Okay, so maybe I don’t have any actual advice on warding off zombies – but I might be able to offer some advice on how to come back from a year where your business has suffered from pre-apocalyptic fears; where it feels like your customers have turned into the walking dead and you feel like you’ve spent more time wishing the end would just show up already.
Here’s the thing – you’ve probably already survived, Y2K, Bird Flu, and the monkey pox. And you’ll probably survive the Mayan Calendar, the fiscal cliff and the current presidency. Tomorrow is another day and there’s no better time to start fresh than the beginning of the New Year. And here’s the other thing – you can start small. No need for a big advertising campaign, overhauling your website or hiring a marketing person. It’s the little things that count and can add up quickly. Ready? Here we go!
Top 5 Ways Your Marketing Can Ward off the Walking Dead Syndrome:
- Take a look at your business from the outside in. Really – does your building resemble a bunker? Be honest – could you pull some weeds, plant some flowers, mow the lawn, paint the building and hang a new sign on your door? You would be amazed by what a big difference it can make. And guess what else – when people see what’s going on outside, they want to come inside!
- Go undercover for a day. If you’re no good at disguises – then get someone else to take your place, but be your own customer for the day. Make a call to your business – is the phone service quick, polite and helpful? Walk inside – are you greeted in a kind and friendly manner? Make a complaint – does your staff listen, respond and try to resolve it or do they blame the customer? Find out where the weaknesses are and you can fix them.
- Do your customers know how to share your story? Do they even know it? What kind of message does your customer take out into the world? Do they carry a bag or USB drive with your logo? Can they describe what you do in a quick and easy phrase to tell others? Do they feel special and wanted as your customer and do they share that feeling with their friends? If not – what can you do to change that? Your customers want to know you care – so tell them.
- Think big, work small. What is the one thing you know you do the very best? Doesn’t matter if you’ve got lots of other products or services – find out what is the one thing your customers keep coming back for. Now – go out there and promote that one service and why you do it best – get out there and go big with that one small thing.
- Make your tribe feel special. Yea, the marketing term for your niche customers really is called a tribe and yes – that means they are your top priority. If you’ve got big plans for 2013 – tell your tribe about it. Let them know they are at the top of your list. Tell them what you’ve learned over this last year, how you’re improving and what you’re planning to do for them next year. If you’re excited about it – they will be too.
So remember – it’s not the end of the world – it’s just business. A little preparation and strategy now, can help you make next year your best year yet!
Leah Goold-Haws is the Creative Director/Marketing Strategist for LGH Marketing/Strategy. Leah’s experience has included campaign development and strategy implementation for multi-agency collaboratives, corporations and non-profits as well as entrepreneurs and small business clients. You can now meet with Leah at the Small Business Development Center. The SBDC provides low or no cost business assistance. Schedule an appointment today by calling 242-7630.