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Foreign markets enable entrepreneurs to increase revenue and expand markets, according to the author, who took her software company into Europe after only three years.
Making customers happy is the key to an entrepreneur's single most important job--identifying, finding, and keeping customers, says the founder of one of the country's premier direct-mail businesses. Company owners must devise a system for maintaining rapport with buyers even as the business grows, the author advises. Included are suggestions for doing so, such as selecting the right products for the right customers and offering money-back guarantees.
Three dogs, two guys, and one 59-cent biscuit cutter add up to powerful national public relations: A high-brow bakery for dogs becomes the toast of prestigious publications and broadcast outlets (The Wall Street Journal, the cover of Forbes, People magazine and The Oprah Winfrey Show). In this engaging article, its co-founder serves up tips that are as tough as the business is winsome for your doing the same. Among the suggestions: massage that rookie from the local weekly.
Entrepreneurs will find a host of business-building resources at nearby colleges and universities, among them books, brains and bodies, writes the author. Scour the libraries for printed materials, tap faculty for consulting jobs, and marshall students for research and staffing needs, he advises. In summing up, he offers valuable tips for getting acquainted and making the best use of campus resources.
If you think hiring is tough in today's tight labor market, you should figure that retaining people is even tougher. To keep employees, small-company owners must provide more than just competitive compensation packages, the author writes. What really makes the difference is a CEO's ability to communicate an organizational vision and to recognize the people who translate that vision into revenue and profit.
In today's extremely tight labor market, small-company employers must approach hiring just as they approach selling. To lure able and enthusiastic candidates, the author writes, a CEO should consider such steps as contacting reluctant candidates personally, offering equity compensation to augment salaries, and sending welcoming gifts like fruit baskets. Of particular note is a discussion of factors the author says "count" in the sales-whoops!-the hiring process.
Any entrepreneur who hopes to raise capital from individual investors, so-called "angels," should be properly prepared with a presentation, business plan, list of potential angels, and outline of the opportunity his or her new venture affords. The author explains that it's also important to avoid making such mistakes as allowing investors to have too large a stake in the enterprise. That could cause problems should the company fail, he writes, in an article filled with specific tips for dealing with these financiers.
Earl Graves, the founder and publisher of Black Enterprise Magazine, offers statistical evidence and his own business experience to explain businesses lose out when they dismiss the fact that the African-American consumer is most interested in a product or service's business value, not it's perceived social value. The incorrect assumptions about the African-American market that many businesses make can be corrected through, as Graves has discovered, with persistence and careful explanations of the overwhelmingly positive qualities of the African-American consumer.
Niche businesses either start with specific offerings for a discreet audience or carve out specialities within a broader base. Either way, entrepreneurs who operate niche companies must understand themselves, their goals, and their customers, in order to deliver marketing campaigns that are simple and effective.
Niche companies needn't be intimidated by their large corporate competitors because even the biggest companies must be adept at marketing differently to discreet audiences, writes the author, who founded the country's leading black-owned media concern. The solution is to stick to your specialty, maintain excitement with new ideas, and commit resources to expanding the brand.
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