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4 unconventional tips to launch your business

*Was featured on 96.9 Rejoice FM with host Mark Hogue on March 17, 2018 at 9:30 am.

Most people think that marketing is what gets your business off the ground. Mastering the art of social media and other forms of marketing is imperative, but it's not the first step to building your brand. As a marketer and small business owner, these tools worked for me to assist me in getting started. Hopefully they can work for you too.

1. Draft a business plan with a budget as your guide.

Knowing the in-and-outs of your plan is vital to explaining how your services assist your clients and customers. Research your target market and determine what your primary startup costs will be. Keep it real. If you can't effortlessly explain who you are and what you do, you can't even begin to create ad campaigns or obtain funding if your initial language doesn't add up.

2. Know your competitive climate.

Watching your competition closely is much more important that you think. I'm not saying stalk or envy them, but keep a watchful eye on how they reach the masses. Patronize their shops to see how they deliver their services, how their customer service matches up and how you can improve your own craft. Keep an open mind and attend events in your city and state to stay abreast of the trends in your industry. Just keep an open mind. I suggest completing a SWOT Analysis (Strengths, Weakness, Opportunities, Threats) for yourself every 6 months to improve your approach.

3. Set short and long term goals and hold yourself accountable.

Creating short and long term goals are the LIFEBLOOD of your growth. Without them, most people become complacent especially if business is going well with little effort after social and word of mouth have grown their company. Think outside the box to bring a consistent flow of customers and referrals your way by setting goals. Example for a short term goal:My goal for March is to bring in 25 new clients from daily Instagram posts. Long term goal: My goal is to obtain a $15,000 loan for a new building by December 2018 once I reach $ 40,000 in sales.

4. Create your ideal online presence.

Not all websites are created equal, and not everyone needs a website. Knowing what you offer helps you address your specific marketing needs; whether it's a full website with an online store and merchant services, or a blog, vlog, Instagram page and email address, or a Cash app. Your business expansion or lack thereof will help you determine if acquiring help is needed. Remember to study the top industry trends to bring more traffic to your product or services so that you can obtain more inbound clients with hashtags, hyperlinks, and Twitter feeds with less effort. Work smart.

Have more questions? Need advice, media coaching or marketing guidance? Let's chat at

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