It’s the start of another week and you’re back at the office wishing things were different. All of us are conditioned to want to make changes, but are hesitant to actually make them. Simply put, it’s hard to change. Well, when it comes to increasing business, it’s even more difficult.
But there are some things you can implement that can increase your current business and get your week off to a good start. For reading simplicity, I am going to call them the 6 C’s of Small Business Marketing.
1. Create an Elevator Pitch. Studies have shown that the average person’s attention span is roughly ten seconds (which means you may have already tuned me out!). No matter where you are, you need to be promoting your business… and promoting quickly. Think about what your company is and what differentiates your company from your competition. This requires some real thinking because your pitch can’t be an empty promise. If you are about price, then say you offer the lowest rates in the area. If you are about a luxurious ride, accentuate what that means concisely.
2. Cross-Promotion. Speaking of promotion, no matter where you are located, there are other businesses looking to increase their own bottom lines. One of the best ways to increase your business is to hook up with other businesses that make sense. For a ground transportation company, it could be hotels, corporations, airports and prom/wedding boutiques. Is there a hotel near you that gets a lot of traffic? Is there a local boutique that handles all of the bigger weddings and events in the area? Ask to partner with them. Reach out and ask about running a promotion together that benefits both parties. It can’t hurt to ask.
3. Communicate. Get involved. Whether it be a national or local association, it is time to create a presence for your company. Being in the industry for many years myself, I can assure you that nothing is more important in the ground transportation industry than networking. The big players in this industry put a huge premium on the friendships they have cultivated over the years. If you, like myself, are not comfortable stepping into a group that is unfamiliar, start locally. Start with something you are passionate about first, like your community or a local business organization of some sort. You’ll be amazed how many more business opportunities come from a firm handshake and a genuine hello.
4. Content. On the opposite end of the spectrum is your online presence. Another way to increase your business is by amping up your visibility on the internet. Creating valuable content on your website, whether it be in a blog format or via social media, is a great way to gain the trust of the consumer and open avenues that otherwise would never manifest. Write about what you know and keep in mind that other business owners and potential customers are looking for ways to either save money or make money with your expertise. Run special online offers and track your results. Update your blog frequently with current information and promote your blog via social media. This may take more time than my other suggestions, but it is a necessary and fundamental extension of your company brand.
5. Coupons. When it comes to making any purchase, people need a push. Offering online coupons at the end of a blog entry or in the local newspaper is an excellent way to gain new business. Postcards are an inexpensive way to get your company exposure. Obviously, this is not going to land you a huge corporate client. However, it could help to get some of your less popular vehicles out on the road. Also, once a person tries your company out and likes what they see, it is more likely that that person will suggest it to someone else in the company. This could eventually lead to a bigger sale.
6. Customer Referrals. One of the most difficult exchanges in the art of communication is asking a question. It is also one of the most rewarding. Create a survey and follow up with customers to get their feedback. Create a plan where referrals get rewards. See where you can improve and tweak your ground transportation experience. Reach out to other companies in other cities and offer your services and vice verse. Our Referral Guide works because it benefits both sides.
Hopefully your attention span got you this far and you now have some ideas on making this week at work a productive and promising one. Try these six C’s and see how changing your habits can lead to more business by making a few subtle changes. //LD