SOHO Business report magazine, a Dream Launchers project publication, helps Small Office / Home Office Entrepreneurs succeed. We help home-based business and small business with free articles, multimedia (audio, video & interactive), tools and tips. Topics for home business and small business include business planning (e.g. business plan and marketing templates), strategy, guerrilla marketing, Internet marketing, publicity, project management, importing, exporting, taxes, finance, trade shows, technology, negotiation, consulting, sales techniques and tactics, work life balance, growth management, profit optimization, team work, leadership, human resources (recruiting, hiring, training & firing) and network marketing (referrals and contact building). SBR can help you start your home business or small business and give you the management tools and resources to succeed by making a business plan or marketing plan with expert input. All of that without getting an MBA, going through training or school. Start increasing your profits, improving your cash flow and building the business your entrepreneurial aspirations demand. In the boardroom and in the workshop we are here to help your small business home based business succeed. Let us help you start with marketing plans, market research, business plan templates, information that can help replace years of training in areas like sales, marketing, business management, tax, finance, strategy. SOHO Business Report magazine
 
HOME; SOHO Business Report magazine helps small business and home-based business entrepreneurs succeed. Resources; Free business resources, tools and templates for entrepreneurs in small business and home based business that want to create business plans, marketing plans, increase profits, save money, improve profitability and learn from experts. Start here! PR & Ads; Promote your company to businesses and entrepreneurs across North America in the business to business ( B2B ) market or learn how to advertise effectively to decision makers and SME executives who will purchase your supplies, products and services whether they are in the service industry, hospitality industry, consulting industry, manufacturing field, training market, retail market, warehousing business or others. Subscribers; SOHO Business Report Magazine subscribers get free access to experts on topics that help start entrepreneurs and their businesses; fields like Guerrilla Marketing, Finance, Internet Marketing, Business Strategy, Sales (cold calling, prospecting, qualifying, closing), Technology, Project Management, Taxes, Finance, Profit Optimization. Store; Get access to book, video, audio, DVD and CD training resources and courses for small business / home based business. Topics include Internet Marketing, Guerrilla Marketing, Finance, Internet Marketing, Business Strategy, Sales (cold calling, prospecting, qualifying, closing), Technology, Project Management, Taxes, Finance, Profit Management. Contact Us; To find out more about joint ventures, partnerships or other topics related to small business or home based business connect with us to get access to even more business planning, strategy, management and marketing tools to boost sales, leverage employees, improve profits, retain customers, recruit new prospects.
I want the free Small Business / Home based business newsletter:
(but keep my e-mail private!)
Enter E-mail


 

 

 

Managing growth: tips for solo international consultants


By Judy Bradt

For many Canadian companies, long-term growth means going international – and international business is within the reach of even a solo practitioner. I know: my consultancy is still a solo act … with a profitable, growing export business and clients in Canada, the United States, and Australia.

I’ve found that planning to grow through exporting poses some special challenges for services companies, especially for solo consultants or very small firms. My learning curve looks more like a learning rollercoaster!

Managing international business growth demands resource-effective ways to attract and win business, and to perform the business that you win. That’s “resource-effective,” not just “cost-effective.” Sure, small services consultancies and solo practitioners constantly juggle scarce financing. But we also keenly feel the limits of our time, our stamina and our sanity when we’re growing.

Exporting services is quintessential relationship marketing. To meet prospects, maintain relationships, and become the top-of-mind specialist, you have to be present: present on the web and present in people’s Inboxes, but most of all, present in person. As a Canadian living in the US and serving Canadian clients, I am in Canada at least one week a month, sometimes with fewer than 24 hours between getting back from one trip and on a plane for the next. I worry and stress over how to keep the business running while delivering my commitments.

Here are three ideas I’ve learned on how to grow and enjoy the ride … and in the order I wish I’d learned them.

Tip 1: Create and engage your avatar.

It’s tough to keep the business development engine humming smoothly when we’re hard-charging on a big project. We know full well that the big project is going to end, but that’s always tomorrow’s problem; the deadlines are right now!

When you’re already maxed out, ever wish you could clone yourself? It’s not as far-fetched an idea as you might think. You can create an avatar, a virtual you to busily promote tomorrow’s business, answer questions, and refer new clients while you’re heads-down on today’s contract. How?:

$ Got an e-newsletter?

A monthly e-newsletter is a virtual self-announcement of your latest contract wins, letting people know your business is successful and growing. Spotlight your clients’ successes (which also happen to demonstrate your prowess). Share your own ideas, as well as the tips, links, and news you pick up from your industry reading and contacts. Your contacts, prospects and clients in international markets aren’t where you are, don’t read what you read, and would have a hard time finding out these things that you’re awash in!

The newsletter should give visibility to your clients – strengthening their loyalty and interest in repeat business with you. It should be so useful they’ll want to forward it to their friends, who might not otherwise have heard of you. And it drives traffic to your website – about which, more in a moment.

You can compose the core content and schedule several months’ worth of issues while you have the time and you know you have a busy period ahead. Then, a couple of days before scheduled publication, add a few hot items that will give your readers that up-to-the-minute sense that you’re an industry insider with the latest scoop.


$ Leverage your website!

When did you last update your website? I update mine every month, because the newsletter hints at the latest content and nudges readers to click through links in the newsletter to check out the details. You don’t have to add much, but people like to return to a site to see what’s new. When they arrive, your site reminds them of all the reasons why you’re someone they want to do business with.

$ Let today’s clients attract tomorrow’s for you!

Draft a standard testimonial questionnaire, do short, post-project client interviews, and ask permission to publish their comments. Then pull high-impact quotations for your site, and highlight the most recent ones in your newsletter. See how I do it at www.summitinsight.com.

Tip 2: Get a virtual back office

When you’re a solo proprietor, you do it all. If you don’t have a strong base of retainer clients, you may not feel you can afford a full-time or even part-time assistant, and it’s often not practical when you have a home office.

But when you start to grow, and must spend time attracting new international clients on top of serving your domestic market, time becomes the scarce resource. Think of time as part of your working capital: as a highly paid consultant, you want to spend it doing– well, highly paid things. Nobody pays you to do database entry, mailing, and bookkeeping, but these tasks have to be done.

I came back from business trips with hundreds of business cards to be digitized … and facing the backlog of everything I couldn’t do on my BlackBerry while I was on the road, plus– whoops, isn’t that the next trip on the horizon? I thought I would never catch up, and I was already working every night and weekend.

Enter the Virtual Assistant. I send her my business cards and other administrative tasks that can be done at a distance. She handles data entry, labels and mailing; with forwarding, she can take my calls. I’m in Washington, DC. She happens to be in Dallas. Her work is accurate, swift, and an excellent value. What price sanity? Now I know. I’ve started to reclaim my nights and weekends.

Tip 3: Now put on those travellin’ shoes.

Sure, travel is stressful, whether you’re prospecting, serving clients, or both. But with your avatar marketing for you, and someone takin’ care of just the essential business tasks while you’re away, you can grow that new international business with a lot less stress.


Judy Bradt’s Resource Tips

For a great great e-mail newsletter platforms: Constant Contact, because it offers a great range of basic templates and quality support.

 

Free trial issue of SOHO Business Report magazine, the source for small business / home based business solutions. Whether your target market is retail, warehouse, manufacturing, import / export, service, hospitality, restaurant or transportation, we can give you the strategic advantage you need to succeed.

PHSP Information; Find out how small business and home based business can get health benefits and extended coverage (including dental) while saving money by paying for these benefits with pre tax corporate income.

 

 

 


Copyright 2006 SOHO Business Report
a Dream Launchers Partner






SOHO Business report magazine, a Dream Launchers project publication, helps Small Office / Home Office Entrepreneurs succeed. We help home-based business and small business with free articles, multimedia (audio, video & interactive), tools and tips. Topics for home business and small business include business planning (e.g. business plan and marketing templates), strategy, guerrilla marketing, Internet marketing, publicity, project management, importing, exporting, taxes, finance, trade shows, technology, negotiation, consulting, sales techniques and tactics, work life balance, growth management, profit optimization, team work, leadership, human resources (recruiting, hiring, training & firing) and network marketing (referrals and contact building). SBR can help you start your home business or small business and give you the management tools and resources to succeed by making a business plan or marketing plan with expert input. All of that without getting an MBA, going through training or school. Start increasing your profits, improving your cash flow and building the business your entrepreneurial aspirations demand.