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The Second Stage of Your Business

You are still around and you have started to see some sales from your marketing and sales efforts. You have told everyone you know about your business and products, and you have, in a big way, implemented some marketing strategies that make people notice you.

Unfortunately during this stage, typically the profits from the sale of products and services are not enough to fully sustain your business, and so this stage could be considered the emergency, or crisis stage. This is also true since during this stage money often starts running low.

And although you should continue as much as possible with the steps typically necessary to break you out of the First Stage of your business, in order to break through the emergency phase of your business, your efforts should be focused to include:

  • Continue pounding the proverbial pavement.
    Unfortunately throughout the second phase of your business there is very little that you could do to avoid this task, and so you should continue to do this as much as possible. Notably since you are starting to build a referral network from sales you have already made, the process is getting a little easier. It remains essential however, since this will likely prove your most significant source of sales at this point.
  • Service existing customers.
    It is essential to continue servicing existing customers at this stage of your business, as they will not only continue to prove a potential source of referrals, but they may also at some point become returning customers.

    In this case it would also be very important to start doing some individualized branding. Leave something behind that will remind them of your existence at a future date.

  • Service partners.
    If you were fortunate enough to gain some partners during the first phase of your business development, make sure that those partners are rewarded for their efforts. And of course use these opportunities again to remind them of your existence and need for referrals.
  • Advertise and brand.
    You should continue to advertise your business as you have throughout the first phase. It is likely however that you are already starting to see some specific trends with regards the success rates of specific types of advertising. Starting to focus your advertizing efforts on those types will increase their overall efficiency, though admittedly you may not yet see a complete picture, so plan this with care.

    Of course at this stage branding your business is also becoming a very important aspect of your business development, and it would thus prove of value to make sure that your advertising efforts are having the correct branding affect, making adjustments as needed.

    You should also, as noted above, pay some specific attention to individualized branding. Make sure that every individual that does business with you, continues to do so. Make sure you are front and center in their minds when the time comes.

  • Continue to search for new partners and referrals.
    Referral business is the best business, since individuals referred are already 50% sold. This makes it so much easier when you are trying to convince them to buy from you. Of course also remember that with every sale comes an opportunity to expand your network, so do not forget to specifically ask for referrals.
  • Maintain and increase visibility.
    If you are able, make sure that your signs, phone listings, internet phone listings and internet business listings stay up and continue to grow. At this point, if not up yet, it becomes essential to have a website or web presence of sorts. Also start contacting leading internet resources that match your business and request link exchanges. Start promoting your business on online forums and if you are so inclined, start writing blogs and articles for publication online. These are all fairly easy to create and add, and this will potentially significantly enhance your overall branding efforts as well as increase your general visibility and customer trust building efforts.
  • Do not give up.
    You are almost there, and so the time to push even harder is on hand. If it takes 16 hours a day, do it. It will be worth it in the end.

I wish you all the best with your ventures and invite you to share your stories and experiences here.

Cheers!