Message from CT...

The key to success is the knowledge one gathers from the relationships we make and the experiences of others. If you have just discovered CT Jewelry Design, I encourage you to subscribe and follow along. Feedback is always welcomed! - CT

Saturday, June 28, 2008

Writing a Simple Marketing Plan

Writing a marketing plan is actually fairly simple. It doesn’t have to be fancy or long. Just by answering some simple questions you have the ability to target your customers and build a brand identity for your business and how it is perceived.

1. What is your number one customer related goal?
Your customer related goal is your top priority because “Your customer” is the life-blood of your business. Do you want to identify your ideal customer? Do you want to attract new customers? Sell more to your existing customers? Add new products and/or services? Or serve more customers? Answering these questions will help you to benchmark your short term and long term goals.

2. What must happen to achieve your goal consistently?
What you do to achieve your goal consistently will help you meet or exceed your goal. Summarize the activities and factors you feel are important for the success of your business. Where will you get your referrals from? Do you need software to manage your referrals or will you just use a manual process? Summarize why this is important to your business and then add to it as your business grows.

3. What resources do you need?
Decide on what equipment, technology, skill-sets or space requirements you need to meet your goals. Then establish a budget and determine if the funds will come from operations or outside financing.

Taking these first steps and writing them down will help communicate your brand identity to your customers and identify what sets your business apart from other businesses in your target market. - CT

Monday, June 23, 2008

So You Want To Start a Business...

Businesses typically start out as dreams. Dreams of becoming financially secure, not having to punch a clock and fueling that passion I spoke about in an earlier post. Whatever the dream, starting a business takes a great deal of hard work and dedication. You must take inventory of your personal skills, goals, objectives and capital prior to starting your business. Plus you will need to prepare for challenges that may set you back at times as well as ones that will take you to new heights. Preparing to meet those challenges will help you to make the most of these opportunities to set out in business.

Do your homework. Use the Six P's, "Proper prior planning prevents poor performance". Research your ideas and trends to form the foundation of your new venture. Find out who your customer is. What marketing research, legal forms, licenses and startup financing will you need prior to committing to a new business? Develop a business plan. You have the ability to influence how successful your company will be, but you will need to be focused on these items first before you embark on the most important and challenging times of your life! - CT

Friday, June 20, 2008

Motivation and Determination To Be Successful

Do you have the motivation and determination to be successful? I believe you have to have your eye on your target and the vision to get there. Focus on the future and ask yourself these questions:

1. What is my number one goal?

2. What type of research and/or homework do I have to do to reach my goal?

3. How much time can I realistically dedicate per day, week, month and year?

4. Will there be obstacles and how will they prevent me from reaching my goal?

5. How will I measure my accomplishments?

Ask yourself these simple questions and then make a commitment. Most of all enjoy your work, daydream a little and go for it! Oh and take a break every now and then to refocus. - CT

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

What Fuels Your Passion For Success?

After over 25 years as a director in healthcare management, a wife for 27 years to the most wonderful and supportive man, a mother of a fabulous teenage son and a dream of owning our own business, there’s this other side of me, the passionate side that always inspired me to do more…be more.

For many years I wondered what pushed me into trying new ideas and finding creative ways to help me attain my goals in my personal and professional life. I finally figured it out one day when I was having a discussion (disagreement) with an ex-boss (who will remain nameless). He said to me, “You’re just too passionate! Let it go…it just can’t be done.” I’m too passionate? Let it go? It can’t be done? How could I not be passionate when it was so important to the patients, the staff, and to the organization?!? Well needless to say I lost that round, but I learned something very important about myself that day, I am a very passionate person and it has been fueled by people who use the excuse that “It can’t be done!”.

Sure it can be done…there’s always an opportunity to be passionate in everything we do to be successful. Passion is a strange thing; it's a deep, powerful, almost overwhelming emotion that overcomes you. You can’t hide it or even dismiss it. But you can harness it to use it to your advantage in starting or running your own business. Passion is a tool that provides you with a competitive advantage. No, it won’t pay the bills right away, but it gives you the energy that is crucial to move forward in any venture. It will help you create new ideas and view failures as opportunities for success. Passion is what all successful businesses are made of.

So ask yourself…how passionate are you about your product or your services? Have you done your homework and researched the pros and the cons? Can you take the disappointments along the way and turn them into opportunities? When it comes to your business are you willing give it your all? Can it be done…or can you “Let it go?” I know I can't. - CT
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