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Contact: Daniel F. Johnson
Business: Leading National Supplier of Point of Sale Systems
Advice Topics: Business/Marketing
In my experience as founder of a property preservation company, I have learned many pieces of wisdom that may help you as well in your business career. As a wise man once said, “learn from those with experience, as you will acquire for free, what they acquired at great cost.” It is with this motto in mind that I attempt to disseminate information that may help you in your careers.
To begin, there are a number of lessons that I learned as founder of my own company. Among them are: go into a line of work and choose a business name that makes you happy, try to delegate tasks – don’t try to do all the work yourself, and don’t deal with lousy clients. I also found some positive techniques, specifically for marketing that work: Print up a rough draft of your business cards using an online service, like VistaPrint or FedEx business cards. Then, ask the advice of colleagues, friends, or experts in marketing or your field to see if they can offer any critique. After that, print out second or third renditions until you are happy with it.
Cold calling, although many people are nonplussed by it, is an effective way to reach potential clients. Most important to remember is that it is a numbers game. Don’t take rejection as personal, simply pick up the phone and go on to the next call. It’s all about the numbers. Professionals who work in larger offices who cold call, sometimes make 200 calls a day. You can also farm this work out, if it is not your cup of tea. Also, Network. Network. Network. Talk to anyone and everyone about your business. Just like the principle of the 6 degrees of separation , chances are that someone knows someone else who can help you along in your business. I also found that marketing to your target audience via local channels was very effective (E.g., would advertise in realtor offices via a weekly circular).
In my new role as social media strategist at Harbortouch, I find that many of the same principles apply to my marketing efforts: Persistence, hard work, getting outside advice, focus on your target market, and definitely networking. Social media is all about networking. LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, you name it, are all about broadening your horizons and making new contacts. What I find most exciting is that after putting in endless hours at the computer, my marketing efforts will suddenly pay off with clients who want to buy a point of sale system!
The point of sale system I am selling now definitely differs from the last service I provided. Whereas in the past, I was providing a clean-up service to the mortgagor of a property (something that most people did not want to deal with), the POS system is ubiquitous and if you are serious about business, you would be hard pressed not to have one. The POS is great because it manages your labor, payroll, employee productivity and more, not to mention it keeps track of inventory and allows you to run numerous financial reports. It is a great helper because it streamlines your business and definitely frees up your time to focus on more important matters.
All marketing efforts essentially center on saving the client either time or money. In the past, once I had a potential realtor or bank as an interested customer, I would usually have to bid on the price of work to be done at a property and compete with other contractors. Often times, this put pressure on me to lower my service price. With the Harbortouch POS system, this is not a problem because it is being offered absolutely FREE, with only a small monthly merchant account fee required, and I am no worse for the wear. Another benefit to my marketing efforts now is that once a client is interested in the system no follow-up dirty work is required. It is really just plug and play, with 24/7 technical support to boot!
This is just a small sampling of the challenges that may arise in your business. Most importantly it is best to get advice from someone who has had experience in your line of work. Good luck in your endeavors!
 Refers to the idea that everyone is on average approximately six steps away, by way of introduction, from any other person on Earth, so that a chain of, “a friend of a friend” statements can be made, on average, to connect any two people in six steps or fewer (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/6_degrees_of_separation)
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