Thursday, January 8, 2009

10 Small Business Action Tips!

Most small business retailers I've had the courtesy to meet, typically use traditional marketing to get business through their front doors. This means running print ads in the local press and waiting for the resulting traffic. They don't go out and get business as much as they try and lure them in.

I was at a local national chain with my wife and asked the sales person if they were on commission? "Yes, 100%" they informed me. I asked them what they did to get business in the door. "We send out the regular flyers from head office", was the reply.

"What do you do personally to drum up business?" I asked, knowing the answer to come. They didn't know what I meant. Since they are 100% commission, they are essentially a free agent, and as such I feel that they should be out in the marketplace, networking, building a customer database and contacting them through direct mail and html marketing, (even at their own cost, which is tax deductible). On the news, one local retailer said that they would weather the storm by cutting waste and reducing their ad budget by 50%. Can you believe that last comment? That's just what you want to do when things get bad, cut the very expenditure that actually brings you business.

What can you do as a little guy to get the cash register humming again? Well try these 10 tips on for size:

1) Read books on motivation and guerilla marketing. You will find great tips and suggestions for helping to get business in the door. Jeffrey Gitomer is one of my personal favorites. No BS.

2) Contact past customers, thank them for their business and offer them a personal incentive.

3) Using an email database, send out weekly html marketing possibly linked to an online promotion.

4) Join local professional groups. Get out into the community and join committees. At his level you can build influential relationships.

5) Cross promote with complimentary businesses. Combine mailing lists and offers.

6) Join networking groups. Nothing like dozens of sales people looking out for you.

7) Display at local events that your audience attends.

8) Change your sales message from what you sell to, how what you sell, fulfills a customer's need. (What's in it for them?)

9) Rack your brain for good news about your business and submit it as a press release to local media regularly.

10) Offer to write about your business category in the local press to help position you as an expert.

Bonus) Sponsor sports teams whose parents are possibly your target audience.

By doing suggestion #1, you will discover dozens of proven methods for bringing in business. The key is you have to get off of your butt and get moving. Doing any of these suggestions will result in boosting your moral and put you in control of generating traffic - as opposed to waiting for them to magically appear from an ad or two.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Nice tips for small businessmen. Utilizing or cashing our past client list and database and being always with a drive to promote our products/service would definetly yield good business. Free online classes are offered for new businessmen at Utilize the free courses. Thanks.

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