Customer Reminders – A Powerful Tool to Improve Loyalty and Sales


Reminders can be powerful personal productivity tool when used properly. On the other hand, forgetting to use them can be lead to dire consequences. Just ask anyone who has forgotten spouse’s birthday or marriage anniversary or someone who has missed the bill payment. The financial and social penalties you have to pay as a result are not trivial.
Small business owners can help customers overcome these challenges by facilitating reminders and, in the process, improve customer loyalty and sales. You can find examples of savvy businesses using reminders for these benefits if you look carefully. When I go for regular dental visit they usually set the next appointment for 6 months out. They also send me a reminder about a week in advance as the appointment approaches. Most of the car oil change locations put stickers on the windshield showing when the next oil change is due.
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5 Reasons Your Sales are not Growing


Many small business owners focus on wrong actions to grow their sales. They have been led to believe by the marketing folks that you have to spend money (on advertising) to make money. What else would you expect to hear from marketing? After all, it is in the best interest of those marketing people to say that. While I don’t dispute the impact of marketing and advertising on sales, I do believe that it has been overhyped. In my opinion, you need to focus on the fundamentals and other low-cost actions before you spend money on marketing.
For any business sales is a function of three business drivers – target customer market, products and customer service. Pick the right target market, develop products they would die for and deliver them with excellent customer service. Viola!! You are guaranteed to see results in terms of higher sales and profits. I know this is easier said than done, but you can take baby steps towards that goal by first understanding what you are not doing right and making incremental corrections. Here are my observations in terms of 5 actions small business owners are taking that leads to sub-optimal sales.
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What can Subway Teach you about Growing the Business


Trivia question: Name the franchise with most number of locations in the world. If you answered McDonald’s you are wrong. The new king of the franchise world is Subway. It surpassed McDonald’s in 2011 with 33,949 worldwide locations compared to Mickey D’s 32,737. The franchise that started with mere $1,000 by Fred DeLuca in 1965 has seen phenomenal growth in the last 10 years.
Subway has been able to grow consistently year after year by following principles that can be applied to any small business. We have studied and analyzed those principles and present them below for small business owners to apply to grow their business in a similar fashion.
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Are you Wasting Money with These 7 Marketing Mistakes?


Many small business owners think of marketing as a black magic that involves spending lots of money in advertising in the hope that it will magically bring additional customers and sales. They get frustrated when not as many customers as they had hoped show up and the scant few that do never return again. The worst part is business owners feel they have no choice but to continue doing this because they will lose even more customers and sales otherwise. As a result, they end up wasting their hard earned money on marketing when they could have received better return on their money.
While consulting with number of small business owners we have uncovered several recurring mistakes that many of us make in terms of marketing. By simply understanding those mistakes and taking steps to avoid them from happening with your business you can not only save money on marketing, but also get much better return. The list below shows 7 common mistakes many small business owners make. We also show references to other articles that provide additional details and explain how to prevent them from hurting your business.
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How to Increase Sales with Better Business Signs


Effective interior and outdoor signage is essential to the branding efforts of almost any business. From wall decals to billboards, signage can help bring in new customers and retain the attention of regulars. To improve your signage, consider placement, graphics, short messages and frequent changes.
Better sign design and placement not only improves the image of your business, but it can help increase your sales from existing customers as well as by attracting new ones. The tips provided below will help you improve your business sign design.
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Grow your Business by Treating Customers as Human Beings


What small business owners in his right mind would not treat his customers well if that leads to business growth. Yet there is no shortage of companies, large and small, that fail to take care of this basic fact resulting in disastrous results. Try calling customer center of your telephone company and see how long you have to wait before being able to talk to someone. Or go to a mall and study look at the expressions of customer service reps when talking to customers. How come very few of them bother to smile?
So, why is it important to treat customers properly?
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Create Great Looking Online Retail Store in a Flash with Goodsie


Do you want to start an online retail store, but are always afraid of effort and money required to do so? I have come across a cheap and elegant solution that has the potential to help you with it.  The solution comes from a start-up called Goodsie. I checked out their web site and was very impressed with its functionality and ease of use. You do not need to have computer programming knowledge to use this software, which is a great relief to many of us who do not have that skill or don’t want to deal with that hassle.

While online retail stores have been around for some time, small business owners have been at a disadvantage against their larger rivals due to their lack of skills and money required to build and run online retailing. You can use Amazon or eBay, but you are likely to be drowned out amongst thousands of businesses who are jockeying for the top position. That is why I strongly believe in having your own online store with a unique identity that you can control. Goodsie lets you do that easily.
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Use Scarcity Tactics to Increase Sales


What is the best way to get rid of products that are not selling well? You can reduce the price to generate more demand. But there is a way better way to manage it. It is known as scarcity principle and it works by making customers believe that the item will not be available if they wait longer. The technique works because of human psychology that makes people want something more when they are told they cannot have it. Fear of losing out on something can be a powerful motivator.
You don’t have to use this principle to sell only slow moving items. You can incorporate it in the normal marketing practice to increase the sales of regular products. If you look around you will notice that many businesses are already using this principle in various forms. QVC always shows how many items are left when promoting their products on television. The last few items are always sold very quickly. When a sales person tells us that the item is out of stock, but he can probably find it at another store your reaction will always be to order it so as not to miss out from that store too.
There are several approaches you can take to implement this scarcity principle in practice as shown below:
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Ten Commandments of Pricing


Pricing a product or service is one of the most complicated yet important decisions that can determine the fate of your business. Most small business owners tend to price their products and services lower than the customers are willing to pay for out of the fear that increasing the price will make customers flee. However, it is possible to increase your price, and have customers love you for it. It is not only desirable, but imperative that small business owners understand how to properly price their products. After all, it is much more fun to compete on value rather than price Look at how Apple is able to charge premium for all its products
Based on our own experience and feedback from our readers we have compiled a set of rules that will help you in pricing your products. Here they are:
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How to Charge Premium Price (and Have Customers Love you for it)


Do you want to increase prices for your products without getting a hit on your sales? How about customers thanking you for charging them higher price? You probably think we have lost our minds, but trust us; it is possible do just that! We will show you how in this post.
It seems counter-intuitive to say that you will be able to improve customer satisfaction and increase sales while at the same charging more. Conventional wisdom says that if you are not doing well lower the price and customers will flock to your business. As natural as it seems, this is simply not true. Competing on price is not a sound business strategy for small business owners as explained in the previous post.
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