• Think big and audit your time. No matter the size of your business, imagine you are the largest and most successful person in your industry. Spend more time with important tasks such as marketing strategies, improving customer relations, and implementing new strategies to expand your services.
  • Be different and stand out from the competition.
  • Build relationships with your customers. For each month that goes by, customers lose 10 percent of their buying power. Create a customer database and contact them on a regular basis.
  • Collect e-mail addresses. As part of your customer relationship process get permission from your customers to use their e-mail address. Periodically send updates and notices to your client list.
  • Avoid poisonous personalities. Unfriendly and negative employees cost you money by chasing your customers away. Spend more time and money interviewing and hiring people who enjoy helping people. Use behavior based interviewing and screening assessments to improve your chances for hiring success.
  • Put a shopping cart on your website. Online sales are still growing at a dramatic pace. Make an audit of what services and products you can offer online.
  • Pay-per-click advertising. Advertisers bid on keywords and the more popular the keyword, the more expensive each click is. Prices vary between a few cents to many dollars.
  • Use customer service commandments to create good habits. Outline specific behaviors employees are to demonstrate when dealing with customers and fellow employees.
  • Take your message to the media. Local newspapers and television are always looking for stories and topics of interest. Learn to write a press release or call your local media outlet about a special aspect of your business.
  • Take advantage of trends. For some, this economic downturn is an opportunity in disguise.

Source: Gregory P. Smith