We’ve discussed a couple fairly heavy weight topics in the past few days, so it’s time to shift gears and offer a bit of advice that can help even the newest of businesses.
- “How did you hear about us.” Those are the 6 most underused words in marketing, but often the most important. Many small businesses are afraid to ask, fearing the customer will find it an imposition. I look at it from a different perspective. On some level you paid to acquire this customer, so you really need to find out how they found you.
- Never, ever, underestimate the power of truck signs. For those of you that are in businesses where you’ve got fleets of vehicles, those can be your best advertising. A logo, a phone number and your web address can make all the difference. But also be sure that the customers will know what you do, and also, remember that the vehicle is then representing you, so keep it clean, well maintained, and professional looking. If your personal vehicle doubles as a work vehicle, consider using magnetic signs.
- Be consistent and professional in your branding. Use a clean, clear, well designed logo on everything. Letterhead, business cards, signs, everything should all have the same look, which at the basest level will tell customers that you watch details. Don’t use grainy clip art!
- Business cards – here’s a spot where beginning businesses should probably spend just a little more money. Don’t print them yourself – spend the money for a little better card stock, or a glossy finish. It will tell customers that you take pride in your work.
- Think of your customers as your network – they can be a source of repeat business, and also a source of referrals. Newsletters, cards, seasonal service reminders are important tools to keep in contact. It cost you money to acquire the customer, so maximize your return.
Okay, it’s a basic list and geared towards small businesses. Spend a couple minutes and think if any apply to your business and if you’re doing them. I’d like to hear how they work in your own personal experience.