5 ways to build your target market:

Want to jumpstart your own business? Here’s 5 ways to build your target market:

If you want to jumpstart your own business here in the Augusta area, it is CRUCIAL to know WHO your target market is. As consultants with an 8-year track record of target marketing, we have extensive knowledge of demographics that break down into high dollars for our clients.

1. Research. If you want to make the most out of your business, you need to know if you want to operate in a store presence, online only, or both. This will also be how you, as a business owner, will lay the foundation of your core operations. Most business are leaning towards online only business models; however, there are businesses that can be profitable with a store presence or brick and mortar models. You would have to determine which will optimize your return on investment or ROI. Gathering geographical data city and government websites will help build your target market. Have a core group of investors who have knowledge of the area you want to serve (i.e. banks, schools, churches, chambers of commerce). Doing your homework now will save your business in the years to come. Conduct a survey through surveymonkey.com and post it on your Facebook page to gather information. Don’t forget to include a gift for those who took the survey.

2. Product. Are you selling a product or service? Take into consideration who will be using your product or service. What will they be doing with your product or service? Will this enrich their lives and the lives of those around them (word of mouth)?

3. Place. Where do your potential customers live? What do they do for an occupation? What brands do they like to shop (this will give you insight on your product or service)? Is this an area you believe will be a good fit for the business? What about 10-20 years from now, will this market be able to sustain your business growth?

4. Price. How much will your target market be willing to spend on your product or service? Price is relative to the cost of living and must be factored into the success of your product or service. If you don’t know the selling price, then you must start at how much it costs to buy the product or service and the selling costs, including labor.

5. Macroeconomic stability. These are the factors that are out of your control, such as: geopolitical tensions between governments and policies. Competitors entering the market and taking a share of the market can also be a huge threat to your current business model. Doing your research will help you stay relevant to your target audience and ride the wave of change that all businesses go through.

5 tactics to increase your customer loyalty through social media

CRM, what’s it all about? Customer relationship management is a term that connects all facets of a company’s success. It has been said that it is more difficult and expensive to target new customers than to cultivate the customers you already have, before being swayed by a competitor.

Henry Ford put it, “It is not the employer who pays the wages. Employers only handle the money. It is the customer who pays the wages.” (Click To Tweet). It is imperative that CRM be a major part of the Marketing Plan, which includes your 4 P’s: Price, Place, Product, PEOPLE.

What are your goals for CRM? Some goals are: grow business, increase revenue, increase competitiveness, or build our book of business. Steve Jobs said, “Get closer than ever to your customers. So close that you tell them what they need well before they realize it themselves.” (Click To Tweet)

Wow! Your customers by building a strong human connection. Here’s 5 tactics to increase your customer loyalty through social media.

1. Keep in touch. This is how you can build a strong human connection with your customers. It’s not about posting something, but to build anticipation, meeting their ever-changing needs.

2. Thank them. Send gifts to your loyal customers for sending referrals, which is great for your growth strategy. This will also ensure customers’ trust in your business and your word, something that cannot be taken lightly.

3. Freebies. People love to get things for free, so use your Facebook, Twitter or Instagram platform to hear what they’re saying about your company and for that, give them something for taking your survey. You can create a free survey from surveymonkey.com.

4. Rewards. Reward your customers for choosing you over the competitors. Make them feel special and heard, whether you have 1 customer or millions of customers. Customers tend to share negative experiences before they will share a positive one, deterring potential customers from choosing your company.

5. Employees. Have you ever entered a store or restaurant and wasn’t greeted? That is a pet peeve of many but it happens A LOT. Building a strong human connection to your customers also has to include the employees. They need to feel appreciated and heard also. Who wants to work for a company and felt ignored and just another number? Share with them on social media as well. You’ll be glad you did.

10 Hobbies That You Can Turn Into Moneymakers

Do you have a favorite hobby or skill that you’re really good at? That’s great! You can earn extra money by doing something you love. Here’s 10 hobbies that you can turn into extra earnings for you and your family.

1. Blogging.

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Unlike freelance writers, who are paid by clients, bloggers make income from ads on their sites or affiliate marketing, commissions for promoting products. You’ll want to identify a focus, or niche, for your blog to help readers find it. Some popular blog topics are food, family, technology, politics, entrepreneurship, and personal finance and travel. Blogging isn’t all you’ll do, though. To get your blog noticed you’ll also need to become expert at marketing.

2. Personal Chef.

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Personal chefs earn between $200 and $500 a day, according to the American Personal & Private Chef Association. If you live to cook, it’s a career to aspire to. The industry is growing, the association says. Understand what you’re getting into before you get started: Chef training can be expensive, grueling and difficult, and working in a professional kitchen is nothing like cooking at home.

3. Tennis Coach.

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If you’re an outstanding amateur athlete you may be well-suited to train others. The best coaches also are patient and personable, with a special ability to analyze others’ movements. Considering coaching? The United States Sports Academy, which offers certification programs, has a free course, Introduction to Coaching.

4. Yoga Instructor or Personal Trainer.

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Yoga is extremely popular, but it turns out that teacher training outpaces the growth in new students says the Wall Street Journal. By all means, enjoy teacher training and start a business or teach yoga for a studio or gym. You may bring in some spending money, but probably not enough to live on.

5. Pet sitter and dog walker.

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A love of critters great and small has got many pet lovers starting their own businesses now that they can advertise and book services online with such sites as Rover.com or DogVacay.com. Others buy into pet-sitting franchises. Read “Making Extra Money: 7 Steps to Start a Pet Sitting or Dog Walking Business.”

6. Jewelry and Crafts.

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In an era of mass-produced products, a premium is placed on one-of-a-kind items made by human hands. Etsy, the online marketplace for handmade candles, wreaths, container gardens, jewelry, cards, soap, bath salts, pot holders, toys, clothes and other crafts, gives artists a way to dip a toe in the water. Set up a “shop” there or just assess the competition, prices and viability of selling your products. The Week offers these tips on “How to Make a Living on Etsy.”

7. Baking.

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A treasured recipe for fudge, toffee, shortbread, jam or scones has been the inspiration for many a business that began with small batches made at home. Martha Stewart, for one, started a multimillion-dollar company with a catering business run from a (professional) kitchen in her basement. Health codes often require goodies sold for public consumption to be made in a commercial kitchen. But don’t let that stop you. Restaurants and commercial kitchens often rent space to other bakers who use the kitchen in off-hours. The Small Business Administration tells how to start a home-based baking business.

8. Child care.

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If your home is the place where children love to gather and you adore entertaining and teaching them, your love of little people could become a day job. Whether you start your own day care or buy into a franchise business, the demand for quality child care will remain strong as long as parents work away from home. Child care is a highly regulated business, for reasons of safety and health. Be prepared to submit to police screening and inspections and apply for licenses. Small Business Trends tells what’s involved.

9. Organizing.

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