Ways in Which You Can Advertise Your Local Business Without Having to Use the Internet

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If you have started a local business, but do not know where to start when it comes to advertising, then you may want to look around for different promotional opportunities that do not involve the internet. Sure, advertising your local business online can seem like an easier method, but since you are local, you would be better off advertising to those people around you who do not use the internet as much.

This way, you save time and effort for something that may not work out. Trying the more traditional method may work out best for you in the long run if you start with it first. No matter what way you decide to advertise, whether it is online or offline, you will still have to do research before you start sinking your money into it. You need an option that is going to be right for you and your business and that is cost efficient as well.

The first way that you can advertise your local business is to join up with another business that could help your business along. You can work with a company that sells a certain product and for each sale they make, you can throw in one of your items for free or vice versa. This is a great advertising strategy for those who want to start out small. Not only are you promoting good deals, but you are also letting people try out your product as well.

The second way to advertise your local business is by use of signs. People love to look at signs when they are looking for a sale or when they want to see what is going on around town. If you begin placing signs around your city, then you are sure to have people looking at them every day. If you do not feel like hanging signs up, you can buy real estate signs, which can be stuck into the ground. Make sure that you ask before you put a sign in someone’s yard or on their building. In order to thank them for helping you by letting you use their land/building, you could give them discounts on your products for as long as you need them.

The third way is by television advertisement. Many local cable companies allow ads to be run on their stations throughout the day. It will cost you some money, but at least you can get more people to see your face and what you are advertising.



Source by Richard Ryan Clayton

Local Business Marketing – How To Promote My Small Business In The Most Effective Ways

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So you own a small business, maybe you are a car repair shop, a dentist, a plumber, or a real estate agent. Maybe you have been around for a long time or maybe you have just opened your business. Either way you know that the key to staying in business is getting customers and the key to getting customers is promotion. Hands down there is no better place to promote yourself than the internet. Most people would not disagree with me there. The problem though is most people have no idea what to do, how to do it, or how to even get started. This article is for you!

You need a home on the internet, a website. Unfortunately this is a lot like a graduation ceremony. You see most people think of a website as the end of their online promotion. Actually it is just the beginning. You could have a design team build you a million dollar website, but if you do not know how to promote your website you are never going to get any visitors. No visitors equals no new customers, which equals your website being a big waste of money. This is where most people stop.

Below I am going to list several places that you can promote your website all for free. Places that will get you targeted traffic, people who are interested in buying your product or service. So let’s get started right now…

Google Places is a web directory that connects people with companies much in the same way that the Yellow pages used to. When you type in “real estate agent” Google Places looks at your IP address and determines the area you are in, then it lists the real estate agents that are in your area along with phone numbers and a map. In order to get listed on Google Places you need to go to Google and click on Business Solutions and then Google Places. The set up is fairly straight forward: tell about your business, upload some pics, link your website, and hit submit. Google Places will then call your business number and give you a code which you need to put in.

Yahoo Answers is a website that is highly ranked by search engines. When a person types in a question like “How do I unclog a drain?” the search engine will often return a page or two from Yahoo Answers. The great news is that you can post on Yahoo Answers and link people back to your site. In the example I just used lets assume you are a plumber. Go to Google and type in questions related to plumbing. Post answers on the sites that are Yahoo Answers sites and make sure to include a link back to your site “for more information”.

Amazon Book Reviews are a great place to get traffic. Have you ever bought anything off Amazon, if you have then you can leave book reviews. Go to books that you have read that are in your area of business. For example if you own a car repair shop go to books about car repair. Leave a review of the books in there you have read and point them back to your site “for more information”

All these places are absolutely free and they will drive customers to your website that are interested in buying your services.



Source by Jason C. Maxwell

Why Outdoor Signs Are More Effective

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Consumerism has changed drastically throughout the last fifty years and companies who produce consumer goods are getting more and more competitive and finding more ways to outdo their competitors. One of the most common forms of persuading consumers to buy products is advertising.

There are many means through which you can advertise your product, business or organization such as television, newspapers, magazines, radio stations and billboards. Advertising a product or firm on TV or on a radio channel seems to work a lot nowadays but the only problem is the amount of money one has to pay to get a few minutes of air time. Newspapers and magazines are also a good means of advertising, but they no longer are as effective because barely anyone reads nowadays due to time constraints.

So, a good way to catch a person’s attention is a sign on the road or outside a business or on top of a tall building. They don’t cost as much as air time on the TV or radio and are highly effective promoting tools. Even a person who is driving on the road, however busy and driving fast, will still notice a nice attractive sign on the road. And there are a million people who drive by these signs and actually read them.

The key to getting consumers to look at your sign lies in the looks. A nice attractive sign, maybe with a few flashy lights, will definitely draw the attention of a passerby. The benefits of an outdoor sign are endless and this is definitely the best and most cost-effective way of promoting your organization or product.

Outdoor signs come in many forms such as Electrical signs, LED boards or signs and EMC’s. Signs with LED lights are more prominent, especially during the night. EMC’s or Electronic message centers are also extremely popular nowadays. An Electronic Message Center can digitally display a whole message on a small board. This is a great way to send out a message to consumers regarding a company product or even a non-profit organization.

There are a lot of steps involved in getting a sign set up and getting one that is electrical requires more attention. A company that does signs may take care of all the steps or only some. The company will first understand your requirements after which the design will be configured. A permit is then required to set up your outdoor sign and only then will the company start fabricating the sign. Installation is the next process and must be done with great care so as to not damage the sign in the process. If you have an electronic sign, maintenance is a must if you want the sign to operate properly.

If you are planning to get a church sign, monument sign, electrical sign, LED sign or a EMC, make sure you choose the right company to do the task, preferably one that will get all the above mentioned steps done for you.



Source by Holly Ashton

Discover the Advantages and Disadvantages of Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) vs Pay Per Click

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We call it RBI Marketing. You have heard of ROI which is Return On Investment and this is RBI which means Return BEFORE Investment! Let's get the ball rolling and you will pay us for our services AFTER you see your site ranked on Google page 1 for your chosen keywords!.CLICK HERE!

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You’ve just launched your new website (or launched the redesign) and now you’re sitting back waiting for the orders to roll in. But wait a minute, something’s wrong… there don’t seem to be any. It’s as if your site doesn’t exist.

Well, I hate to burst your bubble, but unless you have either a well publicised site or many websites linking to yours, you’re going to have to rely on the search engines. And if your site doesn’t rank in the first three result pages, it’s more than likely you won’t be found at all.

So… you know what’s coming next; that’s right, you need a good dose of search engine marketing (SEM) to make sure your site gets listed on the search engines’ results pages. Do this and the traffic to your website will soon follow.

“Right”, I hear you say. “Let’s do some search engine marketing then…”

Well that’s certainly a good start! But first you have to work out your approach to maximise your returns. Let’s call this your search engine marketing strategy. In order to create an effective strategy you need to understand a bit more about how search engine marketing works. Currently, we can roughly-speaking separate search engine marketing into two different approaches:

  1. Organic: including search engine optimisation, links from other websites and offline marketing.
  2. Paid: including pay per click, paid submission and online advertising (banner ads).

So to help you further, I’ve listed below the advantages and disadvantages to each approach to SEM and outlined my recommendations.

Organic: Advantages

  1. The majority of the work behind search engine optimisation (SEO) is a one-off activity, and so is usually charged out at a set upfront fee.
  2. The changes made to your website will probably still be relevant and driving traffic to your site a year from now.
  3. Credibility: most people (research indicates between 60 and 80 percent) will click on the organic results rather than the sponsored (paid) results.
  4. If you rank well in one of the major search engines (Google/Yahoo/MSN), you will most likely show up in the majority of the search engines worldwide.

Organic: Disadvantages

  1. Changes must be made to your website’s code. Normally the changes are invisible to visitors. However, if you have invested heavily in a search engine-unfriendly site, the process can be time-consuming and costly; and occasionally significant changes may need to be made to your site’s copy, navigation or design. Of course ultimately, you’ll see returns if you commit to the necessary changes.
  2. Results (rankings and traffic) start slowly. You will normally see results within 3-4 months.
  3. There can be no guarantee. As the search engines themselves have the final say, you can’t predict how many rankings you’ll get for a particular search term or engine; nor can you predict how much traffic you’ll get to your site.

Paid: Advantages

  1. Pay per click (PPC) advertising programs are fast to implement. It usually takes two to three weeks to set up and run. Google AdWords are up-and-running as soon as you start the campaign, and Overture listings are live within 3-5 business days (after an editor reviews them).
  2. Nothing has to change on your web site, although I would recommend you create targeted landing pages for each advertisement as they’ve been proven to increase conversions (but that’s another subject for another time!).
  3. There is no limit to the number of terms or keyword phases you can bid on.
  4. PPC is good if you intend to run promotions through your site, as you can turn the PPC campaign on and off whenever you choose.
  5. You can dictate where the listing appears on the result’s page (within the sponsors’ ads area) and determine what the ad says.
  6. It’s very easy to test all your different search terms and offers etc, and to measure the results.

Paid: Disadvantages

  1. Clicks can be expensive. Bidding wars often erupt.
  2. You must keep paying for the clicks every month. If your budget is ever cut, your listings will disappear, along with your search engine traffic.
  3. Most people (research indicates between 60 and 80 percent) will click on the organic results rather than the sponsored (paid) results.
  4. It requires a time investment to monitor and adjust listings on a constant basis, or budget to outsource this activity.
  5. Listings are subject to editorial acceptance. With SEO, you can state whatever you like on your website (which is where the search engines pull your page title and description). But with PPC, editors insist that all listings be factual and that you not compare your company with others. This means that even if you are the “largest” provider, you can’t state that.

Now you know a bit about the advantages and disadvantages of both organic and paid search engine marketing, you must decide how to approach your online marketing campaign.

Organic marketing is probably best if:

  1. You want to spend some time on search engine marketing upfront and have it pay off in the future, on conceivably every search engine there is around the world.
  2. You have a budget to do some work now, and want to save money later on.
  3. Your site is fairly simple, without a lot of complicated bells and whistles.
  4. You can afford to wait a month or two for results.
  5. You don’t want to have to manage or maintain anything on a daily, weekly or monthly basis.

Paid advertising may be for you if:

  1. You want to get up-and-running quickly.
  2. You have a promotion where you want to be able to turn a PPC campaign on and off.
  3. You want to be able to test search terms, products or offers and quickly see results.
  4. Your site is search engine-unfriendly and you don’t want to invest in changing it.
  5. You’re confident you’ll have the budget to spend for the long haul, and you have time to maintain positions on a regular basis.

Of course many companies and businesses tackle both organic and paid SEM at the same time, and this is what I would typically recommend to maximally attract qualified traffic to a website.

If you are currently designing your site, or redesigning an existing one, make sure your developer knows how to create search engine optimised code or is working closely with a SEO consultant. Getting it right from the beginning will save you time and money in the long run. And it needn’t cost a fortune either if you tackle this upfront

If you have an existing site you wish to optimise, you may have a hard decision to make if your current site is not search engine friendly. If your site has been built using extensive use of frames or dynamic pages (your URL may look like: http://www.yoursite.com/page.asp?id=8), the cost to rectify these problems can be discouraging. If this is the case, now may be the time to seriously consider redesigning your site earlier than you’d planned.

Either way, the use of a small paid (pay per click) advertising campaign before optimisation can be a great way to nail down those essential keywords to use throughout your site’s copy by recording which keywords customers respond to the most in your campaign.



Source by David Crowther

Finding the Correct Website SEO Company for Your Business

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These days there are many PR and digital agencies plying for trade in the market place with exaggerated claims that they can perform miracles with your business's website SEO and that they will get your site ranking at number one in Google's search engine results pages. But please, do not get taken in by them.

The practice of online marketing is fairly new and as a concept business owners are still unsure about the whole SEO process and how it can be advantageous to their business.

If website SEO is taken out correctly then a business will definitely notice an increase in visitors to their website and their online presence will receive a massive boost, helping to generate more sales and develop a larger customer base.

To help your business recruit the correct digital or PR agency for your company's goals, I have listed a few tips below.

Does the agency have proof of their SEO achievements?

It is a fact of life that when pitching for contract people will over egg their claims in a bid to woe you. So it is imperative that you see some proof. Ask the PR or digital agency for some references and make sure you check them out. Has the agency got any case studies to show their achievements? If this request is turned down and they refuse to provide any evidence, walk away very quickly and look elsewhere.

Will the agency keep you well-informed?

Communication is critical in any business and more importantly, clear and concise information is a necessity. Make sure the SEO agency that is carrying out your website SEO has a well-defined communications policy. Will they be easy to get hold of? Have they promised to supply you with monthly reports listing the latest website rankings on your agreed keywords? You will want to know of any increases or other during the campaign and be fully informed of any industry tweaks that may affect your website SEO rankings.

Has the agency gotten realistic goals?

Has the website SEO agency you are talking to guaranteed that they will get you ranking at position number one across all major search engines? If so, then they are lying. All online marketing agencies will strive to get your site ranking as high as possible and will optimize your site for the keywords you have agreed. But the way a search engine determines your site ranking changes continuously and they tweak their algorithms in an attempt to deliver quality results, so an agency can never promise a number one ranking. The agency will have a strategy for building quality back links into your site and will produce creative and engaging content that will most certainly boost your websites search engine presence, but a number one spot can not be taken for granted.

Has the website SEO been offered as a free bolt-on to a web build?

If the optimization has been offered as a freebie package to a new web build by the agency then I would strongly advise you to walk away. The idea that website SEO campaign can be thrown in as a BOGOF offer is ridiculous. Online marketing is a very time-consuming and demanding process that requires a dedicated team of professionals to carry out. The procedure requires a great deal of planning, research and implementation. A professional agency, no matter how successful they were could not deliver a successful SEO package free of charge. They would soon be out of business or would cobble together a third-rate campaign that would yield no results for you.



Source by Martin Penwald

Things You Should Know About When Running A Small Business

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Have you just started a small business or planning of starting one? There are plenty of things you need to know. Some of these things include:

You have to wear plenty of hats

As a small business owner, you have few employees. You also might be working alone. In addition to doing the main activities for the job, you also need to know plenty of other things. For example, if you are a plumber, you not only need to know how to unclog the drains. You also need to know how to source the supplies and where to get them at a favorable price. You also need to know how to market your business.

The cool thing is that there is plenty of information both online and offline that will guide you in the different areas.

Watch out the people you get into partnership with

Two hands are better than one thus a partnership business is much better than a sole proprietorship. While this is the case, you shouldn’t get into association with any person you come into. Just because you have known someone all of your years or he/she has been your co-worker for a long time, it doesn’t qualify him/her to be the right partner for your business. You might start the business together, but the business won’t last for a long time.

The best candidate for partnership is one with polar opposite skills of yours. This way you achieve more and also have fewer disagreements.

Be frugal

One of the biggest problems with small businesses is the lack of positive cash flow. The cool thing is that there are plenty of things you can do to avoid this issue. One of the things you can do is cut on the overhead costs. Do you need to be serving lunch in the office? Do you need tea? Do you even need a new software? While the availability of many services in the office might be good, you might not need them. You should be honest with yourself.

Market yourself

There is no way people will know about your business if you don’t advertise it. Since the firm is small, you don’t have a huge budget, but this shouldn’t deter you from getting your name out there. Make use of brochures, business cards, fliers, social media and even newspapers to advertise yourself. Also, provide excellent services, and your customers will tell others about your business.

Enjoy the journey

It isn’t easy to run a company regardless of how small it is. You will face obstacles along the way. For example, some customers might fail to pay you. Some investors might pull out and so on. Remember that the goal isn’t to simply run the business. You need to enjoy the journey. Despite the setbacks you come across, you shouldn’t give up.

Conclusion

These are some of the things you should know when you are running a small business. If there is an area that you don’t understand, get the information from online and offline resources. You also should never stop evolving.



Source by Shalini Madhav

Small Business Manufacturing Software

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Small business manufacturing software is software which is of prime importance in small business production and distribution. Small business manufacturing software is an ideal solution for midsize companies, which aids in issues such as successful running of the company, turning customer data into customer information, understanding the needs of the customers, suppliers and partners. Advanced enterprise application software solutions and professional services have now been created by various software developers to solve these concerns.

Small business manufacturing software systems should ideally connect sales, support, manufacturing, distribution and finance sections with customers, suppliers and partners. This will enable better customer relations, and thereby encourage repeat sales. Small business manufacturing software includes the tools to keep production running smoothly and efficiently, including powerful inventory management tools, and job costing tools. Ideal examples of small business manufacturing software are the various shop management software which guarantee the flexibility and control businessmen need to manage their businesses on a day to day basis.

Shop management software handles the functions of creating quotes, handling and scheduling jobs, managing material, and tracking labor cost. These software packages have outstanding accounting features and cost analysis tools. Core business functions such as materials management, job management, sales management, financial management, service management and administration are focused on.

The intention of small business software developers is to provide custom software solutions to small business. They understand the needs and working of the company and provide software customized to their need. Some of the best software in this regard can instantly confirm the availability of products and the shop’s ability to produce specific order delivery requests.

The best small business manufacturing software has the features of controlling the five main manufacturing processes, namely inventory control, sales and purchase orders, bill of materials, RFQs, and material requirements planning. The fast pace of the modern world lays tremendous pressure on businesses, the smooth functioning of small businesses is facilitated to a great extent by the small business manufacturing software packages.



Source by Eric Morris

The Commonwealth of Virginia Advance Health Care Directive Registry

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End of life planning is an uncomfortable topic for most people, but it is an important one nonetheless. The best way to deal with planning for the end of life stage is through an Advance Health Care Directive.

Advance Health Care Directives are legal documents and they are not just for individuals who are terminally ill or critically injured. These are pieces of legal documentation that even healthy individuals should think getting about as no one really knows when their end of life wishes will need to be carried out.

Unfortunately, getting an Advance Health Care Directive isn’t always enough. It is of no use to the individual if doctors in a hospital are not able to access the directives when they are needed. The document can’t be lying in a shoebox somewhere, it has to be in a more accessible place.

That is why an Advance Health Care Directive Registry is so important. It gives people who have taken the time to get their own Advance Health Care Directive a safe place to store their documents. A registry stores Advance Health Care Directives in a safe and secure registry website and also gives the individual and their emergency contacts access to the document.

With most registries the individuals first get an Advance Health Care Directive drawn up and then they fill out the forms to place their Advance Health Care Directives in the registry. When filling out the forms they are usually given the option of designating two emergency contacts. These contacts will have access to the secure registry website in case the individual is unable to produce their Advance Health Care Directive when they are incapacitated.

In the Commonwealth of Virginia when a registrant completes their forms and places their directive in the registry they are sent a registry ID card with their name and registration number on it. The registration number is used to look up their Advance Health Care Directive once they are logged in.

The card also has room on it for the individual to include information for their two emergency contacts and their primary care provider. The emergency contacts can be issued a copy of the individual’s registry card if that is what the individual desires.

In the recent past, end of life wishes have been a major item in the news. There have been several examples of end of life conflict with families that could have been avoided if an Advance Directive document had been used. In most of these cases end of life wishes were not designated in a document or they weren’t accessible.

This has prompted several other states besides Virginia to create Advance Health Care Directive Registries to help their citizens avoid conflict when it comes to their end of life wishes. These states are aware that individuals are sometimes kept alive against their wishes because hospitals don’t have access to a definitive end of life care document. They have designed and funded them in different ways but they are quite similar in the way they are set up.

The legislative bodies in the Commonwealth of Virginia created the registry with a bill that funded it and after an extensive search, they chose a company to host and operate it. Virginia is ahead of most states when it comes to their Advance Directive Registry because they are connecting it to their statewide Health Information Exchange (HIE).

By connecting their Advance Health Care Directive Registry their HIE, Virginia hospitals will have easier access to different types of Advance Directives including living wills, a durable power of attorney for healthcare, do not resuscitate (DNR) orders and medical directives. These documents will also be easier to share through the healthcare system in Virginia because HIEs allow the easy and secure transfer of medical information between different facilities.

The Commonwealth of Virginia has the right idea by deciding to safeguard its citizen’s documents in a secure website that will connect to their state HIE’s technology. The future of healthcare will have HIEs as the standard and Advance Health Care Directive Registries will be an important part of this.



Source by David A Gomez

Why You Should Be Using Physical Signage To Advertise Your Local Business

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A lot of companies are wholly focused on online advertising. They believe that this is the surest way to connect with their targeted markets. While social networking sites, company blogs and web pages are certainly viable platforms for outreach, they may not be ideal for connecting with and converting the prospects in your local area. Following are several reasons why physical signage is still an essential part of any good advertising campaign.

Signage is incredibly cheap and more importantly, an investment in a single sign can actually provide exponential returns. That’s because a single sign can hang for many years or it can be taken down and used again and again. Those that are fairly small in size are also extremely portable and can be taken on road trips to trade shows and other major marketing events.

It is important, however, to purchase high-quality signage that will wear well, particularly if you intend to use this at the commercial property exterior, where it is likely to have the greatest effects. This way, these products will not fade or show other evidence of serious wear and tear. Good signage will always reflect well on both your company and your brand.

People are tired of being inundated with marketing messages online given that they receive such a large number of these each and every day. The average individual is confronted with thousands of online advertising messages each day. It is simply impossible to consciously consider all of these.

Due to this fact, most consumers have a variety of purposeful and unintentional ways of blocking these messages out, particularly if they do not appear to have any immediate bearing on their well-being. For instance, they may send unwanted communications directly to their spam mail. Many email transmissions are thrown in the digital garbage, without ever being opened. More people are selectively skimming their files to ensure that they are only exposed to the information they absolutely need.

Signage, however, is much more difficult for people to overlook. Moreover, it is not subject to the unconscious, protective measures that the mind naturally takes to protect itself from information overload. Thus, a well-placed sign has a far better likelihood of attracting consumer attention then does an email message, which is likely to arrive in the subscriber’s in-box along with countless others just like it.

There is a lot of valuable information that you can provide by using signs, particularly if their designs are both customized and strategic. These tools have been helping companies successfully build their brands for many decades. You can make a high-value offer via a sign, explain your services and products, offer info about product maintenance, share your logo and contact information and much, much more.

Whether using a promotional flag to advertise for your business or hanging a massive banner, these tools are virtually guaranteed to produce conversions. Best of all, even when they aren’t converting prospects into paying customers, they are still actively building and supporting your brand image. For these and many others reasons, they are among the best investments that you can make with your marketing dollars.



Source by VS Singh

The Top Three Local Business Holiday Marketing Tips For Tough Times

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The holiday shopping season is upon us, but the current downturn in the economy leaves less room for holiday cheer. Shoppers may be spending less money as a result of the tight economy, but they will definitely be spending money this holiday season.

This means it is more important than ever to know how to market your business more effectively to avoid missing out on sales.

Here are some recession proof holiday marketing tips to help your business not only survive, but thrive during this lean holiday season and beyond:

1. Go Directly To Your Customers:

Generate more sales for your local business by marketing directly to the target market within your surrounding community. These are the potential customers driving by your business on a daily basis who may not be aware of your business, or need an incentive to visit you.

Drive in more profits by creating a direct mail campaign that will give the target market in your surrounding community a compelling reason to visit your business. You can create a sales letter series focused on a special holiday offer, or a postcard series highlighting monthly special offers.

2. Give Them A Gift They Can Actually Use:

Give your customers gift certificates as a way of thanking them for their business. Include a gift certificate for $25 (or any amount) with their bill or receipt during the holidays.

Or give away a product, such as a free pair of earrings or a tie, with the purchase of a dress or suit for the holidays if you are a clothing store owner.

You can also generate referrals by giving customers gift certificates they can give to their friends as a holiday gift. For example, a Massage Therapist can give away gift certificates offering a free 30 minute massage for new visitors to current clients.

The current client would put their name as the giver on the gift certificate, so the Massage Therapist can keep track of the referrals; and give the referrer a Thank You gift.

3. The More The Merrier…And More Profits

Create profitable joint ventures with your business neighbors or complimentary businesses. You can do co-op holiday marketing by exchanging gift certificates to give to each other’s customers as a holiday promotion.

You can create a holiday gift guide that each participating business can donate a gift certificate to; and all participating businesses can distribute the holiday gift guides to their customers.

Finally, add some much needed holiday cheer during these tough times by hosting a holiday party for your local community.

You can create co-op marketing opportunities for your business neighbors and complimentary businesses by allowing them to donate services or products for the party. They can also co-sponsor the party by helping with the funding.

Your holiday party will help your local community learn more about your business, and neighboring businesses while also spreading goodwill that will be remembered well into the next year… and whenever they are in need of your product or service.



Source by Tresaca Hamilton