small business startups, coming from immigrants, semi-retired baby boomers, mom-trepeneurs, and the millennium generation. How to run a business is a different skill set from how to provide goods and/or services. You need to work ON your business as well a work IN your business.

Planning your business – What differentiates you from the competition? What is your “Unique Value Strategy? Who is your target customer? How will you reach him or her? Why should customers choose you – what benefit can you provide? Remember that people buy solutions to problems or things that make them feel good.

Pricing and valuing your business – Find a niche or make one. Financial stability, convenience, reputation, and good customer/employee relations add value to your offerings. If someone complains about the price of a good or service, then you need to make the value of that good or service more clear. “That’s too expensive” could mean, “Please explain the value of this.” Convince yourself that your price is fair and good value. When you have explained to yourself all your arguments and counter agruments then you are ready to explain to customers.

Going international – Every retail business needs a web presence! Let customers search by your product not by your name. Consider a blog or newsletter. Businesses need to evolve more then grow. Consider branch or annex business ideas that are related to, but slightly different from your main business. Work with other businesses in the same field to maximize your advertising and marketing.

Next month, tips from the panel of small business owners.

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Discuss this article

Alpha Dog October 1, 2008

Ahem. I do not see an explosion in small business anytime soon. Hopeful. Yes. True. No.

Publius October 1, 2008

While blogging is something to consider, it’s not always the best use of time. There are a couple things to consider:
1) blogging takes time.
2) even if you are writing great articles…that doesn’t mean anyone is reading them. Attracting traffic is a long and tenuous process. If you are posting regularly Google will eventually pick you up. It takes time though. Sometimes up to a month or two.
3) As most businesses specialize in something specific…not many people will be interested in your product overall (usually). However, as the world is a big place, if you’ve found a niche, attracting traffic to your blog is possible, if you’re producing good content.

I’ve seen many folks who think starting a blog is going to revolutionize their business: wrong. Depending on one’s situation, it might help, or it might not.

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