Last week I gave you fifteen marketing ideas. Read it here. You hopefully found a few very helpful and want to implement. However is time holding you back?
With 101 things to do when running or managing a small business - where do you find the extra time to add in something called marketing (rather than advertising) when there are so many other concrete activities taking up your time?
Here are five suggestions.
1. Get help
You can do anything you want, you just can't do everything. So get help to do the lower value tasks you have to do (such as administration, marketing, calling/reminding customers, cleaning the house/mowing the lawns) to free your time up to do the income production.
If you earn $90 an hour, why do the $20 an hour work? My suggestion for a first step is to get local students (use student job search) to help you on a small part time basis. Use them when you want, and you have lower per hour wages and no employment hassle or responsibilities.
2. Focus on best income earners
If one business activity provides a higher income on time/investment involved, focus your marketing in that area.
3. Use a smartphone
If you don't have a smartphone already, get one. Not only are they coming down in price, they are the epitome of convergence, giving you at least 17 different appliances that fit in your palm. There are many ways you can use the built in Video camera, still camera, voice recorder, GPS system, internet, calendar, email, computer, alarm, stop watch, timer, clock, calculator, note pad, music player, book reader, photograph album, calculator..... for business. Oops forgot to mention phone.
4. Use SMS reminders
Almost everyone has a cell phone and it is a totally accepted mode of communication with your customers. If you work on appointments- each hour is an asset that once passed is gone forever. If you initiate appointment prompts (don't forget your 2:30 message tomorrow) you'll be able to lower your no-shows or late arrivals.
5. Systemise for immediate response
You can be very clever and respond to your emails and messages very quickly. You will have repetitive paragraphs you sms or email. Don't' forget your appointment; what days you have free next week, the like. In your phone notepad, write them out once and save. Then anytime you have to email or sms, copy the paragraph from your notes and paste into the email or sms. It will save you heaps of time, boost your customer service and help you book more appointments with minimum effort.