Friday, July 24, 2015

Sales tips for new entreprenaurs

After creating a kids entertainment company 13 years ago, A Consulting company 10 years ago and a small technical vocational college 3 years ago. I have had my experience in sales and marketing but have had to continue to learn in the areas of sales and marketing as the internet, social medial and globalization came into place and it changed the way we sell and market. When I  received my MBA degree with a specialization in marketing the world was a different place I realized to survive in sales and marketing I had to adapt and learn the new ways to sell and market or I would have no credibility in the industry and no competitive advantage. I started  looking at businesses like Amazon, Ebay and more online guru's who mastered online selling and changed the market completely. I saw that  every day people could  suddenly create an online business in a heartbeat. Suddenly I had to become an expert fast in this or some 12 years old selling their cabbage patch dolls on Ebay for double what they were worth was going to pass me up.  

After 13 years of being an entrepreneur I have some tips I have put together for those of you new to sales and marketing.

Tip 1: Who are you selling too?
The nice thing about the internet and social media is that it has allowed us to have very specific niche markets. So who is your market? and Why? For example when I market out for my party business I focus on 25-50 years old. After many years of research I have found this is my niche market of adults with kids having parties.

Tip 2: Getting returning customers:
Once you have a customer you want them to use you again. Most companies are surviving on returning customers not new customers. One way I do this is sending out constant contact emails to customers so they can see the deals we have and keep us fresh in there mind. For my kids business I send out reminders to them on the month before their kids party to give them a reminder of our services.

Tip 3: Know your customers:
Feedback from customers is important. Know what your customers love and do not love. Research competition look at their rates, services and yelp reviews. When you review peoples yelp reviews then you see what they love. This is a good way to know what your customers love and how to stay competitive.

Tip 4: Don't get comfortable:
As an entrepreneur of a small business we quickly become experts in everything. So staying on top of marketing, sales, and the long list of other items can be daunting. You cannot get comfortable you have to stay on top of sales and find ways to keep moving and promoting your service and products and becoming innovative to create sustainability.

Tip 5: Quality gives credibility:
Never sacrifice quantity for quality. When you have a quality business people will pay 3 times more for your service then some cheap poor quality product or service. Today Facebook has become the way people suggest and find businesses, its the electronic word of mouth. If you get recommended on Facebook you can also not be recommended and received bad reviews. A companies mistakes can go viral in min.  Always put quality first.

Tip 6: Become something your clients can't live without:
When I teach sales I tell my students you need to create the illusion that this is something you cant live without. Or if you are interviewing for a job you  are selling them on the idea  you are a commodity the company cannot live without. Either way when people feel they not only need but must have this service or product you will always have a job and a company. So how can you sell your product or service in a way that they cannot live without it?

For more tips videos and help check out Dr. D. TV with Dr. Julie Ducharme
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Saturday, July 18, 2015

Should you hire family or friends for your business?

In my entrepreneurship class I teach I always ask the question to my students would you hire friends or family to work with you. I normally get a big NO from them as they say they love them but they are not cut out for working with them. But I also pose the question who would you trust more with your business a stranger or a friend of 25 years. It’s a tough call. I have learned over the years what friends I can trust to work with my companies. Typically I worked with them at another company and got a chance to see their work ethic and how they worked and over the years I have been very selective but I have hired friends. The second part of this is how do you deal with friends or family when they are not cutting it, not doing a good job, or flaking on responsibilities they agreed to? Once again its tough how you balance the friendship /you are the boss and need to make money aspect as well. Well I have learned as well over the years how to walk the thin line. If the family and friends you have respect you then when you talk with them about what you need from them the result can come out good but yes there is some that won’t take it well and that’s where you may have your issues. I was very careful for my first 10 years I did not hire any family or friends for this concern.  No matter what you do you will always take a risk because with family and friends you can’t say it’s not personal it’s just business.  I work well with my husband in my business I own but something we do is we let each of us be good at what we are good at. I don’t go and tell him how to do his job and visa versa. Yes sometimes we bump heads on something or get on each other for doing something wrong but we also respect each other and what we do and that goes a long way. So should you hire family or friends? You know best who you can work with. If you have any doubts then I say just wait.  If you feel they are competent and can handle you getting on their case when needed to make your business a better business then go for it.

Friday, July 17, 2015

Creativity in Small Business!

As a small business owner who is in the middle of becoming a medium size business owner I have learned over the last 13 years creativity is essential to survival. Especially when money is tight! Here are a few tips for you all.
Business trades: good chance you have a skill, talent, or service someone else could really use and visa versa. Offer a trade of services. Many times I have traded for needed services to help my business out.
Free Marketing: marketing is essential to the business but often costly. There are a ton of free seminars on FB and the internet on how to market on Facebook and many other free social media sights. Take the free seminars and start practicing your free marketing skills.
Using Networking as your secret weapon!
I don't care what anyone says in this cause I have experienced it first hand. Networking and getting face to face referrals always trump some mass marketing tactic. When you network you have now created groups of people who are marketing for you for free. Don't pass up an opportunity to talk to any and everyone about what you do and always have cards in your pockets.
For my free business tips visit

Thursday, June 25, 2015


I thought it was important to talk about perspective. I am currently designing on several different platforms for clients and schools. One in particular is unique in that most places have a very ridged design requirements.  As I am building out this class in the same successful format I have always used and it works and meets the accreditation standards and as I work away it and actually was pretty proud at how I was doing I met some unexpected challenges. I found myself disagreeing with the client on several different aspects of the design. I  have to say at first I was thinking “why hire me tell me I can create this however I like but change everything I do or want what I do changed.” My pride was taking over and what I was hearing in my head was, my stuff is good, I have done this longer then you, I have won awards for my stuff. Then I told myself Julie “listen” what they were really telling me. So I thought and pondered and when I took another look what I saw was they  were challenging me to go outside the box, expand go more in-depth and push for more than just a patented program that works.  It’s not very often that someone tells you to do this. When typically you are working in a very small outline that you can’t venture out of. So perspective came into play and I started thinking I don’t have to revamp everything just get a little more creative.  I realized I am usually the one pushing my people to do this but it’s been a while since someone evaluated me and my work.  So my perspective is that I need to take advantage of this advice grow it and use it to get better don’t just settle for ok and what works.  When you are working in business you have to have perspective and be able to take critique, grow from it and never be too proud to think you are the best. Even the best can be better.  I realized I am doing this in a couple areas of my life as I had a conversation with my husband about how bothered I was that certain people were not noticing my awesomeness! It sounds silly but I felt like certain people were not recognizing my worth and what I could do for them and it bothered me. Then I realized that I was getting caught up with me and not looking to see what I could use my talents  to better other people not see why people should value me. So perspective again. I share this because if we can’t have perspective and be open to change and critiques then we will never be better leaders, parents, daughters, and sons.  Always keep some perspective!