A boutique advertising agency is small but nimble, offering a variety of services to an array of clients, each of whom wants something different. To become a successful service provider, working out of a spare bedroom, takes hard work, innovative, on-going promotion, and quality word of mouth (WOM).
So, if you’re thinking of building a boutique agency, here are some tips to get you off on the right foot. (Oh, and these service providers earn a nice living. At least the good ones do.)
1. Think locally. Act globally. First,farm the local business community for clients. Every small business has a website. Every one of them advertises somehow.
But don’t limit yourself to the locals. Build an attractive website that will be seen by the world. You’ll be amazed that folks from Malaysia call and want some consultation on introducing a new product to the U.S. market and could you advise them.
Sure, why not?
2. Track local media. Don’t get hung up on localization, but a boutique ad agency has a built-in trust factor with local businesses, so that neighborly trust enables you to skip the trust-building phase and get down to business because both you and the client know “ol’ Sam.”
3. Optimize your website for both global and local search. Add your town, state and zip code to “advertising agency Trotwood Ohio.” More and more search engine users are savvy to local search and prefer to work with someone close by.
4. Provide a menu of service offerings. Most clients don’t want to go from here to there. They want a project manager who can take care of the editorial development, the graphic design, the upcoming company picnic. The more services you provide, the more services you sell.
Consider the following:
search engine optimization
content development including blogging and optimized site text
print ad design
multi-media including DVD products
on- and off-site marketing
You get the idea. It doesn’t take a lot of time, and it doesn’t cost a dime, to call the local Ramada to get a conference room rate for your event planning file, or a rate card from the local press. Valuable information that you can collect during “down” time.
5. Join the Chamber of Commerce. Total no-brainer. Once a month the CoC gets together for a networking lunch. Bring business cards and strike up friendships. Don’t sell. That happens organically as more and more members know who you are and what you do.
6. Join the Better Business Bureau. A trust builder. And it goes without saying, keep your record spotless. People do check with the local BBB and if you have a couple of outstanding complaints, you ain’t gonna land the gig.
7. Advertise your own services, as in. follow your own advice. You should have a small print ad running daily or weekly in the local newspaper. First, you want that name recognition and second, buying ad space in bulk saves you beaucoups bucks.
8. Plan meetings to take place in public places. The last thing you want is your deep-pockets client tripping over a sippy cup on the way to your spare room office. Talk about amateur night, even if you are the best there ever was.
Find the right location for client meetings (their offices) or a local eatery, and always pick up the tab.
9. Build authority and expertise. Enter industry competitions and tout your wins and quietly forget your failures. “Gold Medal Winner, National Design Show” listed on the stationery builds credibility. And of course, such an award is worthy of a press release to the local paper. Get that free ink.
10. Perception is reality. High-end stationery, a professionally designed website, a pricy suit – all say success, and that you “get it.” Create a professional persona and you are a professional, and the owner of a boutique marketing agency.
If you have a computer, up-to-date software, good management skills, and know a graphic artist, a good copywriter, a video editor – you can build a boutique ad agency using local businesses to form your client base.
In today’s world of digital media, mobile devices and technology-mediated communications, all the tools you need to start an online business are literally at your fingertips. Consumers are pressed on time, they are overwhelmed, overworked and are constantly in a rush. They rely on their devices and social connections for shopping needs more than ever before. With so many inexpensive business and marketing solutions to choose from, entry barriers for starting an e-commerce business are virtually non-existent. So, why do so many new online boutiques fail? This article will help you start an online boutique – whether you want to sell girls boutique clothing or gifts for cat lovers – and ensure your business is a success with 5 simple tips.
1. Choose your target market carefully. More often than not, success is not about WHAT your sell but rather about WHO you sell to. To sell one product to 2 completely different people, you need to use two different approaches, two pitches. Or think about it this way. There are two grocery shops in your area that have very similar assortments of products and competitive prices. Yet, you chose to shop at one store over the other. Most likely it is because there is something more appealing about the store you choose, something that “speaks” to you. Your target audience will define how and where you market your business. It will determine the look and feel of your website and dictate your policies. The list goes on and on. Choosing your target audience is one of the most critical steps of developing your online clothing boutique.
2. Experiment with products. Chances are you won’t get your product selection “just right” from the first try. Experiment with your product selection, analyze product performance and always be on the lookout for new trends and offerings. If you start a baby boutique, play around with baby boutique brands till you feel like you got it right. Experimenting with product selection is one of the key ingredients for success.
3. Listen to your audience and customers. Your audience and customers are the best sources of feedback and advice. Use social media to the fullest to find out where your audience “hangs out.” If you are starting a website that sells performance car parts, look for Facebook groups and forums for car enthusiasts. If you plan to offer girls boutique clothing, checking out mommy, parenting or kids fashion blogs and groups might be a good idea. When you listen to your audience, you ensure that the products and services your online boutique offers are in tune with your customers’ needs and wants. You establish more personal – and, therefore, deeper connections – with your customers. In addition, you market your business exactly where your potential customers are.
4. Choose your e-commerce platform wisely. With an abundance of e-commerce platforms out there, picking the right one can be a challenge. Make sure to check out review websites as well as talk to existing customers to get a good idea about what to expect from the platform. Some things to consider are SEO capabilities, customer service, bandwidth costs, customer loyalty programs, built-in inventory management and customer management systems and reliability. You want an e-commerce platform that will allow your business to grow seamlessly and that you can stay with for a long run.
5. Build a good-looking, easy-to-use website. Your website is the face of your company. When developing your website, your need to understand how your potential customers look for and purchase products you plan to carry. Your website navigation, appealing images, easy-to-read, useful information, payment methods, easy access to customer support are all important aspects of website development. Show your products in action. For girls clothing boutique, show kids modeling the clothes you carry, for home decor shop, add pictures of your products in ‘real-home’ settings. Whatever it is you sell in your online boutique, you need to demonstrate to your customers how they could use the products as well as create emotional engagement through images.
I hope these 5 tips will help you drive your e-commerce business to success and separate your online boutique from the competition. There are so many other things to consider when starting an online business, from name to shipping and warehousing options. The tips listed above are intended to help you build a solid foundation on which your business can grow and prosper.
Starting a business, whether online or offline is not exactly easy. There are so many things to think of and so many things to do. You have to have enough resources, a good venue, a market to capture and enough workforce to start with. And as if you need more, you also have to worry about licenses, complicated paper works and other permits. To someone who is a novice in all these things, it makes starting a business quite a scary thought. But that scary thought is something that can be subdued by writing a business plan. This plan puts everything to order like your company profile, objectives, long and short – term goals. However note that writing this plan is also not easy. You have to do research and you have to put your thought in to it. You have to follow a certain format that will put everything in perspective. Luckily enough, you can find business plans examples or even templates if you just know where to look.
So where should you start looking you ask?
There are two places where you can find business plans examples. One is in the Internet and two – in books.
The Internet is a good source because you can find business plans that will tailor fit any industry that you may want to get into – be it a food business, boutique or service – based venture. With samples in the Internet, you can also find plans of thriving businesses. And to someone who is just starting out, checking out plans of successful businesses can greatly help with goal formation. Another plus is that, you can also find free templates that can have you get started as soon as possible.
Then again, if you want to do things the old way, you can always get back to business books to find the samples and the guidance you need. To some people, this works better because the classical business perspective can always give a modern entrepreneur something to learn.
Now that you know where to look – here are some reminders before you get started with your business plan.
1. Start off with one clear goal. Know exactly where you and your business are going. It will also be best for you to plot time frames as they are always good because it keeps you going no matter what.
2. It is always wiser to start small because when you have a small business, the possibility of expansion is quite fast. On the other hand, if it turned out that your venture is not that successful, you have lesser things to lose.
3. Focus on one product and capture one specific market first. If you want to put up a bakery, then start with a bakery, do not try to make a restaurant happen with that. This is important because trying to do so much will just thwart you off your goal.
4. Finally, try to enjoy every moment of it. That is the only thing that can fight off any exhaustion and frustration that you might feel while running your own business.
Those are general reminders that you can keep in mind while you start working on your business plan. Again, if at any point of writing, you get to have a mental block, you can always browse on some available business plans examples for your reference.
The city of dreams and dust, Mumbai is the financial capital of the country. The charm of the city has allured many for years. Exhibiting an array of cultures and traditions, Mumbai has a magic and charm that most cities around the world of this geographical size and stature lack. An amalgamation of seven islands, this metropolis claims that it never retires to sleep. The city built by waves of migration houses the Indian Film Industry, which is acclaimed for producing the maximum number of movies in a year.
Bombay rebranded, as Mumbai is a mélange of India’s extremes, it has continued to preserve and nurture its colonial relics. Swanky Hiranandani on one hand and the penurious Dharavi on the other illustrate the diversity in the city. The city welcomes migrants and travelers from around the world each day and offers them with a range of accommodation options. The importance of this financial hub has drawn the attention of the business class from round the world. They often flock to the city to explore and exploit novel opportunities for cartel and business. Boutique Hotels in Mumbai are a perfect sojourn for business travelers as they provide the perfect avenue for work and pleasure. These accommodation options not only promise but also deliver a sophisticated and lavish experience to its patrons.
If you are looking for an experience, which brings you an opportunity where you can blend work with pleasure then the right choice of sojourn for you are the Luxury Boutique Hotels. Mumbai offers a range of options to its visitors to choose from. These lavish sojourns offer state of art amenities that includes access to innovative technology, money changer, and an outlet for last minute shopping within the hotel premises. Banquet Halls in these hotels are well equipped to cater to dynamic people seeking an avenue for formal occasions as well as throwing wild parties. One can also unwind in the nightclubs or rest-o-bars nestled in these hotels and satiate their taste buds in the specialty and multi-cuisine eateries in these hotels or indulge in some heavy duty pampering in the spa of the hotel. Designer Boutique Hotels are a perfect perch for business travelers as work meets fun here; they not only provide one with a perfect avenue for business but also are a winsome option to relax and get rid of the stress.