Did you know the one thing that holds most people back is the
simple fact that they think too small? What separates the
average business owner from the super successful isn't her
timing or her resources. It's her ability to think bigger
than others, and take action on the things that will create
the biggest successes.
Take for instance the typical small business owner in your
area. Go into any local shop and ask them how many customers
they have from out of state. Chances are it's a very small
percentage of their business. Yet with the power of the
Internet, any local business selling products or services can
change her business model from being a small local provider,
to a small business with huge profits and paying clients
around the world.
And it's easier than you think. I know; I've done it
I was one of those pioneers. I purchased my first computer
in the 1980's. Remember Prodigy? I dialed in almost every
day. So when the Internet began coming on strong in the early
1990's, I jumped in with both feet, and brought our business
What I found was an incredible opportunity.
I started out as a small business owner, operating a
photography studio, and servicing people within my local
area. It was a traditional studio, offering the standard
portrait and wedding services. With two people, we opened a
commercial location, and began contacting people within a
10-mile radius. But I knew there had to be a better way. And
I found it on the Internet.
Thanks to a powerful online marketing strategy, we found
success quickly. Within 3 years, we shut down our traditional
studio, and began operating a virtual studio online. Our
clients changed from people in our local area looking for
traditional portraiture, to people all over the world falling
in love with our virtual wedding studio, and flying us in to
No longer were we stuck selling to the people that resided
in our local community. We established an extreme niche
market, and went to where our clients were. We raised our
prices substantially, and began living the life others only
dream about. By changing the way we thought about business,
we changed the way we looked for clients. And our profits
You too have that power. By changing the way you think, you
can change the way your business operates. The possibilities
are out there. But thinking differently can sometimes be
difficult. It involves stretching out of your comfort zone.
It involves creating changes in your business planning. And
sometimes these changes can be difficult.
Start by asking yourself some basic questions.
"How can I take what I do now, and sell it to people 1000
miles from me?"
"How do I change my marketing materials to sell to people I
may never meet?"
"How well do I work with technology? What do I need to
These questions will allow you to think beyond your local
area, and start discovering ways of doing what you do
anywhere in the world. People all over the country are
looking for the services and products you sell. You just need
the tools to get your information in front of them.
When you expand your target market beyond your local area,
and go worldwide, you also add another dilemma to your
"How do I market to the thousands of people added to my new
When you decide to take your business to a much larger
market, it's imperative that you focus on who your exact
customer is. As a small business, you can't afford to market
to the world. Defining who your perfect customer is becomes
crucial. And knowing how to reach them becomes vital.
Your customer can no longer be defined by simple phrases,
Single female between 25-50 years old.
Married female with children under 18.
Instead you have to get into the mind of your client, and
define them as precisely as possible. Start with the simple
phrases. Then add in the detail. The more you know what
interests your customer, the easier it is to reach them.
Consider a customer definition such as:
Single female between 25-40 years old. Enjoys traveling,
and prefers to take short, exotic vacations 2-4 times per
year to places such as the Caribbean, Europe, Australia and
the Fiji Islands. Holds an executive position in the
corporate environment, or owns the company. Spends 2-3
weeks per month traveling for business, and holds tens of
thousands of frequent flier miles.
Using the above customer description, I can begin finding
many ways of targeting this customer. I can consider building
up referral partners with travel websites that cater to young
singles flying into exotic locations for short trips. I can
find networking groups that cater to small business owners,
or buy lead lists or place ads in magazines such as Inc. or
Entrepreneur magazine. I can consider creating a relationship
with airline magazine editors, and advertise or get an
article placed as frequently as possible.
Obviously, I could continue with many more ideas. But you
get the point. The more details I can use to define my
perfect customer, the easier it is to determine methods to
By changing the way you market yourself, you can expand your
business in ways that will take your business to new
Open up your mind to the possibilities. You might be
surprised at what awaits you.
Lori Osterberg has created three successful businesses in
the past 10 years, and along the way discovered the secrets
of taking a local small business and turning it into a
worldwide success. She now shares this passion with people
all over the world, and speaks, writes and mentors on using
technology to grow your business and stay small at the same
time! Receive her FREE ezine at www.VisionOfSuccess.com.