Friday, October 24, 2014

Marketing gifts

     Free tips, info, advice, ideas, plus
     examples showing real business situations.

     Sometimes you can expand your business just by spotting a marketing gift. Alert owners can take advantage of the unexpected situations that come up. 

     Example: Isabelle is a certified therapist specializing in helping clients through stress, PTSD, grief, and related issues. She noticed that many of her clients had gone through drug and alcohol addiction rehab programs, but large numbers of them were still fighting their old habits. Today, Isabelle has extended her practice to help rehab "graduates" cope with their on-going problems. They represent a well-defined market of people who need specific help. Isabelle is developing several programs specifically for post-rehab people. It's another area of therapy that is bringing in an increasing number of clients. She is building on what she already does.

     Example: Joe runs a small independent pest control company. He has experienced difficulty "breaking out" ahead of the competition. When the town suddenly came alive with stink bugs, Joe saw an opportunity. He got busy on his Facebook page, showing the invasion of the bugs--with pictures of the bugs on sidewalks, patios and porches. The calls came in. He gave short talks at meetings. More calls came in. Many of the calls turned into regular customers coping with fleas, ticks, mice, ants, spiders, and, yes, stink bugs. The stink bugs were a marketing gift. 

     Example: Margaret runs a local recycling operation. She specializes in taking all types of metals, including unwanted electronics. The metals market goes through ups and downs. When prices go up, lots of metal shows up at her yard. When prices go down, not so much arrives at her gate. When a storm came through her area, Margaret spotted another market. The storm left many downed trees. She put the word out that she would take the wood--no payment, just a convenient place for people to get rid of it. Soon her back lot was filled with a jumble of tree trunks and limbs. Again Margaret put the word out--this time to artisans, woodworkers, and businesses offering mulch, firewood, and more. She had suddenly expanded into another market segment--selling wood. Two or three seasonal storms keeps the back lot full. 

     Look around. Everything changes--technology, weather, and markets themselves. Be alert to opportunities for expansion of your business. 

     Additional examples are scattered throughout these write-ups. Business expansions can be easy if you build on what you're already doing. Just be careful that you don't head off in another direction that takes you away from what you're already doing. You're adding to, not replacing. Replacing is another topic. 

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