Start Up Businesses and Technology

We are pleased to share notes from the 2011 “Ink from Chase” seminar series being held around the country.

Each of the ideas below are taken from real business owners who shared tips for success on everything from starting a business and financing your dreams to managing employees and engaging your customers.

Starting Your Business – before you launch your business, there’s a big list of to-do’s. Make sure you have all the essentials checked off.  Along with the basics of mission, legal, finance, employees and filling a real need for customers, building an internet identity and presence with an online marketing strategy is an important item on every start up owner’s to do’s.

Establish a mission statement – Create a flexible business plan, know your competition, and consider tapping into friends and family as resources.

Financing – When you approach investors, have a business plan in place, show passion for your idea. Its important that you have a realistic view of your company’s financial status at all times by creating financial projections.  Ask vendors for extended terms whenever you can.

Managing Employees - Set up staff meetings to ensure everyone’s on the same page. Encouraging your staff to express their personalities by decorating their work spaces is just one way to create a great work environment.

Encourage open communication – Hire slowly and fire quickly, enough said.

Marketing – Promoting discounts isn’t always a smart way to market your business. Embracing social media and getting advice from others, however, is.

Seek outside internet marketing expertise – Search for a proven professional website developer.  Remember to ask about their Search Engine Optimization (SEO) expertise and experience.  Websites without SEO are no more than an expensive static electronic brochure with no bottom line impact.

Use Social Media – Link your Facebook and Twitter pages to your website to keep customers up-to-date.  Try to interact with prospective customers on a 1-to-1 basis by using technology. Manage your clients’ expectations

Customer Service – It’s important to not only respond to customer feedback and reviews, but use the information to improve your business.  The more you communicate with customers through e-mail and social networking the more opportunities you will have to interact with and retain customer loyalty.

Engage in online review sites – Send out electronic letters, cards or newsletters

Utilize smartphone technologies – the experts say that 70% of customers go online before making a purchase.  When your customer’s fingers do the searching be sure they will find your businesses mobile enabled website?

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