Marketing a small business in this economy: Five old rules

1.    You gotta have a plan. And that should be a written plan, with an objective and a means for achieving that objective. The Cheshire Cat said “If you don’t know where you’re going, any road will get you there.”  Everyone needs a plan of action for marketing their business. This keeps you on track and focused.  Helps you see what you have accomplished and what yet needs to be done.  Without a plan, things move, but not necessarily in the right direction.

2.    Underpromise and overdeliver.  Tom Peters said this a long time ago.  If you set expectations high and fail to live up to them you will lose trust and credibility. And your customers. Because you don’t get a second chance.  If you set expectations a little lower and then deliver more, faster, better, cheaper, you will create loyal customers who will tell others about you.

3.    Don’t be egotistical. Be realistic. Your buyers care about themselves. They don’t care about your products or service, except for how it solves their problems.  Remember, it’s about the benefits.  Always.

4.    Don’t be afraid to ask for help you need it. What you are doing can be hard.  And complicated. And confusing.  Running a business requires skills like managing employees or marketing or financing that you may not be that knowledgeable about. That’s ok.  Nobody knows everything.  But instead of trying to figure it out yourself, ask a professional.  It will save you time, money and energy and will allow you to put things right before they fall apart.

5.    Smile. Smiling releases endorphins in your brain.  And when you are happy, you make those around you happy.  Remember that people do business with people they like. And smiling makes it easier to like you. Smile when you are on the phone, too.  People can tell.  Oh yes they can.

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