[Marketing Memo]: Growing Your Business? Simplicity Is Power!
By Cary Weston
So youíre looking to promote and grow your business but find yourself a little short in the big bank account department. Well, money can be important, but it is not always as necessary as you may think. When it comes to truly growing your business, youíll do very well if you keep this in mind:
Simple is not always easy but simplicity with consistency is powerful.
I talk with businesses every day who are looking for the ďideal wayĒ or the quick answer to growing their business. You know what, there really isnít an ideal way and you can spend a lot of money learning that.
Instead, we tell our clients there are some sure fire ways of making a difference and, combined with dedication and protocol; their business can grow with minimal waste of out of pocket expenses.
Bottom line is: there are ways to compliment your advertising budget, regardless of what size it may be and make significant gains in your bottom line.
To do this, keep three simple tips in mind at all times:
1. Have you met your customers?
2. You have chances every day to make a difference.
3. If you donít do it often, donít do it at all.
First, you have customers (right?). Do these customers know what you really offer or provide or do they just know that you satisfied one part of their need once? Donít take this for granted. Youíll be amazed at how many of your customers do not know the full range of products or services you truly offer. Make a point to let them know today about what else they can receive from you to make their lives better. You can do this by signs in your store, simple letters, emails, postcards or index cards you hand out at the register.
Now, do you really know who your customers are? Remember, the key to growing your business is to focus on profit, not sales. Take a look at your customer list and see which customers offer you the most opportunity for profit. Youíll be amazed at the similarities youíll find in their demographics. Once you find these similar traits (ex: working women, age, referrals, geography, small companies, certain industries, etc) youíll be better able to understand who to effectively target and who can help you produce more profit for your business.
Second, you have opportunities every day to make a difference in your business. You just have to be prepared to take advantage of them. For instance, sending emails is an inexpensive and quick way to send specials, product updates and announcements to your customers and prospects. Are you collecting your customers email addresses?
How about a referral program to your customers? Thereís no better way to bring in new business than through your existing customers. Let them know you appreciate their business and offer them referral coupons to pass onto friends, family and co-workers. The coupons can be as simple as a photocopied piece of paper but the return can be huge for your bottom line. Offer the referred customer a special percentage off or free gift and do the same for your existing customer. There is no better way to increase your business than having those that already enjoy your products or services pass it on to others.
Put a special offer on your business card and hand them out to everyone you meet. Look for other businesses that compliment yours. That way you gain access to a whole new list of potential customers who will have a need for what you offer.
But most of all never close your ears. The more you are aware of your surroundings, the more ideas you will have to help you grow. Just remember, whatever you do, do it with passion and creativity. This is your business were talking about!
Finally, any good program can be simple but it will only work if you make the decision to implement and be consistent. Make sure whatever you do that you do it often. Getting email addresses once in a while will not help you build your customer list. Handing out referral cards once in a while will limit your opportunities for new customers and new profits. If youíre going to spend money on advertising, either in print, TV or radio, make sure you have a program that offers enough range and depth to be seen or heard by the right people. Youíll need to effective in not only what you say, but who you say it to and how often they hear it!
You donít have to do dramatic things all at once.
Implement one new program at a time and be sure to put a full effort behind it. Once that it is up and running, move to another. It will take some time and some dedication, but with a consistent effort and a little passion, growing your business the smart way will reward you and your profits handsomely.
Cary Weston is a partner of Sutherland Weston Marketing Communications in Bangor, Maine
Company's Web: www.sutherlandweston.com
Company's Twitter: www.twitter.com/SWMC_inc
Cary's Linked In: www.linkedin.com/in/caryweston
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