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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.

The secrets are out! Knowing them is going to help bring success to your marketing efforts:

  • Commit to invest adequate money, time and resources to your marketing efforts
  • Continuously promoting your business with consistent messaging
  • Create urgency for your clients to act, for example, put time limit on promotional materials and make sure it’s after a weekend so that you don’t miss out weekend sales
  • Offer complimentary business-related information to potential customers
  • Capitalize the power of both online and offline networks
  • Connect your product, service or business to current events or news
  • Be confident that your marketing plans will take time to produce results.

Your business is not going very far very fast if you don’t know who your clients are, where and how to get them.

Start understanding your clientele by finding at least five common characteristics among the people who would be interested in your products or services, identify locations where you would likely find these people then find ways to get to them.

Of course, you can always ask for referrals through existing clients by offering worthwhile special discounts or bonuses for sending in new clients.

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