Yes!  I am ready to Break Into a New Market

Pure Drive to Succeed

Succeed Through Pure Drive

While most of my posts are usually directed at giving information to improve your business, I wanted too address one aspect that most creative business owners lose after a few years, your DRIVE. Businesses are not successful through a good short game, they are successful over the long term and the ones who take the most risk usually succeed more.  It takes pure drive to…

Think Outside the Box

Creativity, ingenuity, and innovation are the things that drive businesses to stand out above all other ones. It’s not just how much time you spend working on your business, it’s what you do with that time to make your business stand out above all others. What are you doing with your time, checking facebook, checking your email, checking instagram? While your doing that, another business is perfecting their sales position or educating themselves to be better at what they do. In the short run that might not make much difference, but over time they will get better and better to eventually take you out of your market.

Ask for Help

When you are so desperate and at your whits end why won’t businesses ask for help? I think its because they don’t want to hear the true answer. Deep down they know why they are failing, but don’t want to actually admit they have a problem. This is a classic example of the inward mindset. What makes this mindset so pervasive and destructive is that your justification becomes more important than your own success or happiness. The owner that isn’t afraid to ask for help or advice is focused not on their justification but on their business and driving towards success.

To be Educated

“I don’t have time for that”. Why is it that education always falls by the way side. You have to constantly want to be educated and grow smarter. Your mind should be a sponge looking for anything that will give you that edge. In fact a study of 1,200 successful people found they all have reading as a past time. But, it’s not just reading, it’s the fact that they are selective about what they read. They are choosing to be educated versus being entertained. When do you read? Whenever I get the chance. Doesn’t matter if its 5AM or 10 PM; knowledge is like compound interest, it can build every day. How many of us are really driven to pick up a book every day?

Never be comfortable with your business!

 Always be on edge and scared as hell that it can be taken away at any minute. Do you have the drive to do what it takes…?

Let’s Stay Connected

I hope you have enjoyed this post. Do you want to dive deeper into how to be successful in new markets or are relocating your business and need some help? Come join our course Break into a New Market.

If you want to stay up to date, subscribe to our newsletter to receive the latest content and request access to our private Facebook page for special live content. In addition, to view all of our videos, subscribe to our YouTube channel.

Video to Succeed

Video is a Must to Succeed

If you haven’t already . . . you must incorporate video in order to stay with the current marketing trends.  I know that is a pretty bold statement but it is the absolute truth. Most of the younger business owners have grasped this concept but older businesses are really having issues truly understanding how important video is going to become. In addition, we hear from a lot of business owners that “we have time before it becomes truly necessary”. Folks, I am here to tell you we don’t. In fact as of next year (YES!! 2019)  80 percent of marketing will contain video.

More Evidence

Just in case you still don’t believe me here are some more facts from Forbes:

  • 90 percent of consumers indicate product videos directly inform purchase decisions.
  • 92 percent of videos viewed via mobile are shared compared to other modes of access.
  • 95 percent of consumers retain communicated information through video, while only 10 percent retain information from reading.
  • Companies utilizing video content experience a 41 percent increase in traffic through web searches compared to others who don’t include video in their content strategies.
  • Video offers the best return on investment, as 51.9 percent of marketing experts agree. 

How do I Start Using Video

In order to get started I believe you have to know where your traffic is viewing your videos.  In that same article from Forbes, they gave a perspective of where consumers connect directly with branded video daily: “49 percent on Facebook, 32 percent on YouTube, 24 percent on Instagram, 22 percent on Snapchat and 22 percent on Twitter.” This indicates you should focus a lot on facebook, but I don’t think that holds true. As the market becomes more in tune with video marketing I think you will see percentages rise in every social media platform till it settles out.

Tips for Video

Now that you see how important video content is what can you start filming? Well, I would NOT invest in any equipment as of yet (that is another blog post). Keep it simple, just use your Iphone. The phones of today give great quality video and sound. Some good ideas to get you started on your videoing journey are:

  • Video blogs about the content you are posting
  • taking videos of behind the scenes on location
  • tips for every day (parenting, business, etc.)
  • anything that interests you.

This will take time but the important thing is to never stop trying or recording.

Let’s stay connected

I hope you have enjoyed this post. Do you want to dive deeper into how to be successful in new markets or are relocating your business and need some help? Come join our course Break into a New Market.

If you want to stay up to date, subscribe to our newsletter to receive the latest content and request access to our private Facebook page for special live content. In addition, to view all of our videos, subscribe to our YouTube channel. 

How to Make a Great Youtube Channel | Trena Little - The Restart SpecialistNovember 20, 2018 - 3:33 pm

[…] is really important when ranking for SEO. We have a great blog on this exact subject that will dive deeper on why video is so important. Google values video above […]

Marketing Tech Tools

tech tools we love for marketingMarketing Tech Tools

We are huge proponents of outsourcing just about anything. The more we outsource the more brain power we can divert to growing our business. This philosophy took years of painful learning and sleepless nights. When I look back on it, though, I wouldn’t have changed a thing. Sometimes the lessons we learn from our failures and struggles prepare us far better than our successes.

Tech Tools

One of the areas that took us the longest to outsource and automate is marketing. Marketing is a very complex beast and the more you can outsource and automate the better off your business will run. Below are a few of our outsourcing tools we use to help our marketing platform.

Meet Edgar

How long do you spend writing blog posts? For us, we spend about two hours a week writing posts for both websites. Do you know how much of your target audience actually reads your post when it is published? According to Meet Edgar less than 25% of your target audience will read your blog post the initial time it is released. Meet Edgar actually allows you to plan and recycle blog posts so that you reach more people and maximize your content. This tool has proven to be the most helpful tool in our arsenal. All you have to do is categorize your content, schedule it, and the meet Edgar algorithm will put out content based on its creation date. It literally is that easy!

Planoly

Instagram is proving to get as much traffic and interaction as facebook. The problem we have is that it takes a lot of time to publish things from just my phone. All of that thumb typing is a pain. Well, Planoly allows us to actually plan posts on Instagram from the convenience of my computer. When it is time to post, I get a reminder on my phone and within seconds my post is complete.

Kate Max Stock

This is the newest tool in our arsenal. When we would publish blogs or videos on YouTube we would always need a cover image. Sometimes our cover images would not look that great so we decided to do our own stock photography to get images we wanted. Do you know how long it takes to produce stock images? It takes a long time and the amount of stuff you have to buy to produce the images sometimes can be very costly. There are other sites that do the same thing of selling stock photography, but we found Kate Max fits our style the best. You have two options to either buy one stock image at a time or a membership for a year and you are able to download as much as you want. Considering how much we use stock images, we went with a yearly membership and have absolutely loved it. The other nice thing about this service is that new stock photos are added every month so there is always new content.

17 Hats

This one has been the biggest game changer in our lives.  We started using 17 Hats a few years ago when the amount of clients we had was really increasing and in order to keep up we needed a client management system that also helped us automate our workflow and offer a more consistent experience for our clients.

Let’s stay connected

I hope you have enjoyed this post. Do you want to dive deeper into how to be successful in new markets or are relocating your business and need some help? Come join our course Break into a New Market.

If you want to stay up to date, subscribe to our newsletter to receive the latest content and request access to our private Facebook page for special live content. In addition, to view all of our videos, subscribe to our YouTube channel. 

Breaking into an Oversaturated Market

Breaking Into an Oversaturated Market 

Above every question we get, the most popular without a doubt is “How do I break into an oversaturated market?” Now this question is actually complex but, today, I will attempt to answer this question that has plagued almost every business owner at one time or another. 

What is an Oversaturated Market?

The best definition I have found actually comes from Investopedia and states . . .

“Market saturation is a situation that arises when the volume of a product or service in a marketplace has been maximized. At the point of saturation, a company can only achieve further growth through new product improvements, by taking existing market share from competitors or through a rise in overall consumer demand.”

Think about this point, in a TRUE SATURATED market you can’t grow organically at all. You have to create new products or take market shares from your competitors. The reason we bring this up is that in order to break into this type of market, your marketing and branding strategy has to change. Below are some of our best tips to conquering an oversaturated market.

Figure out Your TRUE Market Status

When are consulting new clients we always ask people who state they are in an oversaturated market to prove it. We do this to make the point that sometimes our perception and inward mindset will destroy our ability to see a way to market in a highly competitive market. The only way we know if we are in a TRULY Saturated market is through market research and to see if most of the market is truly operating at the level of service I provide.

Find Your Niche’

In a saturated market, everyone is operating at the same level and serving the same type of client. This creates huge opportunities to serve clients at different levels. A good example of this is the t-shirt industry (Great example of a SUPER SATURATED MARKET). There are high end t-shirts with nice fabrics, super hero shirts, and even work out shirts. Go further, there are even year genre’s of t-shirts like the 80’s and 90’s. So as you can see, each type of niche is serving a different part of the market.

Add Value

Value is like air: you never really think about it till its not there. This strategy can quickly separate you from your competitors with little to no cost to you. Some good example are rewards programs, phone conferences, consultants, or frequent buyer programs.

Pricing

This one is a little tricky for some business owners. The incorrect way we see people implement this strategy is to drop their price so it is below the average market. The bad thing is in a saturated market, your competitors will do the same thing and then the “Race to the bottom” cycle starts and everyone goes out of business. The better way is to look at your product and see if it matches the needs of your market. Maybe you look to offer a different pricing structure to include more packages. When we got to our new market we offered one baseline package and then people could a la carte other items. It was a horrible failure. We changed our pricing structure to include three packages and the market responded very well. The important thing is we didn’t lower our price at all but changed how we offered our product.

Innovation

This one is usually the most effective but can be costly. Innovation is what will make you stand out from your competitors. If your product is better than everyone is the market will shift in your favor. The only downside for the business is that your competitors will soon catch up so you are forced to constantly innovate. In a free market this gives your customers the best product at the best price. I would encourage you to innovate with things that are at a low cost so if your innovation does not work you won’t go out of business for it. A good place to start is look at your process and see what the customers want from your business. Getting a focus group of some of your customers of varying levels is a good start to this process.

Final Thoughts 

Saturated markets can be scary things. The important thing is to make sure you assess your market correctly and come up with a game plan. Take on one problem at a time and you will find your business thriving. Above all. LISTEN TO THE CUSTOMER.

Let’s Stay Connected

I hope you have enjoyed this post. Do you want to dive deeper into how to be successful in new markets or are relocating your business and need some help? Come join our course Break into a New Market.

If you want to stay up to date, subscribe to our newsletter to receive the latest content and request access to our private Facebook page for special live content. In addition, to view all of our videos, subscribe to our YouTube channel.

Late to the Marketing Game

Late marketing gameLate to the Marketing Game

So you are ready to move your business but are you marketing it or late to the marketing game?  Boxes are packed and loaded on a truck, family is ready to go, and you feel a sense of nervousness come over you but you quickly brush it off.  You got this! Nothing is going to stop you.  You reach into your important papers bag to pull out your checklist to look it over and check off all you have done. You take your pencil and hastily scan down the paper “Pack Boxes”…CHECK, “Pack kids entertainment”…CHECK, “Inform clients we are moving”…TOO LATE.

When to Market for a Move

If you are waiting till the month before or after your move to start moving your business you are too LATE.  Another common question we often get is “when do I start prepping my business to move? ” This one is a very delicate question. There are many factors to consider but here are some general guidelines that will help you:

Current Market

This is probably one of the biggest factors to consider when you are preparing your business for a move. Think of your market as a girlfriend/boyfriend. You have to prepare them and coach them through major life changes. If you prepare too early (more than 1 year) your market and SEO will get confused and you will send a mixed message. As a result, you will lose clients from both markets.

Timeline

When are you going to move? This is the pivotal question that will determine your timeline. Sometimes we are blessed with over a year notification and sometimes its only 6 months or less. The important thing to remember is that when you find out your date you have to start back planning. We recommend you start any actions toward moving your business no more than 6 months from your move date.

Certainty

This last one may sound a little weird but just bare with me. One of the biggest mistakes we find business owners make is to start moving their business without a guarantee they are actually moving. A good example is say your spouse gets a job offer in another state that won’t start for awhile out. Your spouse may have to negotiate that job offer, so to say you are moving is a little premature. A job offer does not guarantee a start date. Wait until the negotiating is done and they have a confirmed start date. This way there is more certainty and you will feel more confident making plans.

Let’s stay connected

I hope you have enjoyed this post. Do you want to dive deeper into how to be successful in new markets or are relocating your business and need some help? Come join our course Break into a New Market.

If you want to stay up to date, subscribe to our newsletter to receive the latest content and request access to our private Facebook page for special live content. In addition, to view all of our videos, subscribe to our YouTube channel. 

5 People You Meet in a Move

5 people you meet in a move5 People You Meet

Let’s face it, when you are trying to break into a new market there are a lot of struggles. You have to figure out the intricacies of a new city, how to act like a local, which vendors to partner with, who are your competitors, where your ideal client fits in, and all the while trying to balance family life. It’s not easy, but should it be? If one thing moving into new markets has taught us is that, we have to always remain flexible as a business to changing markets and thankful for every success no matter how small.  Recently, on Instagram someone asked me what the hardest thing about moving was.  The answer, learning to read people and their intentions rapidly.

Personalities

One of the biggest struggles we face every time we move is to identify someones personality and true reason for wanting to work with us. In doing rapid marketing and breakthrough market strategies for the past five years, we have identified that people usually fall into one of five categories. Keep in mind these categories are based on our own experience and anecdotal record of our mentoring clients.  So to help you out, here are the top 5.

The Genuinely Helpful Person

The genuinely helpful person embodies a concept we discussed in earlier blogs called the outward mindset. Their sole purpose in wanting to help you is to see you succeed. By helping you succeed they are building a relationship and improving the professional community around them.  These are the folks that make business enjoyable, fruitful, and community centric.

The Disingenuous Person

The disingenuous person usually seems very helpful in the beginning. Once they get to know you, they might stay friends with you for a bit but the minute they perceive you as competition they cut off all ties with you.  It can hurt, believe me, because I have been there and it has left me asking why?!   The reason they can do this so easily is they never had any genuine interest in you or your business in the first place beyond the purpose of  assessing your business and determining how to protect their own business, despite the fact that there is enough work for everyone.

The Brick Wall Person

The brick wall personality is usually the vender that has a very tight relationships with specific people (cliques) already.  Anyone who is on the “outside” of those cliques, is not talked to or acknowledged. These vendors usually never return phone calls or emails.     

The BFF Person

This type of vendor usually wants to be your really good friend very quickly. They want to hang out often and will give up business just to be around you or help you. Having friends is not a bad thing by any means, however this personality type takes it to an unhealthy level. You have to be very careful with this type of vendor because their friendship can turn toxic and actually hurt your business. The best to deal with this relationship is to establish boundaries.

The Talker

This vendor type has an opinion on everything. They think they are being helpful but in the end a lot of what they are sharing with you is gossip with the intent to draw you in to a problem they are experiencing.  Because you are new to the market, you will attract these folks easily.  The most important thing is to know is . . don’t get drawn in.  Remain like Switzerland and stay neutral in how you view them and the folks they are talking about.

How do I use this information? 

When we market to a new area and start meeting with other business owners, we try to identify their personality category as quickly as possible. We want to do this to ensure that that person is a good fit for our business and that we are a good fit for helping them grow as well. We mainly accomplish this by doing research into their website and in person or phone interviews. Ideally you want to try and meet as many genuinely helpful people as possible. The other types of personalities are not necessarily bad but take an extra level of precaution and energy when getting to know them. 

Let’s stay connected

I hope you have enjoyed this post. Do you want to dive deeper into how to be successful in new markets or are relocating your business and need some help? Come join our course Break into a New Market.

If you want to stay up to date, subscribe to our newsletter to receive the latest content and request access to our private Facebook page for special live content. In addition, to view all of our videos, subscribe to our YouTube channel. 

10 Ways to Market in a New Place

10 ways to market to a new areaMarket in a New Place

One of the most common questions we receive is “What is the first thing I should do when I try to break in to a new market?” The answer is very simple.. ALL OF THE ABOVE!! . In all seriousness, it really depends on a multitude of factors. The most prominent ones are the market conditions your moving into and the state of your business. In this blog post we will dissect our top recommendations no matter what market you are moving into. Please keep in mind these suggestions are not in any type of numeric order:

  1. Network– This one is the most obvious but is the most overlooked. Often people think you have to be in your new market to network. We call that one big EXCUSE!! If you have a cell phone and email you can start to network. Research and reach out to other business owners who look like they would serve your ideal client and start a dialogue. Skype or Face time calls can go a long way in building relationships.
  2. Blog– Your blog is your chance to communicate to everyone your thoughts, feelings, ideas, and inspiration. When you are trying to market to a new area you have to blog about it. This will boost the SEO on your site and give you presence in the new area to local clients and vendors. If you don’t blog, start now and make the time to blog at least once a week.
  3. Get out of the house and explore– In other words GET OFF THE COUCH!! Even though our society is heavily dependent on technology and social media, face to face interaction and personal explorations are still the best ways to get to know a new area. Where do you explore? Go to tourist destinations, food places, or landmarks. Go to any place that will help to get you to know the culture and people within the market.
  4. Create events if there aren’t any– This is a big one to help define your position in an area. In stagnant markets, no one wants to hold creative sessions (aka styled shoots) or educational workshops. The vendors may have become complacent and have lost that drive to always learn, innovate, and grow. This gives you a competitive edge because newer businesses are hungry for anyone who will give them information. If you fill that void in the market you will officially become a market disruptor and  gain competitive advantage over other vendors. Styled shoots are one way but make sure you think outside the box such as branding shoots, vendor get togethers, or hosting workshops.
  5. Go where your ideal clients are- In order to do this you have to know who your ideal client is. When you are trying to break into a new market, part of the process is to reassess your ideal client to see if their profile fits your area demographic. If you really get into it you will find yourself naming your profile. We always joke that our third partner in our business is “Catherine”. Once you have your ideal client, look at the stores in the area to see where your client would shop. Don’t be vague about this such as “they shop at high end stores”, really be as specific as possible such as Walmart, Target, or J. Crew just to name a few. 

These five tips are just the start. To see the other five tips sign up for our newsletter below . . .

Let’s Stay Connected

I hope you have enjoyed this post. Do you want to dive deeper into how to be successful in new markets or are relocating your business and need some help? Come join our course Break into a New Market.

If you want to stay up to date, request access to our private Facebook page for special live content. In addition, to view all of our videos, subscribe to our YouTube channel. 

That 5 Letter Word in Business | Taxes

That Five Letter Word in Business

I know this is an odd title for a blog post but its something that has been waying on my heart for so long….. yeahhhhhhh not really.  I think if you have read any of my blog posts from the past, if I have something on my mind I am going to talk about it. The five letter word I am referring to is… TAXES. Yes, the word that no photographer with a shred of common sense ever says but always has it on their mind. To help us dissect this really complicated issue we interviewed Mallory Erwin who has a degree in finance and runs the books for multiple companies to include her own crossfire gym (Crossfit Pulse).

Taxes Always Change

The biggest thing to understand about taxes is they never stand still. They are constantly changing and you always want to seek the help of a professional like a CPA. In order to help keep your books organized, Mallory suggests to keep your books on a system like Quickbooks. We found that in the interview, Mallory likes to keep her books on a quickbooks desktop application and keeps paper receipts. While, this is a departure from most systems that are web based, Mallory feels more comfortable with this method of book keeping. She recommends finding what works for you.

Useful Tax Tips

Along the way, I have heard so many things people say are “tax law” but turn out to be false. Mallory goes into some detail to give us some great tips regarding taxes:

  • Clothes- You can’t deduct them if you have the possibility of being able to wear them every day. Uniforms are a good example of things you CAN deduct.
  • Commuting Miles- If your office is not in your home and you travel to it you CAN’T deduct those miles. If your home is your office then you CAN deduct those miles. 

These are just a few of the tips. To catch the full interview, click on the link below:

Let’s Stay Connected

I hope you have enjoyed this post. Do you want to dive deeper into how to be successful in new markets or are relocating your business and need some help? Come join our course Break into a New Market.

If you want to stay up to date, subscribe to our newsletter to receive the latest content and request access to our private Facebook page for special live content. In addition, to view all of our videos, subscribe to our YouTube channel. 

Website Traffic and Analytics

Website TrafficWebsite Traffic

Where does the website traffic go? This question is something, in our experience, most creative business owners have no idea where to go or how to look. Well, in all honesty, we were lost on this same issue when we first started our business. Just think about it for a second, the first thing a client usually sees (their first impression of you) is your website. Sometimes, this page of digital media, will decide if you book that client or if the client even decides to contact you. With such importance, don’t we owe it to ourselves to see if our website is actually working for us and not against us?

What Tools Do We Use

In our latest interview we looked at this issue with Ryan Gerres ( Gerres Accounting Online, LLC). Ryan walked us through an in-depth look at what Google Analytics could offer the average business owner. Some of the data you can pull from theses analytics include user views, what page clients go to on my website, bounce rates, and so much more.

How Do I View The Data?

Some of the big concepts revolve around the theme of design vs information overload. Ryan really hones on this in the fact that Google analytics is very customizable and reports can be tailored to the business owner. This will allow you to view data that is very important to you more quickly and efficiently without drowning in a lot of useless information. 

Ryan presented so much information in his interview that we can’t possibly hope to capture it in this blog. For the full interview just click on the link below:

If you would like to inquire about the services and analytics Ryan provides, feel free to contact him at ryan@gerresaccounting.com. Stay tuned for more great interviews to come. 

Let’s Stay Connected

I hope you have enjoyed this post. Do you want to dive deeper into how to be successful in new markets or are relocating your business and need some help? Come join our course Break into a New Market.

If you want to stay up to date, subscribe to our newsletter to receive the latest content and request access to our private Facebook page for special live content. In addition, to view all of our videos, subscribe to our YouTube channel. 

An Interview with Teak and Twine

interview with teak and twine ownerInterview with the Owner of Teak and Twine

Imagine you own a client gifting business while still working a full time job in the US military. Everything is going along pretty well, and seems to be OK until that one day. You find out you are moving to another state, and just to throw a cherry on top, you are 7 months pregnant. So you pack up, and move to your destination with business in hand, hire a new team, and start over again. All is going well, until seven months later when you have to move your business again into another state. Now you have had lots of practice by now, but once you get there your business has grown so much you have to move again into a warehouse just to hold everything together. Does this sound absolutely crazy or unreal? Well, it’s not. This is was reality for Torrance, the owner of Teak and Twine.  In our interview with Torrance, she will share some of the obstacles she faced and how she overcame them.

Team Dynamics

One of the great things Torrance discussed was effective team dynamics. She literally had to rebuild her team on more than three occasions. She mentioned the need to get to know her team utilizing small events such as eating lunch. This simple act sounds pointless, but it builds comradely among your team and improves your relationships and mindset among your team.

Shifting Your Role

Torrance really went into detail about how her role switched over the years out of the creative side. As her business became more successful she found that she could not fill the creative role in designing her gifts as well as maintain her business. So what did she do? She OUTSOURCED and hired new team members. She gave these members roles to take over the creative part of her business allowing Torrance to run her business as a leader. She finds herself now giving direction, coordinating logistics, and keeping track of the numbers. Torrance chooses this role because she is more comfortable with it and has more of a knack for it. The important point is that no matter what, find people who are good at what your weakest areas are. 

Full Interview

To catch the full interview with Torrance click the video below and subscribe to our You Tube channel.

Let’s stay connected

I hope you have enjoyed this post. Do you want to dive deeper into how to be successful in new markets or are relocating your business and need some help? Come join our course Break into a New Market as it launches again in October.

If you want to stay up to date, subscribe to our newsletter to receive the latest content and request access to our private Facebook page for special live content. In addition, to view all of our videos, subscribe to our YouTube channel. 

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Hello & Welcome

Exhausted from trying to break into a new market and have no idea what needs to be done to keep your creative business growing?  You are in the right place, friend!

The Restart Specialist was born out of our constant nomadic life and the search for answers on relocating a business without fear. I am so excited your here. Pull up a chair, settle in with a good cup of coffee and lets get started.

  

  

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