Stefanie Hartman In The Press

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How can your small business compete against the mega-corporations that cater to the masses?

Posted on 28 Nov 2012 | Author Stefanie | Comments 1 comment | Tags

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How can your small business compete against the mega corporations that cater to the masses?“Are you ready to become the big fish in a small pond?” asks Scott Gerber of Entrepreneur Magazine. “From aquatic sporting goods for dogs to Michelle Obama-inspired fashion websites, niche products and services have the potential to generate big bucks if they capture the hearts, minds and wallets of a dedicated consumer base.”

As you know, I’m a huge believer in setting aside that “get the numbers -beat the competition” approach to business.   As our population ages — people aged forty and older now make up the largest adult population in North America — more and more entrepreneurs are looking for opportunities that are not only profitable, but meaningful.  This often leads to niche businesses — businesses that are tailored to specific markets that are often overlooked by the large franchises.

Mr. Gerber’s article, “Five Steps to Building a Successful Niche Business,” gives a terrific example of how the internet has changed the world, creating endless possibilities for entrepreneurs who are following their passion instead of the dollars.  He mentioned Google as an example of how niche businesses can find tremendous success by providing a simple service — a search engine ranked by backlinks — and doing it well.

So how can you profit by serving your specific niche?  Mr. Gerber says:

  • Create a Simple Service. Rather than trying to be all things to all people, choose a specific market that has a specific, unmet need and meet that need.
  • Become the leading expert of your niche.
  • Be Specific, Distinctive and Relevant.
  • Copy, Past and Repeat. Keep hammering that message home.

It’s a new era in business.  Consumers have lost interest in corporations that treat them as numbers or a prize to be won.  If you know what your customers want and set about delivering it with a customer service attitude, they will be drawn to you.  If you approach other entrepreneurs with an eye toward finding win-win ideas, you’ll both grow your business.  Thanks to the internet, you can do both of these in a way that hasn’t been possible before.

If you still wonder whether putting people above profit will dampen your success, remember Google’s declared Code of Conduct:  “Don’t be evil.”  The Google prospectus notes:  “We believe strongly that in the long term, we will be better served — as shareholders and in all other ways — by a company that does good things for the world even if we forgo some short term gains.”

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Are You Harnessing the Most Powerful Advertising Technique of All?

Posted on 27 Nov 2012 | Author Stefanie | Comments 1 comment | Tags

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There was a time, not so long ago, when consumers relied heavily on expensive paid advertising to make their spending decisions.  Remember this?

Are You Harnessing the Most Powerful Advertising Technique of All?

Before seeing that commercial, viewers may not even have known that their husbands were suffering disdain and mockery due to the rings around their collars.  Luckily, the commercial not only educated them about the dreadful plight of grey-collared office workers, but it also offered them a solution — Wisk Detergent.  They would be spared the shame that the poor woman on the commercial suffered.  Their washers wouldn’t taunt them each time they opened the door.

With the advent of the internet, consumers make their decisions a little differently now.  As a heart-based entrepreneur, this is a great thing for you.   When your potential clients are confronted with pricey ads from mega-corporations, it takes them minutes to do more research.  They click on their favorite  sites to check reviews on the company.  They listen to podcasts.  They Google the product and look for product reviews.  They might even hit up WikiAnswers.com:  “Is ring around the collar even a big deal?”

You may not have a massive advertising budget, but you have a global marketplace right at your fingertips, and consumers are talking to each other.  The MarketingGuy tells us that according to a survey from 1&1 Internet, 89% of shoppers say they purposely stay away from small online retailers with negative customer reviews on the web.  Referrals and recommendations are important.  So how can you make this trend work to your advantage?

  • Make sure you deserve your good reputation. Determine what your clients need, and deliver it.
  • Build incentives for referrals into your processes from the beginning. Referrals are extremely effective, but your clients may not think of it if you don’t suggest it.
  • Follow up with your clients to make sure they’re satisfied, then ask for referrals. Make sure you hand out at least three business cards

If you’re taking the time to know what your customers need and giving it to them with a true service attitude, you don’t have to worry if you have a small or no advertising budget.  Clients who are referred to you will trust you more, and research shows that they are willing to spend more as well.  What are you doing to earn referrals for your business?  I’d love to see your comments below.

Are You Harnessing the Most Powerful Advertising Technique of All?

Article Written by Stefanie Hartman www.stefaniehartman.com

2012 © Stefanie Hartman Enterprises Inc. You may republish this article, if you keep the article intact as is and credit the authors name and website: “Stefanie Hartman” and website: www.stefaniehartman.com. Thank you.

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Should You Advertise the Old-Fashioned Way?

Posted on 26 Aug 2009 | Author Stefanie | Comments No comments | Tags

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Remember the Wisk commercial in my last blog?  Here’s another vintage commercial:

Should You Advertise the Old Fashioned Way?

I bet you didn’t even know you needed Space Food Sticks until you saw that!  LOL!

Out with the old . . . in with the new.   Download your free copy of The Hartman Report now.

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Subject: Is Your Name On the List Below?

Posted on 17 Aug 2009 | Author Stefanie | Comments No comments | Tags

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Subject:  Is Your Name On the List Below?
Image by wsh1266 via Flickr

Wow!  Who says Monday’s are boring?   This is so exciting!

Today is FINALLY the day I can REVEAL the proud winners of the Private JV Club Contest.

Here’s the story:

A few months ago, I asked several of my famous friends to participate in a joint venture contest to help unknowns get a big break.  Many agreed and the JV Club Contest was born.  After 6 weeks of coaching JV Members on how to write a proposal Continue Reading

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Are You Allowing “Lack-Thinking” to Prevent You From Pursuing Joint Venture Opportunities?

Posted on 12 Aug 2009 | Author Stefanie | Comments No comments | Tags

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Are You Allowing Lack Thinking to Prevent You From Pursuing Joint Venture Opportunities?

Lol!  How often do we imprison ourselves with our old way of thinking?  It’s a new era of business — the cut-throat, competitive business model is out, and an attitude of cooperation and customer service is in.

Learn more. Download your FREE copy of The Hartman Report now.

Are You Allowing Lack Thinking to Prevent You From Pursuing Joint Venture Opportunities?

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Target Your Email Newsletters For Maximum Profit

Posted on 05 Aug 2009 | Author Stefanie | Comments No comments | Tags

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Target Your Email Newsletters For Maximum ProfitYou can mail out the most riveting email showcasing your product, but if you don’t target it to the right audience, you won’t get results.

Check out this funny video to see what I’m talking about!

 

Need help targeting your email newsletters for maximum impact and profit?  Check out our Get it Done series.  Let us concentrate on your marketing needs, so you’re free to take care of business.

Target Your Email Newsletters For Maximum Profit

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How can you hone your marketing emails to maximize results?

Posted on 03 Aug 2009 | Author Stefanie | Comments No comments | Tags

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How can you hone your marketing emails to maximize results?
Image by DavidErickson via Flickr

I just read a terrific post from David Riklan of Self-Growth on the effectiveness of email advertising.  He addresses the question:  “Does email newsletter advertising really work?” His answer  is a firm, “That depends!”  Some products — health products, financial services, and help for relationships and self-improvement — tend to fare better than others with online marketing. Continue Reading

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Is your small business doomed before it has a chance because of the declining economy?

Posted on 22 Aug 2008 | Author Stefanie | Comments No comments | Tags

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Is your small business doomed before it has a chance because of the declining economy?

Image via Wikipedia

In the U.S. in July, employers cut 250,000 jobs and retailers saw a decline in sales for the eleventh straight month.    Wall Street is withering in the economic drought, and optimism for recovery anytime soon is low.  If you’re thinking about starting a small business right now, you might be thinking twice.  If you’ve already started your business, you might be listening to all the bleak predictions on the business news and wondering if you’re doomed before you even get started.

Does your business stand a chance?    Continue Reading

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