Business captures client memories

“Visual eulogy” service helps celebrate people’s lives

By Startup Expert Roger Pierce, BizLaunch.ca

It’s a great feeling to know your small business helps customers to feel better. “We help grieving families to remember and honour their loved ones,” says entrepreneur Carla Wagar.

Based in Kingston, Ontario, Wagar’s company is called Touching Tributes (www.touchingtributes.ca). It creates visual eulogies by combining photographs, text and selected music on DVDs for grieving families to play at a funeral service.

“The presentations also become cherished family items because we’ve captured important memories,” explains Wagar.

When producing a tribute, Wagar’s team focuses on high levels of customer service. “We meet with family members and listen very carefully to what they want,” she says. “We incorporate their personal choice in music and provide them with unlimited copies so all family members can play the disc later.”

With a background in the human services sector including some Crisis Intervention work, Wagar is passionate about helping people through tough times. When she learned that most funeral service providers do not offer to produce tribute videos, she knew what type of business to start.

Driven by a desire to turn her idea into reality, Wagar ventured into entrepreneurship earlier this year equipped with some money from a family member and her own personal savings.

“There is a lot of satisfaction derived from creating something from nothing,” she comments. “I feel excited and proud of my accomplishments.”

Wagar admits to many challenges as her own boss. “I’m always looking for ways to increase my productivity while minimizing costs,” she says. “It’s tough because there are so many things to do when launching a new business, yet little money to get them done.”

Although her main product is visual eulogies, Wagar says her company also produces videos for weddings, retirements or living tributes. “We plan to expand our services in these areas and open for business in other communities,” she comments.

Meanwhile, her advice for other new entrepreneurs includes “keeping the faith in your idea. If you truly believe in it, you’ll make it happen.”

[Photo caption:] Carla Wagar’s company Touching Tributes creates visual eulogies.

BizLaunch

With Roger Pierce

Sell benefits to customers

People need to understand two things about your new small business: What you do and why they should buy from you. Too many entrepreneurs focus on describing
their business products or services when they should focus on the benefits.

To help more people to buy from your company, follow these three steps:

  • List five reasons why people should buy from you. Those reasons may include lowest price, highest quality, purchase ease, delivery speed or time savings. List more reasons if you can.
  • Next, attach clear benefit to each of those reasons. Identify the emotional or logical appeal of buying from you. For example, one of the reasons you might hire an accountant is to “keep your financial records in order” but the end benefit the accountant offers is “paying less tax.”
  • Communicate those benefits in your marketing and sales materials. Every ad appearing in magazines or newspapers or running on radio or television simply communicates the benefits of purchase, appealing to either our emotional or logical side. A mattress retailer sells “a good night’s sleep.” Volvo sells “safety”. Banks market low interest mortgages to “save you money.”

It’s always important to understand which benefits your competition plays up so you can focus on something different. Be sure to study the marketing materials of your top three competitors.

Startup Expert Roger Pierce advises new small business owners at www.BizLaunch.ca

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