written by: Zanne Lamb-Hunt
Sharon Lopez, a small town girl from the corn fields of the Midwest, went on to graduate from William & Mary in Williamsburg, Virginia. She then joined “one of the big five audit accounting firms” and accumulated years of management consulting experience.
Eventually creating a corporate niche for herself that was focused on CRM (Customer Relationship Management) IT systems, Sharon had the task of “helping Fortune 100s build a profit through IT.” She is now the owner of her own marketing consulting business as a local franchisee of Money Mailer.
Drawing on her vast professional marketing experience, Sharon shares some valuable tips on how to grow your own business.
1. Have A Good Customer Acquisition Strategy.
A business should never say they’ve got enough customers, all the customers they can handle or that they only work on referrals.
“Twenty percent of people move on a daily basis. How are you going to replace that 20% of your businesses?”
“The way to acquire new customers is to constantly be in front of them with some sort of marketing. Direct mail, TV and radio are the three best ways.”
2. Build Brand Recognition
What makes your business unique? Is it a special product or service? Do you have a special guarantee of your product? “The customer needs to know these things!”
“You need to constantly be reminding your customers and being in their minds because customers buy when they’re ready. You need to build that brand recognition with your customers so you’re creating the need. Then, when they’re ready to buy, you’re right there in front of them!”
3. Understand the Value Of One Customer
Once that customer comes in the door, there’s the opportunity to make a loyal customer who makes steady, repeat purchases of your products or services.
“Say I’m a pizza place. If I get my customer in the door…most people buy pizza 3-4 times a month. If I’ve got a family, I’m spending $50/week on pizza! That equates to $200/month! One new customer to me is over $2000/year!”
“If I could bring you just 10 new customers at $2000/year that would be HUGE for your small business!”
4. The Offer! Have A Catch to Get Those New Customers In the Door
Sharon tosses out an interesting marketing tidbit that most people probably don’t know. “Most household purchasing decisions are made by the woman.” Successful marketing begins with knowing the target audience and Sharon knows it all very well!
“The offer is going to compel me to act. It’s going to determine whether I take action to try this new restaurant that just opened up down the road. I know nothing about it. I don’t know if they have good food but guess what?”
“Buy one – get one free? If I can save $15 on a dinner for my family, I’m going to be compelled to act.”
5. Make Sure Your Product Is In Front of The Right Audience
“Who is my ideal customer? If I’m a pizza place, my ideal customer has two or three kids. They come in — they buy pizza, they buy coke, they buy the desserts.”
“If I’m a car wash, my ideal customer has 2-3 cars! They own a home!”
“All of these components are things to think about when I want to get my offer and my brand in front of my ideal customer.”
Combining A Career And Family Life
Once the kids came along, the long hours and constant travel requirements of the job were no longer working for Sharon. “I started having kids and my life changed.”
She became a Yoga Instructor and made a career shift into Sales. At the same time, Sharon was dealing with “some real eye-opening lessons” and “figuring out what’s important in my life.”
Making The Entrepreneurial Move from the Corporate World
“I’ve always wanted to own my own business. When I graduated from college, I wanted to do my own thing,” Sharon shared. Instead, twenty years later, she found herself still in a corporate job.
She felt a sense of urgency to make the switch and it was pushed along by the fact that her kids weren’t always going to be kids. “I don’t want to miss one soccer game, one vocal performance, one band concert — I want to be there for every single piece of it.”
Sharon went the low risk way by purchasing a Money Mailer franchise “to grow a business, be with my kids and lead the lifestyle that I want to lead all at the same time.”
Now, instead of helping Fortune 100s to turn more profits, she’s using her experiences to help small businesses succeed. She’s dedicating her knowledge and her efforts “in my local community, getting to know my neighbors, my local business owners and really helping them to be profitable.”
“Nine out of ten small businesses fail. If I could make a difference with a few of those businesses that would be HUGE!”
The Biggest Challenge in Leaving the Corporate World Behind
There’s no hesitation when Sharon is asked about the biggest challenge of leaving the corporate world to start her own franchise. “It’s tossing away that steady income and taking a risk.”
Sharon is finally doing her own thing after telling herself “I’m starting with nothing but life’s too short. Take a risk now!”
Sharon would tell all college graduates to follow their hearts, their intuition and their guts! “Do what you love to do because life is way too short! The money will come.”
“If you are a smart, successful person, you will find a way to be successful at whatever you do.”
Meanwhile, as a Yoga Instructor at the local ‘Y’, Sharon is helping young students to be successful by quieting their minds so they can envision their own success. Her classes also benefit the elderly students who achieve better range of motion, coordination, balance and an improved sense of well-being.
Sharon points out that “people have physical, spiritual and emotional breakthroughs every day!”
Sharon Recommends A Few ‘Life Changing’ Books
Sharon read Robert Kiyosaki’s “Rich Dad, Poor Dad” about 20 years ago when she was searching for the key to owning her own business and acquiring financial success and wealth for her own family. She highly recommends it!
“The Sutras Of Patanjali” is the basis of Sharon’s Yoga foundation and is ‘life-changing in general’. “Basically, any New Age self-help book that you read today is based on those limbs of Yoga. It changed my life.”
Sharon’s Business Is To Help Grow YOUR Business!
Put Sharon’s expertise to work for you. Market your business with the assist of Money Mailer and custom offers delivered through direct marketing that will compel new customers to walk through your door. Sharon Lopez has helped Fortune 100s to turn a bigger profit. Imagine the outcome when you put her expertise to work to do the same for your small business!
Sharon Lopez 703-626-3168
Content provided by Frederick Advice Givers Podcast #024