Sometimes summer can be a slow time for our training businesses — it all depends on your customer base and when they need to accomplish their training and compliance requirements.
So if you’re having a little down time, why not spend some of it exploring new ideas to further ensure the success of your training enterprise? And if this is a busy time of year for you, drop some of these into your “ideas folder” to visit later when you have time to catch your breath.Over at the Small Business Trends website, they offer up 11 tips from small business leaders that are well worth considering, including:
- In Social Media, Be Where Your Customers Are: “Know where your customers are hanging out online. You don’t have to be everywhere. Be where your customers are … and communicate with them there.”
- To Get PR, Offer Yourself up as a Thought Leader: “If you are a local small business, look at local media for PR. Read those publications, forge relationships, find out what types of stories the journalists are covering, and offer yourself up as a thought leader on a topic.” (For example, you could guest write a post for the HSI blog. Just drop us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org and let’s discuss!)
- Entrepreneurship is Lonely. Reach out to Mentors and Peers: “Entrepreneurship is one of the loneliest professions in the world. The entrepreneurs that are really successful reach out in networking groups and peer associations — or just to one person. They need that thought partner.”
Getting the word out about your business often feels like one of those “have to but hate to” kind of tasks, but investing some thinking time towards your marketing efforts can have amazing dividends. Here are some ideas from entrepreneurs gathered by Inc.com to explore when you feel your creative marketing well running a little dry:
- Attend Networking Events: Everyone is your potential customer. The more they see you, the more they’ll remember you, so grab those business cards and get on out there.
- Volunteer to Lead an Organization: When you are ready to up your networking game, it could be time for you to take the reins at one of the associations through which you do your networking. A sure-fire way to get to know everyone in your professional circles.
- Send a Weekly E-mail: Help your customers keep safety and emergency care front and center with a quick communication. Be that expert in their inbox and the name that leaps to mind first when it’s time for them to log some training time.
The Small Business Association reminds us that “Small businesses are in a unique position to create valuable customer experiences. Their products and services are often niche; the target customer is very defined; and business operations are agile and unconstrained by corporate rules and processes. Small businesses are also trusted for their integrity, community engagement and customer service."To win all that customer love and appreciation, a small business needs to build its brand as carefully as a huge conglomerate does. The SBA lists the following as key elements of successful brand building:
- Have Great Products and Services
- Make Sure Your Customers Know the Face Behind the Product
- Get Your Name and Logo Right
(“Your logo and name should be easily recognizable and reflect the nature and tone of your business as well as appeal to your target market.”)
- Build Community Around What you Do
- Be an Advocate for Your Business – Not Just a Salesman
New readers: Intrigued by this whole training business world, but haven’t made the leap as an instructor or training center director yourself yet? Enter your email below to download our eBook and learn more about becoming an HSI-affiliated Training Center.
For those of you already at the helm of a training business, get that thought-leadership ball rolling and share your success tips in the comments below!