48 of Our Best Business-Building ProTips for This Year

1. Offer rebate programs to encourage repeat purchases PLUS brand & customer loyalty.

2. Attend social & networking events to build buzz & referrals. Join groups that represent your clients or offer them your own services.

3. Collect receivables in 30 days. Pay invoices early if discount is available. Prepare cash flow reports to understand cash needs.

4. Review your bus. plan quarterly to evaluate accomplishments, reassess goals & designate changes to grow your business.

5. Market consistently: tv, radio, twitter, blogging, etc. Commit to reaching out to your customers; they will notice.

6. WOW your customers. Give your clients more than they expect. They will refer your work & keep coming back for more!

7. Don’t go it alone! Tons of FREE bus. advice through SCORE, SBA, local Chamber of Commerce & entrepreneurial/merchant assoc.

8. Build good will. Commit to community through donations, sponsorships, etc. and customers will commit to you.

9. Find out what your customer needs and give it to them! Find out what their problem is and solve it!

10. Incentives, incentives, incentives. They’re a great way to entice your customers to come back for more!

11. Don’t forget to ASK for referrals & testimonials. Catch your customer when their excitement is high.

12. Create a client contact calendar. Plan who to contact, how often & by what means. Reach out to each client monthly; be sure to ask first.

13. Can you relate a trendy topic to your business? Go for it!

14. Don’t let jargon muddy your message. Eliminate jargon from your website, brochures & conversation.

15. Everybody needs a proofreader—even proofreaders! Be sure your message gets out—the way you want it to.

16. Use social media to spark new conversations with your customer base.

17. Promote customer sharing. Make connections with other industries your customers do business with.

18. Give back to your customers! Oprah did it with mass success. So can you!

19. Sell yourself first! Customers won’t buy a thing from you if they don’t first like You.

20. Give back to your community. Nothing speaks louder than a company that cares about its neighbors.

21. Invest in your image with proofreading & editing. Remember, once it’s in print mistakes are permanent.

22. What customer’s think: If a company can’t be bothered to produce accurate print media, what else can’t they be bothered with?

23. Customers want to know what motivates you, makes you tick & what your passion is.

24. If you’re planning an event, let customers know. Use multiple forms of contact (web, email, postcard, twitter, facebook, etc.).

25. If you add/change/improve services or products, let customers know you’re working hard for them.

26. Earn your customers’ business by communicating and creating a dialogue.

27. Incentives, incentives, incentives! Let’s face it—in this economy, we’re all looking for a deal. So give them one.

28. Coupons and offers are the best way to reel in a bigger customer base & create a word-of-mouth campaign.

29. Whether it’s good, bad, ugly, or in between—always touch base with your customers. Thank them for their loyalty.

30. Apologize (Yes, I said it!) when something goes wrong. “I’m sorry,” recognizes your customer’s needs; don’t sweep them under the rug.

31. Your customers’ time is just as valuable as yours. Inform clients when something has fallen through.

32. The appearance of a single comma can alter your message. Always check for proper placement.

33. Branding is about story. What’s your company’s story? What are your employees’ stories? What’s your story?

34. Your TagLine is your promise to your customers. They take it seriously, and so should you.

35. Does your TagLine further identify what your customer needs to know about you?

36. Are you following through with your TagLine message: backing up your words with action?

37. Can your customers use your message to gauge what they can expect from you (i.e., benefits)?

38. External communication is every form of contact your customer has with your business. They’ll remember how you treat them.

39. Does your print advertising, website, business cards, etc. all have a cohesive look and feel?

40. Does both your written and spoken voice uphold company standards?

41. Are your employees on board with your mission (e.g., answering phones & emails, dress code, Customer Service)?

42. Every customer interaction is a gained or lost opportunity to expand your brand. Give them a reason to return.

43. When your industry changes, do you change with it? Better yet—do you anticipate change and react ahead of time?

44. Do you offer your customers ever-increasing benefits (i.e., value) for their money?

45. Make your company a leader in its field. Find the thing that everyone else is not doing. Then set out and do it!

46. Proofreading removes egregious/potentially embarrassing/offensive errors. Editing strengthens writing for utmost professional presentation.

47. Spell-check won’t uphold your reputation. It doesn’t learn from its mistakes or yours.

48. Spell-check doesn’t work harder in times of crisis. It doesn’t know the difference between a casual email, a sales presentation, or an annual report.

Have a tip to add to our list? Feel free to share…

If you liked this, you might also like…

Mission Statements Are Out, Passion Statements Are In

Customer Communication: 5 Reasons to Initiate Customer Contact

Branding: Lower Profit & Fewer Customers? An Editor Can Help

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