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Let me be very honest, starting a business costs money.  Starting a successful business…still costs money.  Getting the marketing pieces and materials you’ll need to do the bare minimum to promote your business effectively…will cost money.

counting moneyDoes spending a lot of money guarantee you are going to be successful?  No, but spending it smartly does help.  I’ll get into that in a few.

Does spending very little money guarantee you are going to be successful?   It’s more than likely to ensure…you’ll get the type of client that’s looking to make the same decision about your product/service/widget as you did on your marketing pieces.  “I want the biggest bang for the least amount of money”.

I was recently talking with Steve Fisher about the upcoming “Rock Star Entrepreneurs and Your Business: a Webinar Event” and my frustration with some past clients I had.  Keep in mind; these are clients who thought that by investing very little in their own business…their success was guaranteed because people would just “want” their product/service/widget.

As if the magic Small Business Fairy was going to bless their frugalness with a line of clients stretching a mile long, a phone that magically rings every five minutes with people saying “yes” before the elevator pitch is done, and a website that has to have its bandwidth updated daily to handle the flood of internet savvy customers that magically found their website without the use of a search engine, business card, advertisement, or word of mouth marketing efforts.

Sorry to disappoint you, but that little pixie of small business goodness doesn’t exist.  Trust me I’ve been looking and I assure you when I find that winged temptress with the strategically placed golden horse shoe I will quickly pin that fictional character of business down and sell tickets to let it discontentedly bless new entrepreneurs who want to take the cheap way out.

There are things you will need, right out of the gate, which will help you.  In later posts I’ll go into each in greater detail, but to start a good brand name and identity that will resonate with your clients, a business card with your brand and company information on it, and a website with key information that will visually engage your prospects/clients.  Think of a networking event or coffee shop corkboard where you’ve seen a business card or flyer of a company that blatantly did not invest much into their business.  You have two companies side by side that offer the exact same services.  Without knowing a thing about their actual performance you have thirty seconds to make a decision on which company you will go with. Company A has a business card with a strong visual presence, their messaging and information is clear, and the quality of the card alone shows the business invested in itself.  Company B printed their business card on their home computer in black and white, the edges are perforated, and their information doesn’t clearly identify what the company is about.  Which would you choose to take with you?

Be smart with the time and money you invest in establishing your marketing pieces.  You can find some very talented designer/marketer starting their own consulting business and accomplish visually, and at a reasonable cost, what major companies pay thousands of dollars to marketing/design firms to accomplish.  You should look at the money you spend on marketing your company as, you guessed it, an investment in the way you, and your company, will be perceived.  Done right, your marketing materials should speak about your company without you even having to be in the room.  Your marketing materials should resonate the type of attitude, style, experience, and care that your customers will come to expect of your company and services.

I’m not asking you to break the bank, but what I am asking you to do is to not think with the wallet you have now, but the wallet you want once your business is established.

I’m also going to ask you to invest some time in your business, and yourself, and attend the “Rock Star Entrepreneurs and Your Business: a Webinar Event”.  This FREE, live webcast has an all-star line-up of entrepreneurs who will talk about some of the pains that small businesses will face in the areas of finance and marketing.

In the end, the money you invest into your company will come back to you through your clients.

As all ways, stay wicked.

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    • http://www.squidoo.com/lensmaster/health_check/Best-network-marketing-lead-generation-system Terry Upton

      Hi Mike,

      Thanks for the post. What if you don't have any money at all? What would you say to those people trying to get there business off the ground?

    • Mike Dougherty

      Terry,

      I have an excellent post on that coming up very soon. Promise to stay posted for it?

    • Jeff May

      I would check out http://www.gladhandle.com Great web application and can help a small business get marketing materials without a lot of hastle. I use this program to touch my customers everday with branded messages.

      will not require a lot of money

    • http://authoritynetworker.org/custom-front-end-funded-proposals Authority Networker

      If you have an network marketing online business, no doubt you’ve heard of funded proposals. Front end funded proposals are part of a process where you, as a marketer, sell inexpensive but very useful information products before you even talk to your prospects about joining your business. Exploding your downline growth with a funded proposal is the lifeblood of any multilevel marketing program because it brings additional income to you from the 95% of prospects who will never join your primary business. As a matter of fact, if you do custom funded proposals properly, these authority networker methods can totally eliminate your advertising costs for you without you doing anything. If you create your own front end funded proposals like e-books, videos, and audio CD’s, they better be good. The more helpful and valuable your information, the faster you can build your downline and the greater the chance those customers will purchase from you.

    • Guest

      If you have an network marketing online business, no doubt you’ve heard of funded proposals. Front end funded proposals are part of a process where you, as a marketer, sell inexpensive but very useful information products before you even talk to your prospects about joining your business. Exploding your downline growth with a funded proposal is the lifeblood of any multilevel marketing program because it brings additional income to you from the 95% of prospects who will never join your primary business. As a matter of fact, if you do custom funded proposals properly, these authority networker methods can totally eliminate your advertising costs for you without you doing anything. If you create your own front end funded proposals like e-books, videos, and audio CD’s, they better be good. The more helpful and valuable your information, the faster you can build your downline and the greater the chance those customers will purchase from you.