Thursday, October 28, 2010

Mapping out life's memories turns entrepreneur into visual eulogist

Showcasing experienced entrepreneurs offers an added marketing communications or social media element to help promote their businesses. In addition, it provides a forum through which they can share solutions to unique business challenges that might be the answer to a similar challenge with which yet another entrepreneur is struggling. This openness of information flows with the following story offered by

Ronnis Oher, owner
LifeMaps - The Story of a Lifetime

I’ve been called a visual eulogist because I’m in the business of creating customized keepsake treasures called LifeMaps. A LifeMap is a full-color, hand-drawn geographical map that outlines someone’s life. It incorporates their personality traits, their relationships, their major life events and some of their fondest memories. It captures not only the facts of the person’s life, but also who they are/were. The maps are humorous and whimsical featuring mountains, deserts, swamps, rivers, campgrounds, highway and small businesses - all representing a specific story about a person’s life. Yet, at the same time, they can be touching because they not only allow people to see what impact their lives have had on those around them, but also to learn how fondly they are viewed by others in their lives.

While I don’t have a great deal of direct competition, what makes my business unique among those who provide a similar product is that I bring great interviewing skills to the project along with a sense of humor and custom creativity which others may not.

My ideal client would be anyone looking for a special gift for a special person who may be celebrating an anniversary, birthday, graduation, wedding or retirement. That would include corporations and non-profits that are looking for special retirement gifts and awards or visual mission statements or sales presentation handouts. Since LifeMaps make great memorials or family member keepsakes, some of my perfect clients would also be the families of seniors who wish to capture the lives of their loved ones while they still have the opportunity to do so.

My greatest challenge seems to be how to close the sale. How to get around a prospect’s saying LifeMaps are not within their budgets without realizing just how economical they are and the lifetime value they provide.

I approached this obstacle head on by offering a traditional lay-away plan to people. If they have an event coming up in six or nine months down the line, I give them the opportunity to start making payments well in advance so that by the time the day arrives, most of the LifeMap will be paid for. This makes the transaction much more manageable. This seems to help people make the commitment which allows me to introduce more LifeMaps into the lives of more people.

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