Tag Archives: marketing

Top Tips for Small Businesses – From Radio Interview with Leanne Hogland-Smith

Leanne Hogland-Smith – Chicago 219-759-5601, entrepreneur small business for 15 years, uniting people and their talents with operations through management, increase-sales-coach.com

Consistent challenge in businesses today is a lack of processes and procedures. A lot of this comes about because there is no strategic plan, there are no goals written so what happens is that everyone is hitting different targets and the individual and business goals are missed.

A lot of communication is just refocusing the way they state things, getting rid of the words like need and should and start using “may I suggest this”. When you get rid of the emotionally judgmental words, it’s amazing at the reactions you get.

An employer now, if they have not hired smart, they end up with maybe one good employee for every four employees. Employers need to have consistent performance reviews. Employees then feel like they are part of the company’s success.

Top Tips for Small Businesses

  • Communication is consistent and everyone knows where the organization is going and what their goals are. Is everyone sharing the same goals? It is critical to have your goals communicated consistently throughout your company.
  • Values – What are your non-negotiable behaviors that you will demonstrate with your employees, vendors, strategic partners?
  • Find out what your real brand is – Talk to your customers, not a marketing company. The expectactions held by customers, it is a really definitive way to identify your brand. Ask them, “When you hear my name what expectations come to mind?” You will get a really good idea of your brand, but you also gain a competitive edge. When you have down-time, that is up-time to talk to your customers.
  • Marketing is about attracting attention and build relationships – Write copy and test it out. See if it gets some sort of emotional attention for your business.

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Smart Marketing for Small Business with Nancy Garberson – Archived Radio Show

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internet radio with Smart Marketing for Small Business on Blog Talk Radio

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Smart Marketing with Guest Julie Holloway on Smart Marketing for Small Business Radio Show

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internet radio with Smart Marketing for Small Business on Blog Talk Radio

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When your marketing funds are limited what do you do?

Listen to A Different Perspective From Voices of Experience
By Leslie Wolff

Show Love & Respect

“Every person is a jewel, worthy of love and respect.” – Anonymous

A proud part of my career was when I was the business and personal manager of one of the world’s most famous athletes – Smokin Joe Frazier, the former World Heavyweight Boxing Champion in his later years. I was constantly amazed at the love and respect he received from his fans and it didn’t take long for me to understand why … because, he showed his love and respect for them. How many companies do you know show love and respect to their customers, employees, vendors, hell even their competition. It costs nothing to do so and the rewards are constant and significant. What should you do, the opportunities are limitless. One way is expressed ‘Thank You” whenever the opportunity arises. In a world of a never ending flow of e-mails, a simple hand written note will raise you high above your competition. Treat your employees well and they will treat your customers well. Let vendors know you recognize their efforts on your behalf and they will redouble or multiply the way in which they will seek to help you grow your business. Even competitors will have good things to say about you when you treat them with respect as well. Going back to the impact of e-mail where in the past a good or bad experience led to it be “told” to perhaps 10 other people, in today’s high tech communication channels it could be told to thousands, thus you want that ‘tale” to express how well you treat those with whom you interact.

Don’t be afraid of Change

“The world hates change, yet it is the only thing that has brought progress.” – Charles Kettering

The fear of change is a natural human response to something that seems new and opening your mind to be more accepting to change or the consideration of it releases you from the binds of conformity allowing you to examine and explore possibilities that exist around you. Some of these may offer the opportunity to maximize your potential revenue while minimizing expense. Look at the various facets of your business from new business development, advertising, promotion customer service with a fresh perspective and encourage customers, employees and even vendors to contribute ideas that can enhance your operation and in doing so impact positively your bottom line.

Big Ideas Start Small

”Small opportunities are often the beginning of great enterprises” — Demosthenes

Just because you have limited funds does not mean you can’t take carefully controlled actions to improve results. If you believe you have identified a need that has gone unrecognized or is underserved look at how you can develop it in a way where you give it all you can. Think big, but remember everything starts out small. Never prejudge an idea because at first it looks too small, unimportant or unrealistic nor if your initial view is its too big. Look how you can break it down
into reasonable modules, set priorities and take each segment on in a way it will make the other segments easier to handle as you accomplish each step.

Motivate to Stimulate

“Recognition is the greatest motivator.” – Gerard C. Eakedale

Surprisingly, although material rewards are appreciated they are not as effective in motivating people and stimulating them to perform to more of there potential than praise and recognition. Praise of one’s contributions to the success of the business is the most desired reward of all. Publicizing that praise to the right audiences makes it even more valued to
the recipient. Something a simple as a press release to a local paper, a framed ‘Certificate of Appreciation” or a simple letter to be shared with family and friends recognizing one’s contributions carries with a major positive impact not only on that person but those with whom they interact.

Originate Don’t Imitate

“It is better to fail in originality than to succeed in imitation.” – Herman Melville

There is a tendency in all businesses to mimic each other and that can be a benefit for a smart marketer. Take a close look at what your competition is doing where there is a tendency to replicate, duplicate or imitate. In identify those traits you will almost always find overlooked and untapped opportunities that will enable you to outsmart rather then outspend the competition. It may be a single large opportunity or a series of small things like we discussed above where the cumulative effect of the actions you take can significantly impact the results you gain.

“The successful person has the habit of doing the things failures don’t like to do.” ~ Thomas Edison

Leslie R. Wolff is an experienced and outspoken Marketing professional; with more than a half century in the marketing arena His mission in his business, speeches and writings is to reestablish a lost factor in business … commonsense! It is the foundation on which Smart Thinking is built. Les is CEO of The Smart Marketing Group, who simply help clients work smarter. He can be reached at 215-334-3432, marketingsmartly@aol.com, Skype: Smart Marketing or http://www.smartmarketingroup.com. Listen to his radio show, “Smart Marketing for Small Business” and participate in his LinkedIn Group of the same name.

His E-Book” Smart Thinking- Vol.-I” is available @ www.smashwords.com/books/view/34172

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Marketing … The life blood of every business

By Leslie R. Wolff, A Marketing & Creative Tactician

I met a former business owner who never had time to spend on marketing, now he does.

Marketing is the process of acquiring customers and keeping them. That’s it, no great mystery, without customers a business does not survive. Without happy, satisfied customers a business does not grow.

Then why are so many business owners so confused about marketing their products and/or services? Why do some in an industry succeed greatly and others barely exist or fail? It is not the lack of capital. It is the failure of understanding what the various elements of marketing are and how they work together. It is the failure to examine all the “troublesome little things” within their business that affect the effort to gain customers and retain them. Continue reading

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Get A P.I.M.P. Working for You

By Leslie R. Wolff, A Marketing & Creative Tactician

Caught your attention didn’t I? That’s the premise in putting a P.I.M.P. (Proprietary Integrated Marketing Platform (or Program) to work for the benefit of your business.

If one is willing to make the effort they can create an approach to their marketing effort that doesn’t focus only on imitating, duplicating or replicating what others do. Surprisingly it’s not that difficult.

“You’ve gotta be original, because if you’re like someone else, what do they need you for.” – Bernadette Peters

So why is it so rare? One aspect is attitude, if one is afraid of leading the way, due to a totally risk averse outlook as it relates to their job function, it will never occur, perhaps until their replacement is hired Continue reading

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Question Your Customer Service Thinking!

Fight the “commoditization” of your business & increase its value to your customer

A Different Perspective
By Leslie R. Wolff, A Marketing Curmudgeon

In an increasingly competitive marketplace it is becoming more difficult to stand out from the competition. What do you do when there exists a 5P’s environment? What are the 5P’s? When a customer’s Perception is that your Product, Price and Performance are on a Parity level with your competition. This is the time to take the step to challenge how you think about your customer. What you learn from this exercise could differentiate your firm from the competition in the eyes of your customer. Pay attention because you need to become an expert in Customer Service. It can be a very profitable situation for you.

Do you know the #1 reason customers leave vendors? Continue reading

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How Communications Technology Hurt Your Business Relationships

By Leslie R. Wolff, A Marketing Curmudgeon

A Different Perspective

No this is not an anti technology diatribe, rather it is an effort to have you think about how you use it and whether what you do truly benefits you and your company.

Relationships are based on mutual respect and mutual interest that can provide over a period of time mutual benefits. Do you have that in mind or do you simply use technology as a way to “drown” your client in your communications to the point they turn a “deaf” ear and “blind” eye to your message(s)? If you have no interest in building relationships, do
your employer a favor and go to work for the competition.

A key aspect of building relationships is showing respect you have for your customer or prospect’s time. Technology has given us the capability to do more, but “more” is neither always better nor effective or cost efficient. Continue reading

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Cutting Through The Cluttered Communications Landscape, 2 of 2

By Leslie Wolff – A Marketing Curmudgeon
Click Here to Read Cutting Through Clutter, 1 of 1

Common Sense Marketing: Out of Sight = Out of Mind
One of the most effective ways to accomplish the repetitiveness desired is the use of promotional products, which in my younger days were referred to as advertising specialties. They are a multi-billion dollar industry because they work. They deliver:

  • Residual impact, which is what you need to look for and depending on your budget this is one area to give serious thought to, but in highly creative approaches. Keep in mind an imprinted message doesn’t disappear after 10, 30 or 60 seconds. It’s there to be viewed repeatedly for an extended period of time. Continue reading

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Think BIG for Business Success

Do you want business success? Don’t limit your thinking. Little Ideas = Little Potential and BIG Ideas = BIG Success

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