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Small Business Marketing Tip #8: Admitting When You Are Wrong!

Here’s a fact: as an entrepreneur, one day, you are going to encounter an unhappy customer. You may or may not do something to upset the customer, but the customer will be dissatisfied nonetheless. For me, this has been hard, as I tend to find myself always in the right. But you will learn that sometimes taking a serving of crow or humble pie is the only way to ensure your business thrives.

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Scenario: there was a dispute over the number of hours I billed a client. I was able to justify the time spent, but the client felt it was excessive. I had two choices. I could stand my ground and say that the hours were well documented and insist on getting paid (and risk the client ending the contract as soon as possible) or I could be flexible and negotiate some of the hours as discounted (and keep the client happy).

I chose the second path, and the client was impressed that I’d been so flexible and understanding. Sometimes you will face taking a loss financially to keep a customer (who, not only will bring you more revenue as time goes on, but can also refer more business to you). Ask yourself if it’s worth a few dollars to potentially lose a solid customer. In the long run, you won’t even miss that insignificant profit.
-Susan

Small Business Marketing Tip #7: The Element of Surprise as a Marketing Strategy

We as a society are tired of direct mail, of email promotions, of advertising that interrupts our activities. So how can you get to potential customers (or bring back past customers for repeat business) without turning them off?

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Surprise them!

Do something out of the ordinary that will get their attention. It doesn’t have to be expensive. For example, for my marketing firm, Egg Marketing & Public Relations, I sent all my customers (and a few good contacts I felt could turn into customers) a small box that contained one plastic egg and some Easter grass. Inside the egg was candy, and in the box was a letter with my springtime promotion. Imagine people’s surprise when opening the box! I got more than one comment on how it made someone’s day and put a smile on their faces!

If your marketing budget is small, you don’t have to outsource a promotion like this. Consider sending your contacts a sample of your product with a personal note. Or surprise a client by showing up with lunch for their office one day. Even an e-card can be an effective way to say you’re more than a customer to me; I value you!

-Susan

Small Business Marketing Tip #5: Marketing Your Business with Creative Networking and Volunteering

If you’re like me, you’ve just about exhausted the usual channels for networking. While networking groups are good for making contacts, those contacts don’t always translate into sales. Attending too many meetings with different groups can sometimes do nothing more than drain your pocketbook. So how can you meet people in your community that will be interested in your product, and bring you steady sales?

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Volunteering as a Marketing Strategy

Think about it. You’re working with a diverse group of go-getters for a cause. While you will all be like-minded in the sense that you want to help a particular organization or non-profit, you all work in different parts of the city and do different things. Without having a specific agenda to sell, you will build relationships with these people, who will then think of you when a need arises that you can fill.

How Will Volunteering Help My Marketing Efforts?

Think about the people you have met at church, at your children’s school, in the community. You probably know where they work, and if anyone mentions needing services or products, you immediately think of the people you know can provide them. Read more