Making the jump from taking home a regular paycheck to starting up on your own is a daunting experience, make no mistake, no matter what the industry or sector it is a stressful and challenging time. Many people feeling stagnant in their current roles and who are worried about future security and job prospects are turning to self employment to bring home the bread.
Supply and Demand
Firstly choosing a service or product for which there is demand is vital and you should be capable of providing the service or skill. A great example can be found in the fitness industry. Trainers and exercise leaders are commonly finding the work in expensive health clubs is beginning to dry up. As people become less secure in their jobs and worry about finances increase, frequently the monthly health club payment is one of the first cuts to be made to ease some of the burden. Simple economics would suggest that when the customers are on the decline so is the PT’s work. Many of them have had huge industry experience and are excellently trained and see the opportunity set up on their own. Of late there has been a trend to setting up The Boot camp, moving away from the traditional offerings at the gym and finding something of a niche in local market terms. These are hard environments where Personal Trainers push participants to their very edge and rather like in a military environment work with them to train, train, and train some more.
Marketing the venture feels like a frightening prospect. Marketing is not as hard or scary as you might think. It literally refers to you promoting your business and its values, giving potential customers honest and accurate information to allow them to make an informed decision. Marketing is as much about you communicating with your client as it is about them communicating back to you.
Targeting your local market and holding focus groups to ascertain their views and opinions, likely demand and a reasonable price point is your first move. Holding a get together in a traditional focus group environment (hotel meeting room etc) can be costly, and not always necessary in the days of technology. Using social media to target the appropriate demographic can be a useful way in which to carry out some market analysis. Why not create a competition to encourage participants to talk to their contacts and share the news of your focus group. Ask them how they like to exercise in times of austerity. How much they feel is a reasonable cost, and how to pay, for example pay as you go plan or a monthly or even annual payment plan.
Facebook is a social media utility that has been in operation in its current guise since 2004. It was originally created by a group of University undergraduates at Harvard, wanting a vehicle through which to socially organise they. Its popularity has spread at a rate that no one expected and at February 2012 it reportedly had more than 845 million users globally (Wikipedia.org). Predominantly a social utility it is with increasing regularity being used by businesses large and small for their marketing in some way. Tap into the correct local market and your business will literally rely on the social network, particularly while in its infancy. Never underestimate the potential it represents to your business; it is essentially free marketing, and when targeted correctly it can be used with great success and results.
Make sure that your marketing material (whether they are flyers, posters or electronic material), make sense and are written using good English. The first impression they offer is your first opportunity to persuade clients to choose you and your business and subconsciously poor grammar and spelling will not impress. Have them professionally printed and distribute them across your geographical target market. Get posters put up at local malls, in bars and at social clubs. Think like your clients, where do they go and what do they do. It may feel like a vast expense, but it is one worth making, a true investment. Using payday loans UK can assist in covering some of the start up costs and with relatively little risk if you can project when your profits will begin to be made and allow you to repay the loan.
Listen to Your Clients!
All too often focus group holders go into networking events thinking they know what they want to hear. Only by going into the environment with an objective approach will you listen to your focus group or client base and take something away from the even of value. Talk to clients on an ongoing basis. Each and every one of them is important to your business and should be treated as such. Asked how they feel about the progress they are making with their plan, and so on. Even asking them how they are, remembering their name and other such personal touches will make your point of difference for them and ensure their repeat custom week after week, month after month and beyond.
Above all when you are going into competition with rival businesses you must maintain that professional edge and spirit at all times. No client should have to see behavior which is unprofessional and not in the spirit of what you are trying to achieve. At the end of the day promoting well-being and healthy living comes in a large part from a healthy mind, so practice what you preach, have fun, be sensible and sell yourself. You no doubt have a great business, so tell everyone who will listen about it!