Indiana Entrepreneur Knows the Secret to Surviving Tough Economies

If you look at the 35-year career of Don Taylor of D.R. Taylor  amp; Associates, it looks like one transition after another. A closer look tells a different story, one of a consistent career where Taylor has left his footprint on employers and clients by staying open to insights, creating new opportunities, applying fresh strategies and always making things better than they were before. His approach to business has allowed him to survive the tough times, and many clients today seek his services to help them do the same.

“I didn’t go to MBA school, but give me a reasonable budget, and I have always been successful,” says Taylor. A self-taught man, he got his start in business as a 5th grader working for Bruner Hardware Store in Hope, Indiana. Before school, he would prepare the store for receiving customers, stoking the furnace on cold days. After school he waited on customers, and he values most the chance he had to interact with different personalities, moods and temperaments-how to read people and what makes them buy.

 

He started his adult career in radio and began leaving his footprint by creating new opportunities for his employer and its advertisers. He transitioned a local FM station into the first country music station in Southern Indiana, before “country was cool.” WKKG was born and still reigns today as the top country station.

 

Always a friend to small business, and seeing the need and seizing the opportunity, he launched Retail Management, Inc. Using his knowledge of advertising from radio, his new company consulted with small businesses to compete with big business through effective use of their advertising dollars. By 1975, he was opening new doors for himself by establishing his current company D.R. Taylor  amp; Associates (www.drtaylorassociates.com) and expanding his ability to help his clients compete, grow and prosper through innovative marketing, advertising and public relations. Based in Columbus, Indiana this venture brought Taylor opportunities to work with Fortune 500 companies on advertising and trade shows.

 

In the 1980s, he was a pioneer in health care marketing. In particular, he was at the forefront of dental marketing, winning national recognition. He introduced the concept of educational marketing, an approach that attracts clients and increases revenues for a dentist by educating them on the need for dental care, advances in the dentistry field and the like. The approach is still widely used today.

 

Taking educational marketing a step further, he has helped create referral networks between health care services providers, turning ‘competition’ into ‘cooperation’-all to benefit the patient. These referral networks start with the providers educating each other about their services/products, a process which leads to referrals to one another. His first client for this type of marketing was a pain management clinic for whom D.R. Taylor  amp; Associates created a referral network of general practitioners, chiropractors, and surgeons. Within three months, the clinic enjoyed a substantial increase in new business.

 

Don’s latest innovation is the formation of the Community Health Education Services Alliance, expanding the educational marketing approach to a broader scale and capitalizing on his years of trade show success. CHESA will sponsor health care fairs and promote them to the public, and its members can participate to promote their individual businesses. CHESA’s will function as an information resource to the public through its many contributions by CHESA member practitioners.

 

“Today’s customers are bombarded with information, which changes their mindset and changes how to reach them. Our approach at D.R. Taylor  amp; Associates is all about finding innovative and proven ways to break through the clutter, get our client’s message to the target audience and motivate the customer,” says Taylor. Just as he has chosen to stay open and respond to changes, he preaches the same flexibility and optimism to his clients as he helps them continually rejuvenate and reinvent their businesses in what he calls a reactionary economy.

 

If you called D.R. Taylor  amp; Associates today and asked Don for a consultation, he would tell you, “We’ve been here before and helped so many businesses before-this is a cycle, and this is how you get through it. It’s a purging season, but this will pass. The key is applying a persistent and consistent process of asking what is your business and what does it look like today, and then responding quickly to changes.”

Surviving Hard Economic Times for Home Based Entrepreneurs

Hearing all the poor-us economy news is enough to scare businesses owners at any level. If you are a home based entrepreneur there are things you can do to keep your business thriving in the current economy.

Flexibility – It goes without saying that if you are a home based entrepreneur one of your key attributes is flexibility. Now is the time to use that flexibility. Can you bundle all or part of your services with another home based entrepreneur whose business compliments yours? How about breaking down your services to be more specialized and appeal to a different market of people? What about your hours of availability?

 

Don’t Forget the Basics – Make sure the product or service you offer is sound and worth the money. Solid customer service keeps people coming back as well. Do you follow up? Don’t be afraid to ask for referrals. Remember the details; don’t get sloppy in your interactions with your customers. People want to know they are getting the best deal for their money.

 

Customer Base – There comes a time when you have to take a good look at your customer base. Do you have some customers that are costing you money? Do they require more effort, materials, time then most of your other clients? Is working with them draining rather than producing? It may be the time to dump them. Follow up on previous calls or emails. Some of those past inquiries may be ready to buy now.

 

Keep your Current Customers Loyal – Communicate to keep your name on their minds, but don’t waste their time. Is there something that you can offer to increase the return of their investment of working with you? Find out what some of their other needs are. Can you provide that service or a component of it?

 

Cut the Extras – Evaluate your vendors. Are you getting the best deal possible from them? They are working to stay in business as well, but perhaps there are some areas open to re-negotiation. When it comes to technology separate the “have to haves” from the “want to haves”. There is nothing that says you can not add back these services when times loosen up.

 

Expand Networking – Now is not the time to hibernate. Look for new networking opportunities and remember, networking is about building relationships over time, not just in the short term. Be open to opportunities. If a business has to downsize employees, can you sub-contract your services to them?

 

Never Stop Marketing – If you stop, how will people hearing about you and how will they purchase what you have to offer? Now may be the time to look into different marketing opportunities. No matter what else you do, keep marketing your business. Check out what other companies are doing, it maybe something that will work for your business. Companies that will be around next year are companies that remain aggressive in marketing their business.

The Best Kept Secret for Entrepreneurs to Make Money

All the marketing, promotion, and advertising is not going to help your business make money. It is all worthless. Nobody cares about you or your business. These claims are for real and not a exaggerated. Your efforts will not make your business money unless you do one thing. If you want to know keep reading. You have to ask for the cash. You can be a marketing guru, a copy writing whiz, and a sales beast. But you will not make money unless you ask for the cash. One of my favorite lines from the movie Boiler Room is “Always be Closing”, but this do not have to be aggressive as it sounds.

 

Naturally when you start a business you do it because you have a passion and want to share it with the world. Selling is the the last thing you want to do. Selling is necessary for the growth of your business, so no matter how you feel you have to ask for the cash and not have a problem with it. A panhandler is the best business example we can follow. Let me explain. They are not afraid to ask for the cash there is no shame in their game. If we have a business that offers a solution in the form of a product or service we should not be afraid to ask for the cash either.

 

I used to sell toys business to business. There was a system where you first qualify the prospect, explain how they can benefit from the product, demonstrate the product, and close. Now it would not put money in my pocket if I went through the whole rigamarole and walk out the office without asking for the money. I would of came home with no money and not able to feed my family. Think of your business the same way. Your business gets fed with money so it can grow up to be big and strong. So when you ask for the cash you can feed your young business with balanced meal of cash flow.