2011 was a rough year. 2012 was a little better and showed some promises of a bounce back, but it was still a challenging time. We have to learn from the last few years and take some steps in order to have a successful 2013. Below are just a few lessons I have learned from last year. In most of the cases, this is information that we all know but sometimes fail to do. So let’s make this the year that we do everything right so that our businesses will thrive.
1. Be Proactive – In this age of constant changes and new products and services, we have to stay abreast of the current trends in our respective industries. We can’t get stagnant; we have to constantly be looking to do something better and offer improved services for our clients. If you don’t, your competitors will and you will lose market share.
2. Be Creative – What do you offer that your competitors don’t offer? Do you market in creative ways that grabs the attention of your target audience? You have to be a little different in order to stand out. This goes for both your marketing and your services. What is that one thing that people think about when they hear your company name? It’s a tough challenge, but if you accomplish this, you will be successful.
3. Get Involved With The Community – For any business to be successful within the community, it is important to be involved with your local community. Every community has local charities that your business can participate or at least donate money to some of them. If your area has a Chamber of Commerce, get involved. That is a great opportunity to meet other business owners in your area. If your area has local clean up efforts such as Adopt-A-Highway or Beach Clean-Up Day, those are great ways to show your support for your community. By getting involved, it shows that you care, AND it is great marketing exposure for your business.
4. Beef Up Marketing – In times of slow economy, you should not cut your marketing budget. Instead, you should increase the efforts. You must make this portion of your budget a priority. Make budget cuts in other areas that don’t bring in money and sales. Promotional products are always a great and cheap way to market your business in times of recession. Let a promotional products professional help you decide on the best approach for your marketing campaign.
5. Plan – Everyone has heard the old saying, “He who fails to plan is planning to fail.” Well, that is very wise advice. Every business needs a business plan. Not only do you need a business plan, but you need to follow it and update it frequently. You should plan out short term and long term goals as well as how you intend to achieve those goals. Make sure and list time frames, estimated costs, and who is in charge of each goal. Review them once a month and make revisions as necessary as you meet goals or think of new goals.
6. Follow-Up – You can’t just sit around and wait for business to come to you. Follow up with all leads. Contact past customers and maybe you will stir up new business. Also, it is important to follow up with customers within a week or two after their order to make sure they are happy. This shows that you care and offers a great opportunity to turn an unhappy client into a happy one. So, don’t be lazy and do your part to increase sales and generate more for your company.
7. Cross-Sell and Up-Sell– Whenever your clients make a purchase, make sure you offer them other options in addition to their purchase. Many times, it may be an extended warranty or optional packaging or other add on accessories. Another great way to increase your sales is to up-sell. This means if someone buys a bottom of the line or mid-range product, try to upsell the model with better features. This is a great opportunity to boost your sales with existing buyers.
Hopefully, after reading this, you have many ideas racing through your mind about how you can improve your business. If so, write them down and formulate a plan. Then follow that plan and watch your business soar!
If you are ready to find out how you can use promotional items to help increase your marketing exposure, contact one of our promotional product experts!