Last week was Canada Day(July 1st) and soon followed was Independence Day (July 4th). This year I was lucky to be home in Canada celebrating with my fellow Canadians and family as I currently call Miami home.
I have to say, it felt good to be there and was happy that our annual trip coincided with Canada's birthday, it has been at least 10 years since I was in Canada for this particular holiday.
These fantastic days, July 1st and July 4th, also made me reflect on how great celebrations are for the soul, they really make you feel good to be around people who share the same uplifting feeling, the mood is usually different and there tends to be a sense of joy and friendliness.
Now wouldn't it be great to feel a sense of celebration everyday and even better how can we translate this joy into our small businesses ? Here is my take on how we can turn any ordinary day into a celebration for your business.
1. Make your customers feel special every time they enter your store. Welcome them, learn something about them like their birthday or name so that you can follow up with a special email offer.
2. Create a celebration in your store. Who wouldn't want to be in a store that feels festive and where everyone is in a good mood. You could do this by simply celebrating the non traditional holidays on the calendar, like chocolate day. Make sure to get your employees involved and taking part.
3. Offer a sample or gift of some sort. It could be an item you may already sell, a coupon for a discount or a useful promotional item.
4. Have a block party in your store or social media page, this doesn't have to be extravagant, simply invite customers for champagne Fridays, or virtually pop a champagne bottle on your social media page every Friday. The idea is to keep it festive and fun.
5. Have a special shout out on your social media pages for customers, this could range from taking a picture of someone in your store and posting it, to giving away an online prize for guessing something simple, like how many days of the month have "r's" in it. Celebrate the winner!
I hope you have a great celebration everyday in both your personal and business life. Please add any other celebration ideas you may have, I would love to hear from you.
The summer for some businesses can mean slower times and less traffic on and off line.
Lots of people take vacations with the kids out of school and for some cities, like Miami, where it can get too hot, people find ways to escape by leaving. However, your business doesn’t take a vacation, so you need to keep customers interested with a reason to come in on or offline.
With years of experience creating promotions for brands, like Fiji, Red Bull, Kellogg’s and many more I’ve found they work. They are a great way to engage with customers, build brand visibility and in turn sales.
Here are 8 fun low budget ideas to do just that.
The idea is to create fun interactive promotions that entertain your customers, keeps your brand top of mind, and most of all builds loyalty.
There is so much information on the web to help you market your small business, but sometimes it can be overwhelming to digest it all and execute.
I certainly think so. I am forever a student and love learning about new marketing tools and strategies that I can implement to help small business owners get ahead of the game.
I want to share with 4 excellent resources on the web that I visit often for valuable content. These sites and bloggers cut through the clutter and provides inspiration on those much needed moments.
1. www.entrepreneur.com offers a wealth of great articles, how to pieces and inspiration to help you figure out your business and marketing game plan. I especially like this section Marketing Basics which provides valuable how to information about marketing your business. In addition, there is a section that highlights how other real life small businesses are succeeding.
2. www.smallbiztrends.com pretty much has everything you need as a resource for your small business. The categories include marketing, finance, advice, events and many more. This is definitely a one stop shop. Here is a great article I found for inspiration: How an Old School Business Discovered the Internet and Grew 350 Percent
3. www.socialmediaexamier.com is where the social media gurus live. It is the largest online social media magazine and is full of great information on how to market your business on the various platforms. I like that you can listen to podcasts on this site which gives us a break from reading. If you are getting started on social media, here is a getting started tool you can use - Getting Started with Social Media.
4. Lastly a few blogs I like to follow and read for perspective includes; Jeff Bullas, Convince and Convert and Online Marketing Addicts. These blogs are not necessarily the best of the best, but for me they provide good valuable insight on what these experts in their respective fields see working for them and how we can apply it to our business. Read and decide for yourself.
If you have any suggestions on where to get valuable easy to digest content. Please share with me. Thanks.
We are well into the last quarter of the year and for many small businesses this is the time to really drive sales and for some, this time of the year can represent almost half of your annual sales.
If you have not had the time to plan extensively for the holidays, here are 5 easy to implement ideas to help get you through the holidays and end the season with a bang.
1. Bundle related products and or services you sell for an attractive package deal and charge a higher price point for better margins. Customers will appreciate you making their life easier by creating a ready-to-give gift.
2. Create promotions. This could be in the form of an enter to win contest, a sales promotion on certain merchandise or a challenge for customers to enter their pictures on your website or social media sites for a chance to win a prize. For example cutest pet contest if you are a pet store.
3. Get active on social media sites. Promote your products, promotions and events on the social media sites you are already active on, this is not the time to learn a new platform. Decorate your page, use consistent imagery throughout all sites, and keep your message clear and concise. Also make sure you post regularly.
4. Decorate your website. Your website is essential to helping customers learn more about you, so make it interesting fresh and relevant to the season with captivating images. Also show off any promotions, new products, contests and offers you have going on.
5. Get together with other local retailers and create an event to help increase foot traffic for everyone. This could be as simple as a travelling holiday party where customers can stop by and enjoy a glass of wine while shopping.
The Cinco de Mayo fun fest weekend is here, what are you up to?
It’s time to fiesta, celebrate our diversity and of course enjoy a few bevies and then a few more.
With so many celebrations happening, why stop the party after one day, why not extend it for 5 days especially for your business and customers.
Here are 5 easy ideas no matter what your business is:
1. Create a video with 5 tips on a specific subject. For example 5 easy drinks to make with Tequila for those in the hospitality industry or anyone who just wants to inject a little fun into their social media page.
2. For those within the retail industry - offer deals such as 5 items for $5 or $5 for select items in store or online.
3. Have a consulting business – offer 5 new clients who sign up for an offer within the first 5 minutes
a free 5 hour training session.
4. Are you in the health and wellness industry? How about 5 tips to jump start your workout routine after
a weekend of indulging.
5. Selling food products, how about provide free samples for 5 days. Get customers to try a different
product each day of the week.
HAVE AN AMAZING WEEKEND AND MAKE SURE YOU RELAX AND ENJOY A MARGARITA!
Promotion is one of my favorite P’s in the Marketing Mix because
you can truly measure your results. Through my experience, creating promotions have worked really well for any type of brand once you have clear objectives. I’ve ran promotional campaigns for brands such as Fiji Water, Kellogg’s to image brands like Red Bull and Stolichnaya and have always had great results one way or another.
Here are my top 5 reasons why promotions really work!
1. You can measure your results – done properly promotions allows you to measure your ROI in a timely
manner, but first you must set clear quantifiable objectives to measure against. This can be as simple as selling 100 additional units or to increase your fan base by 500 fans in 6 weeks. Make your objectives attainable, realistic and give yourself a stretch target for that extra push.
2. Drive Sales – I think promotions are one of the best ways to quickly drive incremental sales. I love
using promotional tactics such as enter to win contests or gift with purchase to drive immediate sales, but make sure your sales return pay for the prize or gift you offer along with incremental sales. Spend the upfront time determining your objectives and developing the best strategy before executing.
3. Gives you focus – what a great way to get focused on what you want to say when you have a great
promotional campaign with a clear message to push out to your customers. Having this focus will allow you to communicate effectively with a consistent message allowing you to stay on track with your objectives.
4. Cross promote – the cross promotional opportunities are endless when running a promotion. Find a
complimentary product or company and promote away through prize donations for contests, in store trials, posting on each other’s platforms or create a joint email blast.
5. Create engagement on many platforms – with one promotional concept to communicate your message should be clear and concise allowing you to have fun creating superb engagement through your social media platforms. For example; get customers to post pictures using your product if it ties into your promotional campaign.
GET YOUR FREE PROMOTIONAL PLANNING TEMPLATE - 8 STEPS TO EXECUTING A KICK-ASS PROMOTION!
I hope you find this helpful. If you have any additional tips or reasons why promotions work for you, please feel free to leave a message or contact me.
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By: Farzanah Mohamed | Smallbiz Marketing Consultant | www.smallbizmarketingconsultant.com
March has arrived, what promotions do you have running for your small business?
The month of March in itself is a promotion, with fantastic built in ideas you can use. Can’t figure out what to do, take advantage of these easy ideas and start creating! Celebrations are always fun, try these built in around key holidays happening in March!
1. March Madness – take advantage of the entire month with the marketing of MARCH MADENSS! Create a March Madness theme promotion with an enter to win contest, discounts or giveaways. How about your own version of the March Madness Bracket.? Click here for an example of how the bracket works. Click here for examples of March Madness theme promotions.
2. March 10th is Daylight Savings Day – have fun with this and simply give your customers extra savings for shopping at your location on or offline on March 10th! A focus on a one day sale can give your business the extra boost it needs that month.
3. March 17th St. Patrick’s Day – Irish or not, everyone is Irish for a day! This is a great opportunity to
theme a promotion around this very celebrated holiday. Have fun with this and get creative with green drinks, food, décor, prizes, giveaways, contests and more!
4. March 29th Good Friday and March 31st Easter - What a great weekend promotion you can create out of these two holidays! Entertain and entice consumers with good deals and Easter treats when they enter your store or site.
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By: Farzanah Mohamed | Marketing Consultant | www.farzanah.com
The 80/20 rule applies today more than ever, where 80% of your business comes from 20% of your customers so you need to take care of them. As a small business owner it's easy to get caught up running the day to day of your business and neglect doing the little things. Here are 8 easy ideas you can share with your staff or anyone helping you out on a part time bases.
1. Give your customers an exclusive early bird discount on any new products or services you are launching before releasing it to the general public. It is also a great way to do some market research.
2. Feature your customer as a success story on your website, social media post or within your blog. I am sure they will appreciate the plug and in turn others will see it exposing you to more potential customers.
3. Create a loyalty program to keep them coming back. For example Smoothie King has a great program, it kept me coming back time after time to get my 10th Smoothie free. Furthermore, sometimes I forgot my card, so they would give me a new one, but I didn't have to start all over again, they simply accumulated my cards to add up to the tenth.
4. Show your customers who they are doing business with. Posting pictures of yourself or your team at your place of business is a great way to connect with your customers, so they have a face to the store they are buying from especially if you are 100% ecommerce.
5. Share any tips and ideas you know can help your customer improve their business and do this without expecting anything in return. A self-less act can go really far.
6. Respond to your customer's posts, questions or inquiries so that they know you care and that you are listening. How about dedicating a day each week for FAQ on your social media page, where you answer questions, give out advise, or offer a "how to" tutorial.
7. Customer service; to keep it simple, say thank you, please and greet your customers when they enter your store. A small gesture like this goes a long way.
8. Get feedback on how you are doing, especially if you are in the service industry. Create a short survey online, or offer a customer discount to complete a survey in store. It will give you fantastic first hand data you can use to improve your business.
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By: Farzanah Mohamed | Marketing Consultant | www.farzanah.com
1. Business card – offer a free trial, inspirational quote or a call to action on your card. You are giving
it out every day so it may as well be more than a name plate.
2. Co-host an event with a local charity – it could be a meet and greet event partnering with a local charity
or a volunteer sign up and information sharing opportunity with interested guests. This is a great way to show off a new product or your services.
3. On site business card draws – do you have a business card fish bowl at the entrance of your
establishment? Instead of quietly pulling the winner in your office when no one is looking, why not do it on a busy lunch hour in front guests waiting for their seat (assuming it's a restaurant). It will be great PR and encourage others to place their cards giving you a bigger email list.
4. Email signature – this one maybe obvious but I still see lots of emails without a complete signature which should include social media plugins, phone numbers and a call to action where necessary.
5. Co-promote – offer your goods to another business owner to utilize as a prize for contests. This way a great way to reach a new audience. You can consider sharing the email contacts as a way for both of you to benefit.
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By: Farzanah Mohamed | Marketing Consultant | www.farzanah.com
January is here and you maybe thinking how can I increase my revenues this year? One way is to increase your prices, but are you worried about losing customers if you do so? Here are five simple tactics to help you increase your prices and earn more – without losing your clients.
1. Prove the Value of Your Service: There is no greater tool for selling services than proof. If you can prove the value and the results that you have delivered to previous clients, then your service will sell itself regardless of price. How can you display your past performance in a convincing way? Harness the power of numbers and testimonials. People like things that are tangible. Can you get a testimonial video of 30 seconds or two? Post it on your site or social media pages!
2. Warn your customers in advance: Clients do not react well to a surprise price increase. Diminish the blow by offering plenty of advance notice. Dividing the increase into several smaller increases over time may be easier for your customers to accept rather than one massive spike.
3. Schedule Your Rate Increases: If you are not sure how to begin to charge more, then simply set a rate you are contented with and a plan to increase after a certain number of customers. If you make incremental price changes as a part of your business strategy, then, price hiking will become a natural part of your business. It also makes it easier to explain to customers if you choose to do so.
4. Increase your skills: The most evident technique to start: simply get better at what you do. Learn new techniques, build up unique methods of working, and purify your style. More striking work justifies more impressive rates.
5. Become better at expressing the benefits: This is about how to talk and describe your service. If you can learn more about how to communicate the benefits of what you do, customers will see more value in it.
Adjusting your price is an important strategy to increase your earnings over time. Otherwise, you will reach a point where it is not working as effectively anymore.
Resource: Steven Smith, an Editor of smallbusinessfriends.com
Hi my name is Farzanah. I am a marketing pro with 10 + years of experience in marketing management and a busy mom dedicated to helping small business owners improve their marketing with copy writing that transforms their online visitors into taking action.