It is a new year and your business has survived (and hopefully thrived). Hooray! However, competition is still fierce, and there is no guarantee. Yet, you can increase your business survival chances by remaining creative. Here are some suggestions.
1. Box it.
Sometimes thinking “in the box” works well, and box subscriptions are one of them. A box subscription is a commitment to send a box of goodies to a recipient every month for a certain number of months. The customer can choose how long the subscription will last, and it is a gift that literally keeps on giving. For example, Dollar Shave Club sends high quality razors to your door for a few bucks a month so customers can always shave with a fresh blade. The subscription box model works well for retail businesses, but it can also work for services with a a few modifications.
If you own a cleaning service, for example, a client can buy a three-month subscription where you will visit the recipient’s home once a month for deep carpet cleaning. And each month you can send them “fresh and clean” themed product samples to try in their home. The continuity of the offering and added value gives you a chance to wow clients and introduce new products and services.
2. List it.
Chances are, you’ve been sold on the importance of SEO, but did you know that you can get free priority listing on Google and Bing? Both search engines have local directories where you can list your business free of charge. All you have to do is register your business and every time someone looks for your products or services in the area, your website will come up.
Yahoo also offers a similar service, but you have to pay $29.99 a month. That is actually a good deal, because it includes listings in more than 50 online listings including Yelp and Mapquest.
3. Demonstrate it.
A lot can be said about the power of the Internet for its global reach, but for some businesses, local is more important. You can increase your local exposure by participating in local events as a sponsor or a speaker. Share your story, and invite the audience to ask questions. Show people your product, and offer to demonstrate how it works. You can even create high-end, quality posters like this one in Youprint, for advertisement purposes.
If you have a service-based business, share the benefits. For example, if you own a local pest control service, create a shareable infographic describing the common types of pests in the home, and the damage they can do. Give out flyers and coupons with your contact information.
4. Share it.
Start or become a part of a community of small businesses that offer complimentary products. You can save a ton of money ordering in bulk from suppliers, especially if you need the same raw materials.
Swap ideas on how your products and services can be improved, and how you can package offerings to clients. You can also pass on business for products or services you don’t offer to other members of the group. Nothing goes to waste when resources are shared, and everybody wins.
5. Sign it.
You are probably already participate in online forums where you can share your knowledge and expertise. If not, you should be. When you do participate in forums, make sure that your forum signature contains a link to your company website, and maybe even your company slogan. Never miss an opportunity to sell yourself and your company, even while sharing your smart ideas.
6. Reward it.
Many businesses focus on customer acquisition, getting new clients, but repeat customers are more valuable because they do not need convincing. They already like you. However, few businesses reward loyal customers.
Nothing warms the heart more than to be acknowledged. Reward the loyalty of your repeat customers by upgrading their service or sending an unexpected freebie with an order. Add a note explaining why you are doing this, and express your gratitude for their repeat business. This is a great way to keep your clients loyal, and it will definitely lead to referrals.
A satisfied and happy customer is your best marketing tool. You can improve your business this year by implementing these low-cost marketing strategies to stand out from the crowd. The most important thing to remember is: the customer is king. So, do your best to keep those you have happy.
This article has been edited and condensed.
Harlon Agsaoay, content blogger at Xight Interactive, is a blogger, adventurer, musician, and ocean explorer rolled into one. He appreciates life, because he understands we only have one opportunity to do as we please. Connect with @xightph on Twitter.
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