Common Sense Tips for Start Ups

Is your small business a start up? If you are in business one year or less then your business is considered a start up and there are common sense things that you need to know and understand before you rush off into the sunset thinking because you sell it or offer the service that the people will just come. Because, they won’t.

Before you even think about a website you need to do this first:

Understand that you actually have no idea what you are doing. Face up to this fact and seek help and guidance from those advisers who have the business experience. 

Hire a business coach. Retaining a business mentor should absolutely be your very first expense / investment in your business. Do a phone interview with several business coaches before settling on one. Make sure the fit is right for your business needs. Each business coach that you interview should give you some free initial consultation time on the phone. Be respectful of their time limit. 15 minutes, 20 minutes. Listen for a business coach who expresses genuine interest in your business and who is willing to treat your business and you like the unique entities that you are. 

Decide whether your current idea of your product is fulfilling a need or want that prospective clients have. Do some market research, do internet research. With tangible products explore selling at craft or trade shows or local marketplaces. Gauge the interest, or not. You may have to tweak your product several times in order to find the sweet spot that gets you customers.

With services, determine who your local / main competitors are and analyze how they do what they do and use it to your advantage. Learn from the ones that instinctively grab your interest. You too will have to go through the tweaking stage more than once to find your sweet spot that nets you clients as well. 

When you see that your product or service is viable, this is the time to create a flexible business plan that can grow and evolve with you. 

If you are going to need a payroll service such as ADP go directly to them yourself. Do not use a middleman. In fact, do not use middlemen for anything for your business. Go direct or go nowhere – the commission fees will bleed you dry and when money is slow to come in you will find yourself still having to pay the higher price because of the middleman. 

Be motivated when cold calling on businesses if you offer a service. Don’t hand them a flyer and expect that they will call you. They won’t. You have to get in there, meet the owner or manager, give them a reason to want your service. Your market analysis of competitors should have been done by this point and you and your business coach should have come up with a plan that sets you apart from the rest. 

This legwork is necessary before you spend good money on a website. Putting up the website first is like putting the cart before the horse. You don’t even have a game plan at that point. 

Hiring the right website designer is crucial. Again, you should touch base with several website designers, doing the phone interview bit. If they don’t offer a free 15 or 20 minute consultation they are not right for you, right off the bat. Each website designer should be asked about what they can do for you. Just like the business coach, the website designer should express a genuine interest in your business, and be able to tell you briefly what they can do for you clearly and in understandable terms. If their services include marketing after website launch they need to be able to tell you what they will do to get your business out there. 

If you are a start up and you have found this article helpful, give us a call to find out more about our comprehensive business services such as business coaching, business mentoring, website design and marketing. Call today 201.753.1677

10 Tips to Make Your Attorney Law Practice Successful

An attorney law practice, like any other business in the world, is subject to the same set of rules as any other business – an extremely competitive environment. So how do you make your attorney law practice stand out from the competition?

Having worked with lawyers throughout Northern New Jersey for over 7 years as their Business Coach and Marketing Agency, we have some marketing tips that can help you IF you are willing to put in the extra hours and effort. If not, your law practice will just stagnate and go nowhere.

Tip #1 – Get yourself a customizable website that can grow and evolve with you and your business. Customizable means exactly that. No cookie cutter template nonsense just because it’s free. If you want to set yourself apart from the rest, you’ve got to walk the talk and look the look. Find out more here.

You think you’ll pass on having a website? Then you may as well pass on the business cards, and the overhead………. like the rent of your law office. And while you’re at it, figure out a different way to pay the bills.

Tip #2 – Figure out your niche target markets – what areas of law are you going to practice in. Understand that over time this may change and evolve. In order for you to become a successful law practice, you need to excel in a few areas and become the expert. If you feel like you’re just going to jump in and practice in all areas, you’re just branding yourself as a jack of all trades and a master of none.

Tip #3 – Populate your website with quality content, and lots of it. Each area of practice needs strong positive content, letting the public know what you can do for them. Potential clients are not interested in you patting yourself on the back. They are in trouble and need to see what you can do to get them out of said trouble. End of story. It’s not about you. It’s about your clients.

Tip #4 – Blog on a fairly consistent, constant basis. Your blog posts need to focus on your targeted niche markets. Your blog posts need to detail aspects of relevant cases, case outcomes, new laws and how they can and will affect various criminal court outcomes. The more information you make available in a professional helpful manner the more your law practice comes over as a leader and expert in the field.

Tip #5 – Make your branding consistent across the board – using the same handles and branding hashtags on LinkedIn, Instagram, Facebook and Twitter. Your law office should be instantly recognizable by your consistent brand hashtag. Potential clients may not remember your name when they go looking for you, but your hashtag will be your saving grace as they very well may remember that and find you that way.

Tip #6 – Populate your website with meaningful informative videos. This also establishes you as the expert that people can turn to for their legal issues. Whether they video is a lecture you gave, part of a round table session, or a short video on your chosen niche areas of practice, this goes a long way in establishing you as the expert. Plus, people like the visual. They feel like you are talking to them and this makes you much more approachable and relatable.

Tip #7 – Get involved with your local Bar Association, get on some committees. This brings up your visibility within the law circle itself. No, it’s not just schmoozing and nonsense. It’s networking, gaining peer respect, and getting referrals from other attorneys.

Tip #8 – Populate your website with all of the professional memberships you belong to, speaking engagements, education, continuing education seminars you attend over the course of your career. This is another very valid tactic to establish yourself as the pre-eminent expert in your field. This goes a long way in gaining potential client’s trust because they feel you actually know what you are talking about. Remember, they don’t know you from the next attorney and they have many other potential choices to take their legal issues to.

Tip #9 – Hire yourself a good marketing agency that will work with you to either build your website for you, or do a complete audit of your current website. A reputable marketing agency will identify all issues and weaknesses with your website after a thorough audit. Your marketing agency will then work with you to implement all organic methods possible to establish your presence in the search engines through proper white hat SEO, organic marketing techniques, local geo targeted SEO, reputation management and responsible social media marketing.

Tip #10 – Take advantage of your free listing on law directories. Don’t spend thousands of dollars a year on paid listings. Even on paid listings there are still other attorneys appearing on your page. This leaves the door open for a potential client to still click on one of them. Take the free listings, encouraging your clients to leave reviews for you there as well as on Google, Facebook, Instagram and LinkedIn. Remember, people like 5 star ratings. The more legitimate 5 star ratings, the stronger your reputation will be without you breaking the piggy bank.

Maureen McCullough LLC is your Bergen County New Jersey website design, SEO and marketing agency. We care about your business and want you to succeed. Give us a call today at 201.753.1677 for a free 20 minute consultation.