Marketing Tip – Small Business Owners Need to Keep in Touch to Get More Referrals

The phone rings.  You answer it.  The person on the other line says, “Bob Smith suggested I call you.  He said you can help me.”  Ahhhh!  It’s a beautiful day!!!

How often does that happen to you?  Probably not often enough.  But with a little marketing planning, you can dramatically increase your referral business.  The result is bigger sales for your small business. The most important thing is to keep in touch with people on a regular, consistent basis.

Sounds simple, doesn’t it?  Most small business owners know they need to do these things.  But few have any type of marketing system for keeping in touch with the right people.  Even fewer small business owners know the right way to ask for referrals.

Who should be on your contact list?  

EVERYONE!  Past clients, prospects, business associates, friends, neighbors, even people who at one point thought they might use your services, then changed their mind.

The biggest mistake we make is to think, “Oh, those people know what my small business is. I don’t need to market to them.” 

Yes, your neighbor, your banker, and the people in your Rotary group probably do know about your business.  But when they think of you, they think of you walking the dog, making a deposit, or organizing a meeting. 
 
Because they don’t see you in your professional capacity, they don’t think of you that way–unless you use a smart marketing strategy to remind them.  And, as much as we’d like to think we are unforgettable to our past clients, they start to forget about us in as little as six weeks!

Obviously, when making a marketing plan to keep in touch with your contacts, time and budget need to be considered.  You will want to see some people once a week.  Others will simply get a monthly e-mail newsletter.  No matter what, talking about your business, mailing personal notes and cards, and sending regular e-mail newsletters to all of your contacts is vital to building business. 

 
By marketing to your contacts on a regular, consistent basis, you will ensure these people think of you whenever they hear of someone else who might need your product or service. The result? More referrals, more business and more sales!

Logo Design Tips – Small Businesses

When you intend to do something, if you don’t know the ins and outs of it, then the chances are that you won’t be able to get quality stuff. Also, the chances of getting defrauded increase significantly. But, the problem is that you can’t become an expert in each and every field in this world. Hence, what you need to do is to acquire the expertise of a reliable and experienced person or company. Now, the same thing can be applied to the design industry. When you are willing to create a logo design for your business, then you need to know who to hire and what to look for to ensure that you get more for your money and that you don’t end up losing your money.

So, let’s discuss some important things that you should do and look for to ensure that you create your brand identity / logo design in an influential way.

Hire a Professional Designer: This is something extremely important. Will you ever hire an unprofessional to fix your roof or ceiling? No, you will never take the risk, because you don’t want your ceiling to collapse. So, if you take the risk of hiring an unprofessional designer, then the chances will increase that sooner or later your business will collapse due to its cheap image and identity. Don’t just go and hire a graphic designer. Make sure that you actually hire a professional logo designer with vast experience in creating logos for small businesses.

Get Many Logo Design Concepts: Once you feel interested in hiring a designer or company, you need to first check their packages. It is advisable to get a package with several concepts. This will assist you in making a decision easily and conveniently. As it is important to create your business image effectively, having several concepts will enable you to mix different ideas that you will get through different concepts. So, never go for 1 concept. Always ask more several concepts.

Get Unlimited Revisions: It is not really possible to get the logo done in the first attempt. So, it is advisable to tell your designer to give you unlimited revisions. A lot of companies and designers will give you a limited number of revisions. Don’t be fooled by that, because after they provide you with the set number of revisions and if you are not satisfied, then you will lose your money. So, go for a logo design company that offers unlimited revisions with their packages.

Free Stuff: Sooner or later you will be needing stationery for your business. A lot of logo design companies offer free stationery designs with some of their logo design packages. It is advisable to get them now, because later you will end up paying more for them. So, look for an affordable logo design package that also offers free stationery designs. This will include: Business Card Design, Letterhead Design and Envelope Design. All these things are important for businesses and if you can get them for free then there is nothing better than that.

Using Your Small Business Marketing Tools to Differentiate Your Business

Perhaps the most important quality for your small business marketing materials is that they are different. If you do nothing else right in your small business marketing, at least be different.

Why is differentiation so important? Because, in most industries, there are hundreds – if not thousands or millions – of other businesses that claim to provide the same service or sell the same product as you do. If you don’t differentiate your business from all those others, the chances that you’ll get many customers are pretty slim.

Some common ways to differentiate your business are:

Superior service

Greater product availability

Higher quality

Better performance

Greater durability

Prestige

Technology leadership

Satisfaction guarantee

Lower cost

Faster delivery

More customer support

But even if you are very different than your competitors – you offer superior service, greater durability, or a satisfaction guarantee that beats all others – it won’t matter unless your prospective customers know about it.

That’s where your small business marketing strategy comes in. Businesses have been using their small business marketing strategies to announce how they’re different from their competitors as long as they have been using small business marketing strategies. Think Maxwell House’s “Good to the last drop,” Campbell’s Soup’s “Mmm, mmm good,” or WalMart’s “Always low prices.” Those highly successful taglines not only get prospective customers to remember the company name, but also convey a message about the difference between that company and others.

To make differentiation a part of your small business marketing strategy, you first need to understand your competitors – you can only explain how you’re different from them once you know what they’re like. Learn what your competitors offer, how they differentiate themselves, and – most importantly – what your prospective customers think about them (if you know what qualities your prospective customers see as shortcomings in the other companies in the market, you’ll have a good idea of the market gap you can fill).

Once you’ve decided how you are different from your competitors, you need to tell your prospective customers about it. Building that differentiation into your tagline can be a very effective start. Then include that tagline, along with your logo, on every piece of small business marketing collateral you have. Another small business marketing way to publicize your differences is to write a press release. Explain how you’re filling a need in the market that no other company has filled.

Once you’ve differentiated your company and used your small business marketing tools to publicize your differences, you have to follow through on your promises. If you say that you’re the cheapest – or the highest quality, or the friendliest, or whatever – then you better be just that (nothing turns away a customer like a failed promise).

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