As we move into the fall and holidays just around the corner, most small businesses tend to see a decline in profits. This can put a dent in your bottom line! How do you attract more clients and maximize your profits in a slow economy?
NOTE: If you have more business than you can handle, then this article is not for you!
If you are like most entrepreneurs, then you want to read, “6 Surefire Ways to Increase Your Business Growth.”
SUREFIRE #1 – BECOME INVOLVED IN PUBLIC PRESENTATIONS
Seminars, workshops, trade shows, speeches and presentations are excellent ways to build your business, gain credibility, and demonstrate your professionalism. These forums are an easy and inexpensive way to get your business out in the public’s eye. Not to mention a great way to conquer your stage fright. For instance, if you are an accountant who gives a monthly seminar on various subjects, then people who are in business are bound to attend to get your valuable and free advice. By doing this, you have a steady flow of prospects; gaining local publicity; and building your level of expertise.
SUREFIRE #2 – CREATE A REFERRAL NETWORK
Do you know other companies to whom you share mutual customers with? You should be running, not walking to find who they are and how you can team up and benefit from each other. For instance, if you are a Business Writer, you should form a team with a Web designer, PR firm and / or an Ad agency, to name a few. If you are a Realtor, you should form a team with a mortgage lender, title service and home builders. The key to this is to learn as much as you can about each team members business so that you can promote it as you would your own. This new team will enable each other to grow more rapidly as you have several sales people working on your behalf to grow your business. It makes so much sense to work smarter and not harder!
SUREFIRE #3 – DEVELOP AN E-NEWSLETTER
When you expand your traditional marketing to include a regularly scheduled e-newsletter, you are creating an easy, no-cost and profitable way to market your business. The use of e-newsletters has quickly come to be an indispensable component of the advertising campaigns of many businesses, large and small! By developing an ongoing relationship with prospective clients, you are establishing yourself as an expert. This also provides you with email information of potential clients. For an example of a business related e-newsletter, Google search industry related businesses websites, opt-in to their e-newsletter. To learn more about email marketing, go to ConstantContact or IContact.
SUREFIRE #4 – NETWORKING IS KING
One of the most successful ways to promote your business is through networking. Networking is to Business Owners as Gas is to Cars. Ok, so the analogy sounds silly, but you get the picture.
You could be the best cook or consultant in the world but if no one knows about you or your product/service, you may never be able to make a living at what you do best. So, it’s imperative that people know who you are and the more face to face recognition at local networking events, the better!
Networking is a lifestyle in which you need to incorporate onto your “To Do” list. By networking, you are developing your social skills by engaging or interacting in an informal gathering to communicate with others for mutual assistance or support. By acquainting yourself with other business owners or executives, you are building meaningful relationships. There are many organizations that you can become involved in such as the Chamber of Commerce, Business Network International (BNI) or a professional organization related to your industry.
SUREFIRE #5 – DEVELOP PROFESSIONAL MARKETING TOOLS
I repeat, develop professional marketing tools. Image is everything! If you lack a professional image, you lose credibility! You can create professional looking brochures, fliers and business cards with affordable software such as Microsoft Publisher and upload it to www.vistaprint.com. Buy a domain name and hosting at www.godaddy.com for about $50 a year. If nothing else, put up at least a single page website with your products or services and contact information. Shop around for an affordable website designer, barter with other business owners, or go to your local university and recruit a student familiar with computer programming. Many students are looking for extra work. You don’t have to compromise your budget to create a professional image.
SUREFIRE #6 – GET ON THE SOCIAL MEDIA BANDWAGON
Social networking is serious business! This is social networking for the 21st century, one in which every business owner should get on board with. As entrepreneurs, it is essential that you continually generate new ideas in order to maximize the profit-making potential of your venture. Social media is a great way to leverage your products or services. It is an easy and inexpensive way to connect to people around the world and an opportunity to make friends with people who have similar interests, find solutions to problems they might have by collaborating with others, as well as attract clients that might need your products or services.
More and more local small businesses and non-profit organizations are climbing aboard the social media bandwagon to market themselves for free. It just makes good business sense to learn how to leverage social media to build communities around brands and then leverage them into revenue.
According to a recent survey on online social networking by the Institute for Corporate Productivity:
- 65% of business professionals use some form of personal or professional social network
- 47% use social networks to connect with potential clients and market their skills
- 55% use social networks to share best practices with colleagues
Some popular social networking services, such as, Facebook, MySpace, Twitter, Linkedin and Bebo allow users to create a profile of themselves.
As entrepreneurs, it is essential that you continually generate new ideas in order to maximize the profit-making potential of your venture. Always set action plans to guide your marketing strategies as it will save you time and money.
WANT TO USE THIS ARTICLE IN YOUR E-ZINE OR WEB SITE? You can, as long as you include this complete blurb with it: Sylvia Browder is CEO of Browder Consulting Group, a virtual small business consulting and coaching firm. She is currently employed as a Project Director, business coach and consultant for the Women’s Business Center, Inc., a non-profit economic development organization with a mission of empowering women to start and grow successful businesses. She also serves as a volunteer SCORE counselor, an organization dedicated to educating entrepreneurs and the formation, growth and success of small business nationwide. She is also a Technical Assistant Provider for SBA’s Community Express Loan Program. For FREE weekly articles go to Sylvia Browder’s Blog for Women Entrepreneur’s, www.sylviabrowder.com. She can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org..
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