With gas prices on the rise and the fall of the American dollar, it can be a scary time to be a small business owner. It doesn’t have to be. If you use these facts to your advantage, you can take over, or at least be competitive in, your local marketplace.
• Customers Are Shopping Around. In tighter economies, people need to stretch their dollar further. Many of your competitor’s customers will shop around to find the best deal. This is a great chance to lure people in with sales, first-time client discounts and more.
• Loyal Customers Need Love Too. Maintain your existing …read more
Sometimes it is difficult to come up with a unique slogan to suit your company. Fortunately, some local business can get away with using slogans that are unique to their city, but not their industry. These tag lines help inform customers why they should go with your company and help them remember you. Here are a few of these types of tag lines.Lawn Care:• We work hard on your yard so you don’t have to!• The grass is always greener…on your side!• Your lawn is my business.
Real Estate:• Sell or Buy – we can help you do both!• Helping first-time buyers find a HOME.• Why rent when …read more
We have, and will, say it over and over. Staying consistent is one of the most important things a business can do to maintain customer loyalty and branding. Remember the “New Coke” disaster? Consider the following:• If It Ain’t Broke… You will likely get tired of the same message, but your customer relies on hearing it. They want to be assured over and over. And, let’s face it -they aren’t hearing the message nearly as often as you are.• Be Flexible. Don’t try to resist change. Willingness to change is important, but do it slowly to maintain consistency. If you want to update the …read more
For those of you who ever wanted to test out your design skills, here’s your opportunity. Now through November 1, you can submit your own design for our Contour pen. For the contest details click here.
For design tips, check out my posting …read more
Want to kick start your Fall marketing campaigns? Try a simple, email campaign to your customers and you can take advantage of the 57:1 return on investment email marketing provides (Direct Marketing Association, 2005).
An email campaign doesn’t have to be fancy to be successful. Start by emailing each of your customers with a special offer. A weekend sale can help drive traffic into your store. Offer a special off-peak rate for customers who book your services during your less busy time. Whatever the promotion, the most important thing is don’t wait for the perfect time to send the email. Launch your campaign today and you …read more
Effective Logo placement builds your brand –whether you are advertising in a magazine, on a billboard or on a promotional giveaway. Selecting the location of your logo is an important (albeit, frequently overlooked) step in your advertising plan. Here are our thoughts:• Consistency Equals Recognition. Distributing a red tee shirt with your name on the back, followed by a blue tee shirt with your name on the sleeve might keep things interesting, but it may cause you to lose brand recognition. Major national corporations can get away with this because they have so much recognition already; but for a small company, …read more
Graphic design is a fundamental part of every business. From business cards to website, the design you select makes a statement about your company. If you are starting a business or perhaps looking to reinvent the look of your company I highly recommend working with an advertising agency or a freelance designer to establish a brand kit – business card, letterhead, website, and brochure. Keeping these elements consistent will help present a professional look to your customers.Once you have your branding kit, at some point in time you’re going to need to make some changes. Depending on your design skills (and budget) you may want to try to make the …read more
I love Amazon’s guarantees. I spend hundreds at Amazon every year. The handful of times I’ve had a problem, they have refunded my money without any trouble. They’re getting way more of my business than other online retailers solely because I trust them.Offering a guarantee may sound like a dangerous proposition for a small business, but quality assurances can offer major benefits to companies of all sizes. With a good guarantee, you can easily get all of the following benefits:Increased sales. When customers are hesitant about anything, they are much less likely to buy. A guarantee assures there’s …read more
A great way to maintain loyalty, beyond offering great service and a great product, is by offering a rewards program. You probably belong to at least one rewards program, whether it’s a sandwich shop card, credit card points or a frequent flier program.Rewards programs work because everyone wants to be rewarded for doing something they enjoy doing anyway. Who says “no, I wouldn’t like a free sandwich now that I’ve bought my fifth one here?” There are a variety of different programs to choose from and I’m sure one of them can really help your company.• Frequency Cards. Create a card for customers to carry …read more
All businesses need to advertise, but not all of them have the budget to do a full-fledged marketing campaign. Of those who can afford to advertise, many find they still cannot afford all the promotion they need. I imagine you, like most of us, are in one of these boats. Advertising is hard for small businesses. You don’t have a budget for much, especially non-essentials.Advertising is essential, but it can be relatively inexpensive. Here’s what can you do to advertise on a low or non-existent budget.• Spend time near your customers. Whether it’s online, a spa, a coffee shop or a sporting event, building a …read more