Max’s Marketing on a Budget: Vol 5

If you aren't prepared, your profits will not be going in this direction.

If you aren't prepared, your profits will not be going in this direction.

There are lots of things you can do wrong in your business and still come out on top, if you learn from your mistakes.  One thing you cannot overcome is failure to provide whatever it is you do. 

All of the cheap or expensive marketing ploys can’t make up for doing your job better than anyone else.  Today’s focus is on a few simple things you can do that will make sure everyone who uses your business becomes a repeat customer.

1. Make sure that if someone makes an appointment, you either show up, or have your business ready for them when they visit.  One of the most embarrassing situations is when a guest or worse, a group of guests shows up at your business expecting service and you are either not prepared or not even there to try and help them.  You can’t make any money if the sure thing falls apart because you didn’t bother to show up.  Keeping an up-to-date calendar and communicating with both your customers and employees will put an end to this problem before it begins.  If it does happen, make it right with the customer and then resolve the issue to avoid it in the future.  Too much of this and word will get around.  If word gets around customers won’t bother to show up either.

2.  Set up an email database and collect emails from every person that you can.  It doesn’t cost you anything but your time to plug emails into a database and send out professional email format marketing to a large group of people if you take the time to build a database.  This includes making an email field on all forms and contracts your company uses.  If people come to your business once, it’s an easy way to stay in contact with them.  It’s a huge mistake not to keep in contact with customers.  Don’t waste someone’s visit.  Collect information from them so you can send them specials and let them know of important goings-ons at your business.

3. Hire quality employees.  Rocky said it best.  If you hang around with bums, you have bum friends.  If you hire bums, you will have bum employees.  Especially in today’s market, it is easy to find quality help.  Don’t settle for a person who isn’t the ideal fit just because.  Keep looking.  It will be worth it in the long run.  You will sleep better at night knowing you have people you can trust working with you to grow your business.  Plus, friendly, presentable employees make customers comfortable and make them feel welcomed, and, furthermore, you will like them better and it will do wonders for your stress levels as you manage an upstart business.

4.  Take time to get to know your regulars.  Take time to get to know the new faces that come through the door.  I do a lot of business with people simply because I like them.  In fact, I changed the type of beer I regularly drink simply based on the delivery guy.  If people think of you as a friend, they will be more likely to return to your business again and again.

These should go without saying in today’s business world, but a lot of businesses I’ve been to in the last week have failed to do one of these four things.  Whether they have sloppy, unfriendly help, no way to contact me in the future, or just plain were not open, businesses every day fail on the most basic level of marketing, and that is, creating positive word of mouth.  While looking for cheap ways to get your name out there, don’t forget the most important.  That is, do a good job.

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~ by maxaverage on January 25, 2009.

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