Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Keep Your Business in the Public Eye By RON CONSOLINO

Q: How can you do effective marketing without spending a lot?

A: Even on a limited budget you can create a quality marketing plan, assuring customer satisfaction and a good image for your business.

Start by clearly defining your major selling advantage. What makes you better, more memorable and of greater value to your target market than your competition? Identify your ideal customer. What challenges are they facing that you can provide a solution to?

Network to build your prospect base. Attend trade shows, chamber and other group meetings that have members in your target market.

Create a memorable identity for your business. Marketing is about visibility, consistency and repetition in the marketplace. Be visible in a consistent way and repeat that message over and over to your target market. Invest in creating a professional logo.

No more brochures. The brochure is the most common type of promotional material, but it's also the most useless, especially for newer businesses that are still evolving. The minute the pamphlet comes off the press, it is outdated and you'll want to make changes.

An alternative is a promotional kit, which generally consists of a two-pocket folder with your logo on it that has information about your business.

Include your biography, company history, a press release, a list of products and services, references, a professional photograph, reprints of articles you've written or been quoted in, a newsletter and a question and answer sheet.

Stay in the public's eye. Repetition is the key to visibility. A rule-of-thumb is that it takes at least six impressions before a consumer associates your product or service with your business name. Write a press release on your business accomplishments and send it to local business reporters.

Develop an effective Web site. The key is to make it easy for clients to reach you and receive information about you. Include your Web site address on all printed marketing materials.

Generate ongoing referrals. Ask your best client (particularly after they've said something wonderful about you) if they would assist you in the growth and development of your business by signing a referral letter that would come from them and be delivered to your prospects.

Finally, implement a marketing plan by creating a timeline with specific steps toward meeting your goals.

Ron Consolino is a management counselor for SCORE, Counselors to America's Small Business. His column is intended to provide general information. Send your questions to: Small Business, Houston Chronicle, P.O. Box 4260, Houston 77210.

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

LaMothe Services Speaks at LABS-Inc. Denver Office: Thank YOU!

I had the pleasure of being invited last month to speak in Denver at LABS Inc. about the Infertility Industry. It was my pleasure to share with the entire executive and marketing staff a power point presentation entitled Focus on Infertility, A Comprehensive Overview.

Allow me to share a little about LABS Inc. LABS was founded in 1979 as Immunological Associates of Denver (IAD). The laboratory offered testing to physicians and hospitals in Colorado. Growth occurred as local transplant centers began using IAD services to support organ transplantation. Over the years LABS has become one of the premier transplant medicine reference laboratories in the country. Testing is focused on donor eligibility determination and final product safety; infectious disease testing, microbiology, histocompatibility and environmental monitoring. You can visit their site at http://labs-inc.org/

Since LABS Inc. has committed itself to working with infertility clinics, the company wanted to educated its staff on what Intended Parents go through after they are diagnosed with Infertility. They wanted to learn about the obstacles that are faced by all parties involved with Surrogacy, Egg Donation, Sperm Donation and Embryo Donation. A company like LABS Inc. who is willing to invest in this type of education for their staff really needs to be looked at closely. They are dedicated, educated, FDA compliant, reliable and serious about helping to keep costs down for the clinics as well as Intended Parents who use their services.

I had a tour of the Denver lab and was really impressed at how efficiently it was run. They have the test results back in the hands of the Doctor's within 24 hours! The people were friendly and obviously interested in helping the infertility patient the best way they could.

Working with companies like LABS-Inc. is truly a pleasure and I thank them for inviting me to share what I know about the people involved in the Infertility Industry!

Sharon LaMothe
LaMothe Services, LLC

Friday, February 5, 2010

Sharon LaMothe: Editorial Review Board for Pregnancy Corner

I have accepted the privilege to sit on the Editorial Review Board for Pregnancy Corner. Launched in July 2009, the goal of PregnancyCorner.com is to provide accurate, up-to-date and unique content related to pregnancy. All content on PregnancyCorner.com is reviewed by top obstetricians and gynecologists, as well as other specialists within the childbirth industry, who have donated their time and experience to ensure Pregnancy Cornor provides consumers accurate and unbiased information.

I am looking forward to reviewing articles and watching Pregnancy Corner grow! Please take a moment to check it out! http://www.pregnancycorner.com/

Sharon LaMothe
Infertility Answers, Inc.
LaMothe Services, LLC