“If you build it, they will come! Is such a common misconception in building your own business,” says Founder of Plum Coaching & Consulting, Lora Poepping. Just because you have a great product or idea, doesn’t mean everyone will be beating down your door.”
As Lora says, marketing is an essential part of any business success, but for small business – promotion is everything!
Lora started Plum in 2011, to provide small, local businesses with on-demand human resource services. As a brand new small business owner, Lora had to play many roles to support her business needs: bookkeeper, administrator, IT specialist, purchaser and even marketer.[jetpack_subscription_form title="Subscribe to Out of Office:" subscribe_button="Sign Me Up"]
With a limited marketing budget and small bandwidth, she looked to FedEx Office as a resource and partner to provide her with business solutions. “I run there almost daily for color printing, supplies, and packaging,” says Lora.
Using FedEx Office, Lora was able to create and print numerous large size marketing posters and material that otherwise she would not have the capacity to do herself. Initially, these materials were the primary way she generated brand awareness in the Seattle, Washington area. She looked for promotional opportunities wherever she could find them and fortunately a local bank was willing to put up her posters in support of her business.
Lora believes FedEx Office not only played a crucial role in expanding her business in Seattle, but also, globally.
“I conduct lots of workshops, but for one in particular, the potential clients asked for hard copies of my slides,” Lora said. “Typically, I would download the slides to a memory stick.” A panicked Lora decided to call her friends at FedEx Office. “They told me I could simply email the slides, head down and pick them right up. Voila! Beautiful color slide copies in less than 15 minutes. They looked so good and impressed the group of potential clients!”
For Lora, FedEx Office® Print Online was more than convenience. It supported her in customer acquisition, brand identity and brand credibility. After being in business for 7+ years, Lora has since then continued her loyal partnership with FedEx Office and successfully grown to support Plum clients around the world.
Lora had some great words of wisdom to share with fellow entrepreneurs. Here are her five fundamental rules she believes are relevant to all small business owners regardless of their industry.
- Test out your concept – Talk to as many people as you can about your ideas and get feedback before making the full investment of your time, effort and capital.
- Make your value known – Be sure to market your business in a way that is easy for customers to understand the benefit you provide.
- Listen, a lot – Pay attention to your customers’ feedback. Their insight is invaluable to your business.
- Be flexible – Be willing to deviate from your original idea to fit your customer’s needs.
- Work-life balance – Try to create joy in something outside of your work. With all work and no play, you risk burning out.
Find out how FedEx Office is helping other small businesses find smart solutions here and share your small business story on Twitter or on our Facebook page using hashtag #MyFedExOffice