Starting Your Small Business

Where do you find more customers?

How do you compete with bigger businesses?

Answer. Build loyalty and rewards.

You may not have the money to spend on advertising like your competitors do but you don't need it. What you need is added exposure, added exposure that costs little or none.

One of the best ways is referrals. Getting referrals from your customers reinforces new customers that they should choose you because they can trust you and they will be satisfied. A good way to track your referrals is to build a list and rank it. You can develop a database of your most loyal customers and the products they buy. How many are repeat customers? How many times per month/year are they repeat customers. Assemble this information and rank it to ensure you are spending your time wisely with your best customers.

Join local events. Get involved in your community. Being involved in one event may spell the difference between increased cash flow or stagnation.

You must remember that you are one of many businesses that the customer can chose. You must give them an incentive. Once you give them an incentive, reward them and reinforce that they have made the right decision. Actively pursing them to give you leads of other people with the same problem or people that may be in their industry and simply contacting them will be a great start! Until next month.

Mr. Des Marais has operated small businesses for over 20 years. He has been a consultant and held positions in some of the fastest growing companies in Canada. He has held past management positions in retail, tourism, hospitality and sales for a variety of companies. He has increased sales by 200% in 2 months for an herbal doctor; increased sales by 30% in 4 months for a major Canadian Big Box Retailer and helped several entrepreneurs develop and sell their business. His expertise is in the area of growth and business development. He has also been involved in developing business chapters in cities across Western Canada. In terms of charities he has been involved with several groups including Habitat for Humanity, United Way and local city soup kitchens. In terms of Business Development and mentoring Mr. Des Marais has volunteered with S.E.E.D.S mentorship review committee, ACE, YEA and university alumni and speaking events. He has given presentations at the University of Victoria and Simon Fraser University.

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