Small Business Owners Entrepreneurs

December 13, 2010

Small Business Owners: Why the Level of Service Offered    Author: Admin

Posted in Small Business | |

Small Business Owners: Why the Level of Service Offered Can either Make or Break Your Business

Are you a small business owner? If you are, the type of business that you run isnt necessarily as important as the level of service that your customers receive. Although this is actually a point that is difficult for some to understand, especially the owners of larger nationally operated corporations; you are advised not to forget this important point. After all, the level of service that your customers receive when doing business with you may actually end up making or breaking your small business.

When it comes to understanding the importance of good customer service, there are many small business owners who wonder why it is so important; why such a large focus should be placed on it. In all honesty, without trying to come across too harsh, if you dont already know the importance of customer services, especially when it comes to running a small business, maybe you should rethink your decision to be a small business owner. Yes, it is really that simple. As a business owner, you need to remember that your customers are what keep your business doors open; they are the reason why you have food to put on your table each week, and the reason why you receive a paycheck. When you think about it like that, there is a lot that you owe your customers for, but many simply just want good service; good service that is actually hard to come by nowadays.

When making sure that your customers receive the best level of service possible, it is important that you make sure that you and all of your employees are all on the same page. You may want to think about holding monthly meetings to discuss the importance of customer service, just to make sure that it is always in the back of everyones mind. When discussing customer service with your employees, you will want to make sure that they smile at all times and always put on a happy face, no matter what their actual mood is like. It is also advised that they speak to their customers, even if it is just to ask about the weather. Also, asking customers if they need assistance is advised as well. As for closing a sale or a business deal, you will want to make sure that your employees thank their customers for doing business with them.

As nice as it is to make sure that you and your employees know what to say to all of your customers, it is also important that everyone knows why they need to do and say what they are being told. Whether you run an online business or a locally owned and operated business, you will likely have competition from a number of different businesses. This competition may have the same types of products or services available for sale as you do and possibly even for lower prices. This doesnt automatically mean that you will lose business; it just means that you have to work harder to get it. For many consumers, a good positive shopping experience is more than worth paying a few extra cents or even a few dollars more for a product or a service. It is important that you and your employees remember this, as it may give you an added incentive to be nice and pleasant when dealing with all of your customers.

As outlined above, how you treat your customers, especially if you are a small business owner, may have a significant impact on your business and the profits that it is able to make. It is important that you always remember that your business would essentially be nothing without your customers. That is why it is extremely important that you put them and their needs first. Surprisingly, not all businesses do this, so if you do, you may end up with an edge above the competition. Putting your customers first, especially by giving them the best level of service available, is a surefire way to make sure that your business will be around for years to come.

December 6, 2010

Small Business Owners: The Importance of Always Keeping an    Author: Admin

Posted in Small Business | |

Small Business Owners: The Importance of Always Keeping an Eye on Your Competition

Are you a small business owner? If you are, whether you run an online business or a storefront business, you will need to make sure that you keep an eye on your competition. After all, your competition and their success will actually have a huge impact on the success of your own business.

When it comes to keeping an eye on the competition, there are many small business owners who wonder why it is so important to do so. As it was previously mentioned, how your competitors runs their business will actually have an impact on your business. For instance, if you and your competitors sell the same type of exercise equipment, but one of your competitors is having a huge sale on their exercise equipment, you may notice a slight decrease in your sales for the week. That is why it is extremely important that you know exactly what all of your competitors are doing at all times. In all honesty, if your business is a profitable one, your competitors, even the large ones, are likely to keep tabs on you as well.

Above, sales were used as an example. You will want to make sure that you keep up-to-date on any sales that your competitors may be having. This is important because if you notice that one of your competitors is having a sale, especially on products that you also sell yourself, you may want to think about offering a similar sale. Of course, to protect your reputation and your respectability, you dont want to have the exact same sale, but a similar one should be okay. You should definitely use this approach if you are considered to a specialty store. With keeping with the above mentioned example of a sale on exercise equipment, if your specialty is just selling exercise equipment, a massive exercise equipment sale from your one of your competitors may seriously hurt your businesss sales, even if it is just temporarily.

If you run an online business you may want to check out your competitions websites and compare them to yours. Is your small businesss website just as attractive as your competition? Also, is it easy to navigate? If you know that one of your online competitors is having more success that you, you may want to try figuring out what they are doing right, as it may make it easier for you to figure out you are doing wrong. As with the above mentioned monitoring sales, you are advised against stealing ideas or web designs from your competitors. Actually, doing so could land you in hot water, as many businesses, especially large corporations, copyright their entire website content.

If you run a business that has a physical address, instead of a .com address, you will want to think about visiting the competition to check out the appearance of their establishments. If you are running a retail store, you will want to checkout other local retailers that can be considered your competition. You will to examine the cleanliness of the establishment in question, as well as the way that everything is set up, product wise. Many larger retailers have complex systems that are used to determine where products should be placed for sale in a store. Since you may not have the time or the knowledge to come up with these same results yourself, you may want to get some ideas from your comeptition; especially your competitors that you know are successful.

As outlined above, there a number of different ways that you can go about keeping on eye on your competition, as well as number of different reasons as to why you should do so. As long as you do it in style, you shouldnt cause any problems or raise any concerns. In fact, what you may learn from scouting out your competition may actually help make it easier for your business to be a successful, profitable one; one that will a tough competitor for years to come.

Small Business Owners: The Importance of Hiring Good Employees    Author: Admin

Posted in Small Business | |

Small Business Owners: The Importance of Hiring Good Employees

Are you a small business owner? If you are, what type of business to do you run? Whether you run a pet grooming shop, a hair salon, a tax preparation service, or a small retail store, you likely have a lot of competition, from both on and offline competitors. While you might assume that being a small business owner gives you a disadvantage, it doesnt necessarily. In fact, many consumers actually like doing business with small businesses, as most are personal, professional, and friendly. The only thing is to keep up the persona you need to make sure that you hire good employees.

When it comes to hiring good employees, there are some business owners, especially small business owners, who wonder why it is more important for them to have good employees than anyone else. As it was previously mentioned, there are many consumers who actually prefer to shop or do business with small businesses. Since many small business are, well, small, most consumers walk away feeling like they are part of the family, not just a dollar sign. The customer service given by a small business is an important part of that feeling. That is why who you hire to work for you will actually have a significant impact on your small business and its success.

When looking to hire new employees for your small business, it is first important that you examine the state in which you live in. If your business is still relatively new, you may have not needed to hire any employees before, as you or your family members may have been your only workers. There are some states that have rules and regulations concerning the hiring of non-family member employees. To make sure that you and your business are legally operating, you will want to make sure that you are familiar with your states small business rules, restrictions, and laws.

Once you have examined what steps, if any, need to be taken before you can go about hiring new employees for your small business, you may want to examine the hiring process. It is advised that you do not hire an applicant without first scheduling a job interview, no matter how promising they look or act. A job interview is important, as it gives you the opportunity to thoroughly examine all job applicants that want to work for you. Of course, you want someone who has some experience with doing the job that you are hiring for, but it is actually more important that a focus be placed on the applicants personality. As a small business owner, you have a reputation that you need to uphold.

As it was previously mentioned, many small business customers, like doing business with small businesses because the customer services is often incomparable. With many large, national companies, it is often hard to get a simple thank you from a cashier or a call center representative. This is actually upsetting to many consumers; therefore, many often decide to take their business to where they will get a simple thank you; a simply thank you that actually means quite a bit. That is why it is important that you hire an applicant who knows the importance of a thank you, as well as good communication in general. The applicant that you hire will essentially become a representative of your company. If you want your company represented in a positive matter, you need to carefully examine who you choose to represent it.

As you can see, who you hire to work for you and your small business may actually have a huge impact on the success of your business and its profits. Since many small business customers are actually repeat customers, you will want to make sure that you keep your customers happy. One of the best ways to do that is to make sure that all of your employees are a pleasure to deal with.

October 18, 2010

Make Business Financing Easy With Small Business Loans    Author: Admin

Posted in Small Business | |

Small business is one that is organized for profit and also contributes to the economy by way of paying taxes and employment opportunities. A small business may be defined as a business with a small number of employees. The legal definition of small business often varies by country and industry, but is generally under 100 employees. These businesses are normally privately owned corporations, partnerships, or sole proprietorships.

Whether the business is small or big, it needs fund to carry on its operation, because the returns in business are not stable. Sometimes the company or a firm can have huge profits; at times, it can have losses too. Nevertheless, in the period of financial depression, every business needs a financial help to support in its working.

On comparing small business with big business we find that the need of funds more often arises in the former case as the returns are not constant. Financial crisis in the company can affect the working adversely. Therefore, to stop the effect of this financial crisis a small business can rely on loan for assisting them in need of funds. Small business loan helps them to come out of this situation of crisis. Small business loan can also be used for starting a new venture.

Although small business firms are considered backbone of the economy, but getting a loan for small business firm is not an easy task. Lenders think number of times before lending a loan to the borrower as risk involved in small business is huge. It involves numerous formalities such as giving proof of income that depicts your creditability. Your credit history also plays a crucial role in it. The person with good credit history is always benefited in applying for a loan.

The most important factor that the small business owner should consider before going for a loan is flexibility in repayment. As most small businesses would experience irregular income for some period, so the flexible payment will help in making those repayments easier.

There is also an increase in the number of sources available for funding the small business. Traditional lenders like banks and financial institution also provide loans. In addition to that, loan can also be applied online, which also provides you three benefits

Fast : you have to just fill a form and get an instant match
Easier : it makes comparison easier between various lenders available in the market
Flexible: choose the lender which suits your needs.

The rate of interest charged in small business loans is generally higher since there is threat to the lender about non-payment of installment on time. Therefore, one can trust small business loans for their dream project.

October 4, 2010

My 5 Second Rule for Small Business Owners    Author: Admin

Posted in Small Business | |

Opening a new business in the real world or online in cyberspace requires thinking beyond all the money you will make. Most small business owners are clear on their ultimate goal, yet often many fail to spend time planning their marketing image. To succeed, first impressions are critical, or you may violate what I call My 5 Second Rule:

When a new prospect finds your web site, you have 5 seconds to convince them to stay.

The rule applies in the physical world, also. Your printed materials may be dumped in the trash just as quickly, or a visitor to your company may browse briefly while in fact the no sale decision was made in those critical first few seconds.

Regardless of your business, your image as a professional and credible source for a product or service depends on making a positive first impression. While most people don’t realize the subconscious dynamics that occur during an introduction, how you are perceived is clouded with prejudice.

In a face to face meeting, subconsciously your prospect will categorize you immediately by sex, age, and race. This fact may be hard to believe, however, individual life experiences connect your combination of these 3 characteristics into a fixed profile based on past encounters. Overcoming any negatives begins when you speak. A warm and friendly approach while being prepared to offer the benefits of doing business will help you succeed.

In print, your business card, ad, or brochure tells a similar story without the subconscious human preconceptions. The message will still elicit a reaction, good or bad, so how you present your company in print needs to get past My 5 Second Rule. This is equally true for the home page of your web site. Here’s some advice.

Customers have a need (problem), and you provide a product or service (solution). Matching these 2 for a successful sale is easier than most people realize. Front door selling, printed ads, or online web offers should all address the benefits (solution, again) and not the features (it’s about the customer, not about you).

Your marketing materials need to project a mental image in the mind of the viewer. Stimulate their imagination so they picture themselves enjoying the benefits of your offer, and you can overcome My 5 Second Rule. Here’s an example that was created for a used car dealer. How do you glamorize a business that is the subject of so many disparaging jokes?

This client had a featured monthly special vehicle that they wanted to promote on their web site. The photos taken in a chain link enclosed parking lot didn’t convey the excitement or mental picture necessary to stimulate the viewer. The chosen vehicle was an upscale Jeep, and the client specialized in exports to Puerto Rico. To add pizzazz, I did an edit of the photo to remove the background, and placed 2 views of the monthly special on a bluff overlooking a gorgeous beach in Puerto Rico. If my descriptions succeeded creating your mental image referring to the chain link and gorgeous beach, the subtle difference in presentation should be apparent.

Bonus Tip: What to Say When a Customer is Wrong
As a small business owner, you know your business and as an expert, reacting to an email or face to face comment that you know is absolutely wrong will work wonders if you answer with two magic words: “You’re right!”. This works for several reasons. Most importantly, your customer may be expecting an argument, so they will only hear half of what you have to say if you reply saying they are wrong. The listener will be busy mentally sorting comebacks and supporting evidence, and may not hear any of your expert advice.

Telling someone “You’re right” will have them on the edge of their chair waiting for your next comment. Shifting your argument to what you know to be the truth is easy. With a brief pause after your magic two words, continue with “…and there are many people who feel the same way. From years of experience, I’ve found that in fact (insert the truth based on your expertise here)… etc.” and you give them the opportunity to accept your slant on the subject without having their opinion challenged. It works. For those concerned about ethics, the phrase “You’re right!” is simply an acknowledgement that they have one view, and it is valid because that’s how they feel.

In summary, a professional image includes a wide range of materials for making a positive first impression. Consider the feelings of your prospect and how your product or service will benefit them, and you’ll do well in converting first introductions into sales.

How Your Small Business Can Benefit from Custom Screen Printed    Author: Admin

Posted in Small Business | |

How Your Small Business Can Benefit from Custom Screen Printed T-Shirts

America is the land of opportunity and with that the land of small businesses. The U.S. has made it easy for just about anyone to work up the courage and capital and start up their own business. Having realized that you can do it, one arrives at the paradox that so can everyone else. How do you make your small business stand out and rise above the competition? One way is to use custom screen printed t-shirts as a way of looking more professional and as advertising.
When it comes to looking professional the importance cannot be stressed enough. People are very hesitant to trust a company or individual who doesnt look like heshe is capable. In a sense the clothes make the man here. Those who appear qualified will have a much easier time attracting customers, employees, and even be courted by vendorssuppliers. People are by their very nature timid and worrisome. If you can appear professional and legitimate it appeals to primal urge to feel secure and that will make people instantly feel more comfortable with you and your business. Screen printed t-shirts do just that by making you appear like you have it all together. Think about the following two scenarios. In the first a people from you firm show up to do a job in a hodgepodge of random and assorted clothing. They look, although are not, unprofessional because they offer no sense of order and thought. In the second scenario, the crew arrives wearing the same t-shirts with bear your logo and demonstrate the legitimacy of your business. If I had to guess, the second scenario is how you as the owner of a small business would like to present your business. If you do nothing more than have the appearance of thought before hand, your business appears to be professional and inspires confidence.
The second way custom screen printed t-shirts can help out your small business is through the wonder of advertising. Custom printed t-shirts are among the best ways to advertise for small businesses. Think about your target audience and it is easy to see that small businesses benefit exceptionally well. Small businesses more than likely want to target people in your area. That is what custom printed t-shirts do. They walk around and give you unlimited advertising in your own local area. Give the t-shirts to your friends and family and they can wear them around and advertise for nothing more than the cost of the t-shirt. Another idea I find often works is giving a t-shirt to people for whom you do a job. These people will unlikely make it their favorite piece of apparel, but even if they wear it to the gym then they offer advertisement and can offer their own form of advertising. Consider if you will Ralph as he stands outside washing his car one Saturday morning. His neighbor Jim walks by and sees Ralphs shirts offering services that Jim is looking for himself. Ralph now has advertised for you and can do even more by saying that he loved your services and describe the great job you did. This strategy offers both printed advertisement as well as word of mouth advertising. My company keeps the images that you used on file, so ordering more t-shirts down the road is a snap.
I hope have found this article to be somewhat informative and thought provoking. Small business are the majority of my clients and Im always happy to help come up with design ideas and ways to improve not only their t-shirts but promotional products as well, all with the same idea of advertising and looking professional. After all those two key points can really set you own small business above the completion. Isnt that what you want?

September 13, 2010

How to Incorporate Your Small Business    Author: Admin

Posted in Small Business | |

If your small business is growing rapidly, you might consider incorporating the business to help it reach its full potential. To incorporate business is not difficult, but there is a process to follow. This step-by-step guide will help you get on the right track.

Prepare for Incorporation

To prepare for incorporation, first choose your primary business location. If your business operates in only one state, you will need to incorporate in that state. If your business operates in multiple states, then you have the option to choose which state to incorporate in, usually the state that’s more business friendly when it comes to taxes and laws pertaining to business.

Next, select a name for your corporation. Check with your Secretary of State to make sure the name you choose is not already taken by another company. Also, do research online to be sure the name is not taken by another business and doesn’t have a patent by another company or individual. Once you’re sure the name is free to use, you can register your company name. The name will likely need to be registered as “Doing Business As” or “DBA.”

Choose a Filing Agent

The next step is to decide who will register your corporation, receive forms for incorporation, and file your paperwork. The least expensive route is to do all paperwork yourself, but if you’re completely new to incorporation, you’ll benefit tremendously by hiring an agent. The agent must live in the state where you will incorporate the business. The agent may be an attorney who provides incorporation services or the agent can be a service that specializes in incorporation. Hiring a service is usually far less expensive than hiring an attorney.

Develop a Corporate Structure

Whether you’re the only member or shareholder of your company or you already have multiple shareholders, you should determine a corporate structure before registering the corporation. To structure the company means to determine how the stock will be spread among shareholders along with other rights such as voting rights and finances. Be sure everyone is in agreement with the structure and put everything in writing before filing your paperwork to incorporate the company.

Next, put together your corporate by-laws, or a set of rules that determine how board members will be elected, their duties, how and when board meetings are to be held, and other important details of how the corporation will be operated.

Ready to File
Now you’re ready to obtain an Employee Identification Number (EIN) and select a board of directors for your company. Once these two tasks are accomplished, check to be sure you have all necessary paperwork and check the company name availability once again to be on the safe side. Now, you’re ready to file your corporate paperwork for registration.

Forming an LLC – Know the Difference

Keep in mind that forming a corporation differs from forming an LLC (Limited-Liability Company). When you form an LLC, your business will be treated as a sole proprietorship or partnership under federal and state tax laws. You will be required to report profits and losses, income, credits, and deductions on your individual tax return.

Corporations, on the other hand, pay taxes on the company’s profits. The shareholders are treated as individual employees, and each receive their own salaries and file their personal tax returns separately. LLC formation requires less paperwork and has fewer legal issues than a corporation.

If you’re pressed for time and want to get things moving quickly with your company’s incorporation, there are websites available to help you incorporate online. These sites provide printable paperwork, state-by-state instructions, and other helpful items to make it easier than ever to incorporate your business.

July 5, 2010

Does My Small Business Really Need a Press Kit?    Author: Admin

Posted in Small Business | |

When the experts tell you youre going to need a press kit for your small business Ill bet youre wondering why on earth youd need one. At least, I think youd wonder why if you think a press kit is just for the press. But the term press kit is misleading if you ask me because press kits arent just what their name implies.

I prefer to call them small business information kits or information packages instead because thats what they really are. They are meant to inform everyone, not just the press about you and your business.

Once you have a small business information kit, youll find youre often giving them when someone asks for information about your company–who you are, what you do, how you can benefit them. In fact, youll probably find youll give out almost as many of your information kits as your business cards.

Sometimes its more appropriate to simply hand out just your card, but other times, you might like to give someone more information than whats on your business card.

Say youre at a party and someone asks what you do. Youd probably just give them your business card. But your business card gives this business contact only the briefest information about your company.

So, you might also ask for their name and address, and send them an information kit the next day. Sending your information kit the next day also works as an important reminder of the evenings discussion.

On the other hand, if youre a plumbing company, you might want to contact construction companies in your area to see if theyre interested in subcontracting your company from time to time, or better yet all the time!

Sending them just a business card probably wont get you very far. Even sending a well-written letter introducing your company together with your business card probably wouldnt be as effective as a complete information kit.

You could think of your business card as the who and the where, and a little bit of the what of the 6 interview questionswho, what, where, when, why and how. Your card probably has your business name, contact information and possibly a slogan, motto or some saying suggesting what you do.

Your information kit on the other hand, answers all the questions. It tells people who and where you are, just like your business card does. But instead of one little line suggesting what you do, your information kit tells people exactly what you do. How well it tells them what you do depends on how good your copywriting is.

And it tells them how to buy, (with your convenient order form for example, or by phone or fax, with cash, check or credit card) and when to buy (today, right now, before the special offer expires).

Your business card doesnt have the room to tell people why they should buy from you, but your information package does. And not just by telling them youre the biggest, the best, and of course the most innovative either.

The real secret is convincing people they cant do without your product or service, remembering that along with a great description of your product or service, to consider your information kit from your clients perspective. Everyone wants to know how what you do can benefit them. How you can save them time or how you can save them money, or how you can make their life just a little bit easier.

One last word on presentation of your small business identity package. Its almost as important as what you say. A professional image can go a long way in assuring potential clients your small business is the one they want to do business with.

You cannot compete with big companies without one, and youll be miles ahead of the small businesses that dont have one. And while were talking about professional image, imagine how your small business will be perceived when you have the ultimate in professional image– a matching corporate identity package, information kit and small business web site.

Buy a Small Business in the UK    Author: Admin

Posted in Small Business | |

Looking for a serious investment opportunity? You may want to consider buying a small business in the United Kingdom. There are several ways to turn a good profit in small business, but there are some important things to keep in mind if you are looking for an investment opportunity, especially if you are an investor from the United States, Canada, and elsewhere.

Any investment opportunity naturally comes with some risk. Foreign investors will need to calculate an additional variable when figuring up the possible amount of profit margin, loss ,and potential for both, as well as the exchange rate. How well is your currency doing against the British Pound? Be sure to include some wiggle room in your budgeting for fluctuations in the exchange rate.

For those already living in the UK, concerns such as taxation and local regulation are familiar topics. To those in overseas locations, its important to look up the laws of the land pertaining to your type of business, the taxes for which you will be liable, and how to properly account for them. This may seem elementary to those with experience in putting money into an overseas investment opportunity, but for the first-time investor in a UK small business, there are many laws and policies that might surprise you. The key is to do your homework, get the advice of a good UK legal expert, and be prepared for a new and different way of doing business.

If you want to buy a small business in the UK, its good to do a bit of research into the type of business you want to use as an investment opportunity. Are there ways that you can expand the business onto the Internet? Can the Internet be a help to you in increasing sales, market visibility, or media awareness? All of these factors are important to keep in mind. The most successful small businesses are the ones whose owners know how to take advantage of the Internet, while still meeting local needs and demands with speed and precision. Its not so different than doing business anywhere else in the Western world. Its important to understand how the buyers in your area of the UK respond to and utilize the Internet when it comes to commerce.

Youll also want to give your competing businesses a good hard look to see how they are using the Internet. Are you thinking of investing in an already crowded market? If so, youll need some fresh ideas to give your version of the business a new approach so that you can set it apart from the competition.

A UK investment opportunity in small business may bring some unexpected surprises if you are considering investing in a rising star business. For example, twenty years ago, nobody had ever heard of a cyber caf. Today, cities are full of places that offer Internet services, games, coffee, and more for a price. This concept has become a very important part of many communities. Those who took the initial risk a few years ago, putting money in what they saw as a good investment opportunity, are reaping their rewards today.

Those who buy a small business in the UK often find that the investment opportunity is well worth the risks. With some research, a bit of financial planning, and the expert advice of a UK legal advisor, you can turn a potential opportunity into a major success. If you are living in America, Canada, or elsewhere, you owe it to yourself to pay a visit to the United Kingdom to see for yourself just what kinds of investment opportunities await you there.

April 26, 2010

7 Key Tactics For The Small Business Owner    Author: Admin

Posted in Small Business | |

For most folks, owning your own business is a dream come true. The freedom of being your own boss and succeeding to the best of your ability are facts of life for the small business owner. Sure, there’s more stress than what you probably imagined when you were creating your grand plans, but with a little strategy and planning you can overcome any tough spot you get in. There are 7 tactics developed by successful marketers that are sure to make your business as successful as theirs.

1. Create A One of a Kind Selling Point
If you want to stand out from the crowd, create a unique selling proposition that stresses the benefits the customers will receive from doing business with you. Will they get faster service? Go ahead and dramatize it, but keep the customer at the focus…”Get free overnight delivery!” Hey, it tells the customer…you get quick service and a discount on shipping. Two definite benefits in one statement.

Why should someone buy from you and not your competitor? I hate to deal a blow to your ego, but it really has nothing to do with you , your product, or your service. Yeah, its a little self-centered, but customers are attracted by offers that point out the things that benefit THEM.

Don’t go out on a limb to create new products and services to get attention. Just, add a special benefit to the ones you already have… maybe it’s quicker service. The most effective things to emphasize are benefits that your competition cannot or is not willing to give.

2. Use Testimonials
Hey, we all know that business owners think their product or services are the best thing going, but it’s what the current customers think about it that really matters to your prospective customers. They’re the ones who see things from their point of view… what they have to say about the business has an impact.

Testimonials play an important part in advertising – especially for small businesses. Yeah, big businesses with well-known names don’t have to worry about it, but small companies can use testimonials as marketing tools to build credibility.

Think about it…how else can we gain credibility than by creating a group of satisfied customers and shouting what they have to say? Let’s look at some ways we can make testimonials an effective part of our marketing campaigns.

3. Upsell
Upselling is one of the most successful marketing trends today. Everywhere you go, someone is trying to get you to buy more. From McDonalds with its supersize options to clothing stores that try to sell you shoes to match your outfit, everyone’s jumping on the band wagon. Why? It works!

Your customers already know that you have great products and provide satisfactory service. They trust you to come through for them. Think about it… it’s much easier to make sales to someone you already have a relationship with.

Use every opportunity to increase your sales volume within the customer audience you already have. Do you have a product that goes with the one they are purchasing? Offer it to them at the register. It’s a proven and effective method for increasing sales. You may be shocked at the additional sales you can generate from those who are already buying from you.

4. Make Your Price Seem Smaller
Divide and conquer… The old war tactic works in marketing too! When the price seems too steep, break it down into “buyable” size bites. An 120 item is only 12 low monthly payments of 10. A 365 purchase would only cost 1 per day. Now that sounds affordable!

5. Paint The Benefits Pretty
Customers buy because they want to enjoy the benefits of the purchase. A lady might buy a dress because she wants to feel sexy, or a man will buy a book because he finds pleasure in reading. Emotions are the key element that drives purchases.

Use word pictures to stir up the emotions that will instigate the sale. Let them “feel” the benefits, and they’ll be more apt to head for the cash register. Put them where you want them.

6. Create Attention Getting Headlines
Are you ready to capture your reader’s attention with great copy? The headline is the place to start. How often do you scan the newspaper’s headlines before you decide whether or not to read the article? Yeah, that’s where we lose or gain the reader’s interest, so it’s a pretty important part of the advertisement.

A good headline should telegraph its message in twelve words or less. Double check those headlines. Do they make a promise of a positive benefit, or ask a provocative question? Don’t settle for less than attention grabbing statements.

7. Provide An Offer They Can’t Resist
Is your deal too good to pass up? If not, you need to improve it. Hey, I’m not talking about cutting prices even more…you’ve still got to make a profit. You can make the deal sweeter just by increasing the readers knowledge of the value of the product, or adding bonuses that are perceived as valuable, but cost you little.

Motivate buyers with expirations. Yeah, an open ended offer encourages procrastination…which leads …yep, nowhere. When the customer knows he has until Saturday to purchase an item he’ll pay more for on Sunday, he’ll make it a priority to head for your shop.

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