CAPE CORAL, Fla — It starts with an idea. Or a passion. Or a dream.
But then what?
This year for SWFL Reinvented, Fox 4 Morning News Anchor Chris Shaw, is meeting people who changed their lives to start a new business. Then, for an online series called SWFL Reinvented: Moving Forward, he follows those people as they work to open their business and survive the first year.
He has found the entrepreneur’s idea, or passion, or dream is the easy part. Finding customers is more complicated.
“It all boils down to making sure you have some kind of game plan for your marketing efforts,” Erica Castner says.
Castner is a business consultant for our series. She’s also an adviser with the Small Business Development Center at Florida Gulf Coast University.
In Episode 6, she gave us advice about how to start a new business.
We went to her in Episode 18 to ask about marketing, because that’s the area where some of our business owners say they’re struggling. It’s also an area where they have different strategies.
“Marketing is tricky because there are so many people out there saying different things,” Castner says. “And so I think the best advice I have for anybody starting a new business or that is starting to revamp their small business, is to think about their plan. What is their end result? Start with the end result. So if we can really grasp what’s your end result, how many customers do you want, how many sales do you want? Then reverse engineer the plan. Then we can figure out where those clients are hanging out, where do I find them? How do I start talking to them, so I can convert them into customers?”
In this episode Castner also looks at some of the marketing strategies our business owners are using, and she tells us why she thinks they will be successful.