Tag Archive | secret of retail store

Answers to Your Top 5 Lead Generation Questions

Answers to Your Top 5 Lead Generation Questions

By Dave Lavinsky

Lead generation is critical for all entrepreneurs. And once you master it, your business will thrive.

To help you with lead generation, below I have answered the most common questions entrepreneurs. However, let me start with some definitions.

Your “leads” are simply your pool of prospective buyers who might be interested in your product or service.

For physical stores, your lead list can be residents in a certain zip code or a list of shoppers with certain demographic characteristics. For online or virtual businesses, your lead list is often defined as the list of prospects that subscribe or “opt-in” to your email list or otherwise contact you so you have their contact information.

Whether online or in a physical store, communicating with your lead list is a primary marketing strategy for generating new and repeat customers.  A general rule in marketing is: the bigger your list of leads, the more opportunities you have to generate new clients and sales.  This is why lead generation is so important.  Sound lead generation tactics grow your lead list.  Great lead generation strategies grow your list with prospects that are most likely to buy.

Below are answers to the most common lead generation questions I get:

1. How Do I Create a Lead List?

There are many ways to start building your lead list. The easiest is to put an opt-in box on pages of your website where visitors can register their email addresses – typically in exchange for content or freebies. Most websites offer free guides, e-books, tools or a newsletter.

You can also offer free samples of a one-time discount coupon.  Make sure the freebies are enticing.  Once the website visitor opts-in to receive the freebie, he or she now becomes part of your email list.

2. Does My Target Audience Matter?

Yes.  Know your niche and determine the people you want to target. This important element should be clear to you from the beginning. You will likely fail if you do not understand what type of customer best appreciates your product or service.

Once you truly know your target audience, you can do a better job of “talking” to them on your website. For example, you will use different verbiage to convince a 20 year old, single, suburban woman to buy your product than you would to convince a 60 year old, married, rural man to buy it, since each has different wants and needs.

3. How Will My Audience Find Me?

In order for your prospective customers to find you, you should be promoting your website in places where your targeted audience already frequents. For example. Let’s say your business sells electronic gadgets. If so, make sure customers find you on other websites that discuss electronic gadgets. You can advertise on these sites or submit guest blog posts and articles to them. You can do the same with social networking groups that discuss this topic. In many cases you can also pay the other websites to send an email promoting your company to all their subscribers.

Likewise there are other tactics to reach these customers such a direct mail, door hangers, radio spots of TV ads.  Naturally, you must align your strategy to your specific product or service, and to your budget.
Continue reading

Driving Innovation in Entrepreneurship

E-news from business link

Driving Innovation in Entrepreneurship

Small businesses fuel Alberta’s economy. It’s their nimble size, creative energy, bootstrapping nature and their capacity for risk that gives them the remarkable ability to adapt to a rapidly changing marketplace. As small businesses grow, they can forget the innovation basics that helped them to become successful in the first place. Innovation should, in fact, be a perpetual and ongoing activity that every small business owner invests time towards.

So, how can your business be more innovative or creative? The following tips can helpensure your business stays ahead of the curve:

  • Dedicate time for ideas – Most meetings are highly structured and are set out to achieve a particular objective. Instead, dedicate periods of time to hold brainstorming sessions for exploration. Free thinking can often help find solutions that you wouldn’t have otherwise contemplated.
  • Collaborate with others – Communication and networking are critical skills to invest time towards. The best new ideas often come from a team approach. Learn how to work through and solve problems with other people.
  • Judge less, explore more – Accept that not every idea brainstormed will be acted on. In order to find the very best and most creative concepts, you need to sort through a pile of options.
  • Create pilots – The best way to test a new concept is through trial and error. Introduce pilot programs to test the feasibility of new concepts, products, or services. If the pilot doesn’t work; learn from it, and then find another idea to try out.

10 Insider Tips for Retail Success

10 Insider Tips for Retail Success

Learn some of the ins and outs of successfully running your own retail location from a tween clothing and accessories retailer.

Margarita Olivares doesn’t operate typical retail stores. In her shops, the walls are pink, floors are covered in animal-print carpet, employees wear fluorescently colored wigs, and merchandise is often furry, feathered or glittery. This combination makes Olivares’ two Glamdora–It’s a Girl Thing stores a bit of girl heaven.

Operating stores in Corpus Christi and San Antonio, Texas, keeps the 30-year-old mother of four on her toes. It also makes Olivares, who’s currently featured in the AOL/Entrepreneur.com series “The Startup” (AOL keyword: The Startup), a great person to talk about what it takes to run a hip retail concept. We asked her to share her secrets for keeping a business running smoothly and successfully, and here are her tips:

Location

  • Where you at? Choosing your location is the most important step in making your dream of owning a retail store come true. What good is it if you have a great staff and awesome merchandise but no customers? You should choose a location that has a high traffic count. A new retail store isn’t going to have a following unless it’s a franchise with a well-known name, [so if you’re independent,] you’ll need all the help you can get. Ideally, you’ll want to be next to non-competitive retail businesses that have steady clients; the overflow from these businesses will drive your walk-in traffic and bring in new business for you immediately. If you’re looking into a new shopping plaza, you’ll need to ask for the demographics of the area. This will ensure that you’re not opening a high-end store in a low-end part of town. Be aware of your surroundings, and take your time choosing the perfect location. Don’t choose a location just because it’ close to your house.
  • Big brother. Mall management has a job to do, and it’s to make sure stores coming into the mall or those already in the mall are following all the guidelines and policies that pertain to each individual lease. But management should help new tenants become more familiar with the mall because malls are run by a strict set of rules, and breaking one of the rules can break your pocketbook. Opening late, for example, is prohibited and requires a monetary fine to be paid to the mall. Mall management teams are very professional, and it’s best to have done your research before attempting a meeting or negotiating with leasing managers.

Merchandise

  • Stocking your shelves. Selecting merchandise for your store can be the most time-consuming and expensive part of opening a business. This duty shouldn’t be taken lightly! Before opening your store, you should visit wholesale marts to get an idea of the merchandise you’d like to carry. Decide what your mark-up will be and what’s appropriate for your area. Choosing the merchandise can be fun, but remember to maintain a general theme and purpose for your products. Discuss ideas with other retailers at the mart, and ask the sales reps for their ideas and suggestions. You’ll find most people are willing to help and discuss their experiences with certain products. This will help you decide and narrow down [your choices to] products that will do well in your store.
  • Keeping a theme. I maintain a theme in my store by staying true to our name: Glamdora–It’s a Girl Thing. Customers know what to expect when they come into our store: They expect to see merchandise for girls–not many stop in to see what we have for boys. Keeping with our tagline, we include merchandise for girls of all ages: nail files, gifts, room decor, shoes, accessories. They’re all chosen for their colors and merchandised by theme. Our stores are hot pink and lime green with zebra and leopard accents. With that theme, I choose merchandise that appropriately fits my store. I choose the nail files in hot pink, gifts in bright colors, room decor in zebra or leopard, and so on. [Sticking] to your theme will help you build loyal customers and create a unique store in the process.
  • Stay current and stay true. Don’t think you know it all when it comes to trends. Keep up with local as well as national trends. You might see a particular look plastered all over the TV or in fashion magazines, but know your market. Will it sell in your store? Does it fit your theme? And don’t attempt to sell anything that’s way out of your normal buying budget just because it’s trendy. The best thing to do is listen to your customers. Customers will always let you know what they’re looking for, but only if you ask. Visit your nearest wholesale mart to preview upcoming trends and new products.

Continue reading