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Product trends come and go, different types of business models take turns in the spotlight, new ways of reaching potential customers come into vogue. But one thing never changes: customer retention and repeat business will always depend on excellent customer service. Although it is important, customer service doesn’t always mean just “service with a smile.” It also means selling high-quality products, not junk; delivering your products with care and in a timely manner; being prepared for things to go wrong by developing the means for employees to diffuse a distraught customer. Resolve customer issues before they become issues.

Growing your business takes time. Marketing yourself and your company is an important part of your growth and can be pricey. Sending a weekly email about your company’s goals and accomplishments can be an inexpensive way to reach out to potential customers, contacts, and those in whose minds you want to stay at the forefront. Be your own bill board. Wear company logo clothing often and everywhere. Talk to anyone who will listen, including the guy in the grocery line, about the work you are doing. People love “free” – so give away your products as much as possible, whenever you can afford to, to build customer reliance on your product.

Spend the money to portray your business impressively and positively. Make sure all your marketing materials including business cards, letterheads, brochures, forms and packaging materials are first class. Examine and exceed your competitor’s marketing materials. You can have professional and expensive-looking materials without the high costs. Use fewer colours or shade/tint (screen) if you can’t afford full colour. Use print-on-demand services and only print what you need.

Personalize your promotional materials with photos of you and/or your staff and include your company contact information on all materials including packing slips and invoices.

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