Chances are if you’ve been in business for more than a couple years you’ve experienced your share of ups and downs. Good news is, congratulations: if you’ve hung in this long you’re ahead of most businesses already. But times are tough, the economy still isn’t what it could be, and even for experienced business owners it can be hard to find the motivation to keep momentum going in the right direction.
So here are some tips to breathe some new life into the old routine and help you get more local business at the same time.
Build Your List.
You wouldn’t go to the store without a list so why are you trying to run your business without one?! Of course, in this case, we’re talking about an EMAIL list.
Businesses thrive on repeat customers, so even if it’s just sending out a holiday message or a quarterly reminder to your past clients, email is a great way to keep your name in the forefront of people’s minds. If you aren’t actively building and using your list you are literally throwing money out the window.
Small businesses are struggling everywhere and most of them are as anxious to connect with others to help share their marketing load as you are. Find great local, like-minded business owners who are willing to work with you. This might be a referral discount, or even just card swapping. Cold calling can be scary, but making money isn’t, so buck up and make some calls or even hit the street and see if you can find some synergy out there.
Make A Bigger Footprint.
This means creating and actively using available online portals to maximize your visibility. Establish a presence – and regularly post! – on major social networks like Facebook and Twitter. Since search engines look at incoming links as a ranking signal, another great way to increase your online visibility is by having profiles on directory sites just like this one. Claim other business listings on yelp, BBB, and especially Google maps/business.
People will stalk your business long before they ever pick up the phone. One way they gain valuable information is from the testimonials left by your past clients on social media. It would be good then to consider getting as many great reviews online as possible. The easiest way is just to ask the customer to leave you a review when you do a job. You can make it even easier by providing a SASE with each job so they can mail their review into you directly.
Serve the Community.
There’s no better way to get your name out there than to be active in your local community. It’s really just that simple – you want local results you’ve got to get out there LOCALLY and make them happen! Whether it be just being part of a local fundraiser, car wash, or cookie sale or if you’re on the board for every rotary Kiwanis in the state you simply can not beat the kind of one-on-one referrals that will come from being a part of the community you live in and serving the people there.
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