Monday, December 22, 2014

Beyond the rut

     Free daily tips, information, advice, and ideas
     together with examples from small businesses.

     You've done it. I've done it. It happens to everyone, all the time.

     We tend to pigeon hole each other. We remember Judy as the lady who leads the meditation classes. But she also is an expert massage therapist. Who knew?

     Running a business, you must guard against this. Your customers/clients tend to remember you in one category only. While everything you do might be related, it needs to be pointed out. 

     It's a continuing problem. You must tell, remind, inform and otherwise educate your customers/clients. If you don't, they might not think to call you when they need another service.

     Example: You hired a web designer and you were pleased with the result. Then you needed someone to set you up in social media. So you called your web designer and asked for a recommendation. That's when he told you, "I can do that." You had only thought of your web designer in one way. And he had not informed you of the other things he could do. 

     Example: Clients depend on your accounting firm to handle their taxes. But they are not aware that your firm also helps business owners prepare for the eventual sale of the business. You must remind them from time to time that you have additional expertise. When the time comes that they need your other services, you get the call. 

     Example: Regular diners are very happy with the healthy meals they enjoy at your small restaurant. But they forget that you also run a catering operation. When they need to prepare for that corporate meeting, they call a caterer. You've missed an opportunity because you did not remind them that you also cater events. 

     Reminding people of all the things that your business does should be on your to-do list. If you depend on them to remember that you can cater their get-together, then you are depending on them to do your selling for you. Not that you should get into the blatant business of selling. But a gentle mention, tucked into another conversation, can be a valuable part of keeping your customers/clients informed. And coming back. 

     My first business was in the graphic arts field. Then I took on partners and we expanded into printing. I found it necessary to continually remind customers that the firm could handle the job from beginning to end, from design to artwork to printing and delivery.   

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