Wednesday, July 18, 2007

What it Takes to be a Succussful Entrepreneur

Many experts in business consulting claim that it takes certain characteristics and personality traits to be successful in running a business. But, what are these traits? Do you need to have them all? Can you still be successful without having any?

Although these questions are hard to answer, and most likely everyone will have a different answer, there are certain traits that seem to be agreed upon over and over again.

Successful entrepreneurs are chock full of the knowledge required to start up and run a business. They take classes, read books, research and talk to other successful business owners. They also have detailed business and marketing plans in place, even if they don't need to present these plans to a bank for a loan. They realize the importance of a solid foundation before they even think about opening up their doors. Please, don't dive head first into a business venture without first securely fastening your safety vest.

After you have the basics down, there is that little thing known as personality. We all have a personality (well hopefully!), but certain personality traits seem to constitute what makes a great entrepreneur vs. a mediocre one. Are you a people person? Can you talk to strangers with ease? Are you open, honest and sincere? Do you have good listening skills? Are you aware of opportunity wherever you go? Are you hard working and willing to put in long hours? Can you take stress and turn it into a challenge? Do you have passion? Do you have drive? Taking a sincere look at what qualities you do have and which ones you don't will help you in deciding if owning a business is really the right thing for you.

Once entrepreneurs start a business, they usually grasp the concept that building relationships with prospective cleints will ensure long-term business growth. After all, relationships are the heart of any business community. Yet, many don't realize the importance of utilizing current clients and employees as partners in a different kind of business relationship. Start employing the givers gain approach with clients (the adage of give and you shall receive) and be instrumental in driving their success beyond your product or service. This could mean something as simple as referring them out to prospects whenever possible. Remember, helping others will not only give you that gratifying feeling of "I did something nice for someone else!" but you'll be rewarded tenfold.

Employees can be your partners as well. View them as equals and not subordinates. Listen to their ideas and trust in what they have to say. Encourage them to give constructive criticism about projects. They are at times the frontline of your business and could very well be beneficial in helping your business to grow. Treating them as partners also promotes goodwill and loyalty within your company. I've read in many different articles that employees don't leave because of the company; they leave because of their boss.

All entrepreneurs are different in personality and how they want to run their business, but certain traits will keep some from just barely breaking even and others rising to the top. What kind of entrepreneur do you want to be?

Laura Schutz

Tuesday, July 3, 2007

Why Advertising Just Isn't Enough

Can't I just advertise in a newspaper to market my business?

This question was asked a while ago and I thought it was relevant enough to talk about.

Yes, advertising in newspapers is a great way to market your business, provided you have the budget to do this frequently (read: on a weekly or semi-monthly basis) in several different papers in your target area. Problem is, this can run you a couple thousand dollars a month and might not even give you the return on investment (ROI) that you're looking for.

There's another problem with just advertising in newspapers. Even if every single person in your target area reads the paper, many are now going online to read the news, and that could mean your ad might get missed entirely.

To really market your business though, you need to reach out to potential customers from many different angles. Why? Because this will ensure that you will reach every possible person in your target area, therefore giving you the best possible chance to keep your business thriving and growing in the long-term. Full-service marketing includes not only advertising, but public relations campaigns, direct mail pieces and online marketing.

It sounds pricey, and it is. You need to design and get printed the direct mail pieces, as well as buy the materials to send them out. Sure, you can write your own press release, but is it good enough to be newsworthy? You can also do online marketing yourself, but do you have the time and the knowledge to really get your name out there when the internet is already flooded with millions of businesses worldwide?

When you're a relatively small company, affording a marketing program seems nearly impossible, especially when you want to hire the professionals who have the expertise to really give you that ROI.

This is essentially why the owners of BBG&G Advertising started They've watched for years as smaller companies struggled to afford the effective marketing campaigns that bigger businesses already have. Our job here at is to give you that marketing campaign for only a few hundred dollars a year. You and other small businesses can team up to evenly spread out the expensive costs and compete, finally, with larger businesses. After all, local business is what our communities are all about. Thanks Walmart, but we'd rather shop at Joe's Pharmacy and Convenience store for our needs.

Laura Schutz