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Are you operating a business that seems like it's stuck in the summer doldrums? If earnings, sales, and profits aren't where you want them to be, consider trying a five-step plan for adding zip to your promotional efforts. A nice side effect of making a renewed, concerted marketing push is a natural, all-around boost in company morale, even if you're the sole employee.
The technique, of themselves, are not new. It's the synergy of their combined punch that gives them such power. The best part is that they can work for companies of any size, from one-person shops to mega-corporations. The first two involve a bit of housekeeping, while the final three have earned their reputation for helping struggling marketers dig themselves out of a rut.
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Know How Much Things Cost
If you've never done promotions before, start by acquainting yourself with the ballpark prices of various techniques. To get all the data, make a few phone calls, do an hour or so of internet research, and consider getting a free consult with an ad agency. There's a lot to learn, as the average local cost of a 30-second radio spot, prices for highway billboards in your area, national TV ad rates (they change every week), the cost to set up focus groups, per-hour fees charged by local market research firms, and more.
Straighten Out Personal Finances
Many entrepreneurs bootstrap their first businesses with funds from their personal budgets. Few have the backing of angel investors, stock syndicates, or wealthy donors. The best way to pump up your available funds total is with a personal loan from a private lender. If you want to get your finances in order fast, apply for an online personal loan and see what you qualify for. The whole process only takes a few minutes and is the most effective way to free up the cash you need to promote like a pro.
Hire a Marketing Research Firm
Firms that specialize in target marketing research offer excellent value to business owners in any product or service niche. By selecting a local firm that has a solid reputation and reasonable prices, whatever the cost of their services is money well spent. Remember to stick within your budget and ask for detailed, written explanations for what the firm offers in terms of demographic studies, targeted ad recommendations, and more.
Some merchants are reluctant to waste money on loyalty rewards for current customers. However, giving a few freebies is one of the most effective ways of retaining customers for the long haul. Personal services companies, like massage studios, barbers, nail techs, and salon owners use this technique with good results. Yes, it costs money to give things away, but the long-term payoff, for company owners, is almost guaranteed.
Event tie-ins are a clever, low-cost way to get your company's and products' name out there. Consider sponsoring local bicycle races, music concerts, home shows, and sporting events. Choose carefully so that attendees include lots of potential customers in your key demographic.