How to Easily Generate Home Based Business Leads

As the current economic climate becomes more unstable, many are moving towards home based business opportunities. It is critical that these individuals learn to effectively generate home based business leads. The difference between thriving or dying in today’s competitive market hinges on the ability to consistently generate leads for the business. While advertising and marketing for a small business may share some similarities to that of a major corporation, the methods and strategies used are very different.

A home business owner should start with a thorough knowledge of their target market. For example, an understanding of the primary customer base would be critical for a cake decorating business. This target market might include: engaged couples, parents with young children and civic organizations who conduct regular fund raising dinners. A thorough understanding of the target market will help guide the rest of the lead generation process.

Determining where to connect with the target market is the next consideration of the home based business owner. In the example of the cake decorator, let’s assume the business owner has decided to target the wedding cake segment of the market. The business owner would look for points of connection where engaged couples would be researching wedding preparations. Some of these connecting points might include tuxedo shops, wedding dress shops, limousine services, DJ services and local churches.

The next element in the lead generation strategy is a creation of awareness. This would be accomplished as the cake decorating business is introduced to key people at each of the aforementioned connecting points, as a resource for couples planning their weddings. An offer to cross-promote the business of the other would be appropriate. As part of this cross promotion strategy, it would be appropriate to leave brochures, business cards and even photographs of cakes to give a sampling of the home business owner’s work. To put some real power to the home based business lead generation process, the owner would actually take a sample of one of their cakes as a “gift” for each of their connecting partners. Creating synergy with other business owners is the key to making this strategy successful. When a strong impression is made, these connecting partners essentially become a volunteer sales force to the target market on behalf of the home based business owner.

Offering exceptional value is critical for generating leads for your home based business. A small brochure on the top 10 mistakes to avoid when planning your wedding would be of great value to the target market. Distributing this brochure at the connecting points and including a tagline, showing the information being provided courtesy of the home based cake decorating business. Creates value and personal branding for the home based business.

The strategies mentioned above involve localized, face to face marketing techniques. Consider a variation on the previous strategies when dealing with a business that is using the internet for generating home based business leads. For example, a home based business that sells cleaning products would utilize the same principles for identifying a target market. In this example the business owner has chosen to those looking for environmentally friendly cleaning products.

The business owner would begin by finding online connecting points. A great starting place would be community groups that deal with “green” living. As the business owner interacts in the community, they would include their website in their forum signature. The business owner would become part of the life of the community by making regular informative posts that discuss the benefits of using organic cleaning products. Additionally, the business owner would want to create a small report listing 5 things to look for when choosing environmentally friendly cleaning products. The report would be offered freely to anyone interested in receiving it. This online report would have a tagline indicating that is being provided courtesy of the cleaning products business. Those participating in forum discussions with the business owner and those requesting the free report are all examples of home based business leads that have been generated from taking a few small steps.

Relationship building is the key to generating home based business leads in your marketing efforts. These strategies can be implemented for both online and offline home based businesses.

Owner Of UK Small Business Shares The Secrets Of His Recent Success

Most people don’t like to admit this, but the last few years in business had been an uphill struggle for me, that was until I discovered some very simple secrets to successful marketing, which has helped me to increase my Turnover and Profits by 35% in the last 12 months.

I would like to share these simple secrets with other UK small business owners for free.

Having spent thousands of pounds over the last year obtaining the latest marketing information and 100’s of hours searching internet pages from around the world here are a couple of my TOP TIPS to Increase Your Turnover and Grow Your Profits.

LEAD GENERATION ADVERTISING

One of the best forms of advertising we have found is lead generation advertising.

What is lead generation advertising? – Instead of the traditional way of advertising, where you are trying to sell a specific product or service and the focus of the advert is just to get a sale, lead generation advertising is different. Rather than to sell your product or service, the purpose of lead generation advertising is to do just that – generate leads.

A lead is a sales term for someone who is a prospective buyer ie. someone who is interested in your product or service. It is a lot easier to generate leads than to get an immediate sale, which is increasingly difficult these days because everyone is under a constant barrage of advertising.

The best way of lead generation advertising is to offer anyone who maybe interested in your product or service something of interest to them for free in return for their contact details.

An example of a typical lead generation advert, that you may have seen, is from Centre Parcs who promote their resorts with TV advertising. The purpose of their adverts is to get you to request a free DVD. The reason for this is simply to get the contact details of anyone who is interested in a holiday ie. you have to give them your postal address for them to send it to you. They are not saying “book this holiday now”, they are saying “we’ve got something for you for free”. They are doing this because they know that after measuring and testing, proportionally they will get significantly more people to request the DVD and subsequently become customers than they would get people to book a holiday straight away.

Lead generation advertising is great because it gets people to express their interest at no risk to them. It is very unlikely your competitors are offering anything free to potential customers. If you do this it will give you a great advantage over your competition.

All you need to do is come up with something relevant to your business that your potential customers would find interesting. This could be a free report eg. if you are an electrician you could write a report – ’10 top tips to ensure your home is safe’ or if you are an estate agent ’10 top tips to make your home more saleable’ etc.

Other free items could be:-

  • a sample of your product
  • a free DVD or CD
  • a free survey or advice.

There are many things of interest you could give away for free and there are no rules to this, it just needs to be of interest to your potential customers.

Areas where lead generation advertising could be used are:-

  • Yellow Pages / Directories
  • Newspapers and Magazines
  • Websites
  • Email
  • Telephone
  • Radio or TV
  • Signage
  • Direct Mail

Give lead generation a try, I guarantee it will seriously increase the amount of potential new customers that contact your business.

WORD OF MOUTH RECOMMENDATIONS

One of the easiest ways of getting new customers into your business is through your existing happy customers by way of word of mouth recommendations/referrals. This is also one of the cheapest ways of marketing your business as it costs practically nothing.

Referrals tend to attract better customers who will stay with you for longer.

If you can build a referral system into your business this will help you to maximise the amount of referrals you receive.

Firstly you need to make your customers aware that word of mouth referral is how you grow your business. You can do this just by mentioning it in your frequent communications to your customers by email, mail out or simply in a telephone conversation, and you will find that your referrals will increase. Just by dropping in to your communications that you are busy with work from recommendations would educate your customers to the fact that it is important to recommend you to anyone they think could use your services.

The second, more direct and most effective way to seriously increase the amount of referrals you receive is simply to ask for them.

Speak to your customers – ask them “Are you happy with our work?”, say to them “I need your help, would you be willing to recommend us to anyone who could benefit from our services?” “Would you be willing to give them a leaflet or business card” or “Could you give me their contact details and I will contact them direct”. This could be done by phone, email or by direct mail – if you don’t ask you don’t get!

Be pro-active – If you are already receiving referrals without asking for them imagine how many you would receive if you asked all your existing customers!

So, before you spend thousands of pounds on wasted advertising – give something for free and go get some referrals!

I am convinced that if you implement these easy marketing tips you will see a considerable increase in new customers into your business and most important of all, an increase in your profits.

Can a Small Business Marketing Package Increase Sales?

For any business the return on investment for each marketing program is important, for small business it can be the most mission critical decision a marketing professional can make. In today’s economy, every marketing spend is a serious one, so examining the return on investment for a small business marketing package is important before choosing the package. The good news is that changes in technology have changed the equation for small business marketers from one of shrink wrap packaged database software or sales account contact management packages, to a variety of inexpensive, no contract online marketing packages that can keep costs very low while resulting sales from the marketing package grow.

Affording a web-based or “cloud” computing package for marketing was until recently something that only a larger business could get a return on their investment with. Now subscription based marketing packages can be found for very low monthly rates that will provide not only all of the sales account management features expected of the desktop database products, but email marketing, social CRM tools for twitter and more. Some of these packages even provide a free 30 day trial period in which the small business can perform an unlimited amount of email marketing and lead gathering without any cost.

The key way in which a web-based small business marketing package can increase sales is by gathering leads from a landing page and moving those leads directly into a sales contact database for sales to contact. Many online packages provide an online form that the small business can direct customers to, or incorporate into the design of their website. Once new leads are in the system, the marketing package provides the sales force with a way to stay in constant contact with leads through email, while increasing the knowledge they have in the system about each opportunity or activity.

Having a sales force track customer opportunities in a more organized way than a simple contact database and can provide information on neglected accounts. Small business marketing packages will provide templates to create professional email designs for bulk email or to be used as form letters by the sales force. Shopping around can reveal that some full service online marketing packages provide all of the features of a customer relationship management system at the same price that other email marketing packages charge to send bulk emails.

The biggest advantage of a web-based small business marketing package is mobility. Desktop database, contact management and spreadsheet programs mean that customer information is in one location. If that location is on a laptop or your phone that’s great, but it has to be kept in sync and situations will come up where someone else needs the data when its on the road with a sales person. Cloud based software for marketing provides the power to tap into that customer information from any computer with web access, smart phone or tablet. This means that opportunities can be worked to their full extent anywhere anytime and more sales will close.

A small business marketing package can go a long way to increase sales. The important things to know is how much the company will be investing initially to get those sales, how many sales force oriented features are included for the monthly subscription price, and does the package give the ability to generate leads directly into the marketing program from the web.