"Perhaps the world's second worst crime is boredom. The first is being a bore." - Sir Cecil Beaton, Photographer
Are you with me? Most of us run a small business, and well, some months aren't as fun as the others. Right now it's flu season and time for cold fingers. Just going outside can be tough.
On the other hand, who are we waiting for? It's up to us to create an environment that our customers enjoy. If we are excited, looking forward to something, and smiling, they will be too. If we are stressed, tired, and stuck in a rut, well...they'll find somewhere else to go.
Step 1: Stay Ahead of the Game
But, what if you wanted to PLACE an ad for Valentine's Day? Given time to think, design, place, print, etc. - you'd be well on your way by early January! Sure, you can scramble and pull things together faster...but that just makes it tougher and more expensive - and less likely that you'll do it in the future.
"Great things are not done by impulse, but by a series of small things brought together." - Vincent Van Gogh, Painter
Step 2: Plan it Out
Next, pick a few things to try and think them through. For example, maybe you'd like to place a newspaper ad - get the price sheet and choose a cost effective option. It makes sense to spread them out over the year...and don't go overboard. Just pick a few things you can get excited about.
Last, create a few small deadlines for yourself and make sure you'll see them with the right amount of lead time - like "call graphic designer about postcard - 555-1212". This way when it comes time to plan the event, you'll be ready.
If you really want to do things right, you'll even set a budget. Remember, people get excited about parties, free things, and attention. Your marketing dollars might be best spent on a buffet of good food or something to give away.
"Ideas are like rabbits. You get a couple and learn how to handle them, and pretty soon you have a dozen." - John Steinbeck
Step 3: Track The Results
Websites are useful because it is easy to get tracking data. If you place an ad and traffic levels go up, it was successful. Are there good ways to track results in your business? (sales, new customers, visitors to the store, etc.)
If you are clever about it, special offers can generate automatic tracking. For example: placing an ad with a coupon allows you to easily count the number that came back. Just be sure to set an expiration date to avoid surprises later on.
"Begin somewhere; you cannot build a reputation on what you intend to do." - Liz Smith, American Gossip Columnist
Tip 1: Try a Mix of Different Things
"You'll always miss 100% of the shots you don't take." – Wayne Gretzky, Legendary Hockey Player
Tip 2: Enjoy YourselfWhat you do doesn't matter as much as how you do it. You can spend thousands of dollars to hire a marketing firm...but if you aren't personally engaged, it will be obvious and people won't be excited either. Create a year you can get excited for and enjoy.
John Waiveris writes about small business and online marketing for Invisible Gold, LLC.
For more information call 1-860-285-0172 or visit www.invisiblegold.com
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