CompanyFree tips for 2010

2010 will see a dramatic increase in the mobile marketing world by small and large companies alike. What used to be only possible for big-budget companies is now becoming a reality for start-ups. If you aren’t already, you should invest in a mobile device to take your office on the go, and your website should be mobile-friendly so anyone, anywhere can access your products and services.

As the U.S. slowly comes out of the recession, it’s important to pay great attention to your finances and paperwork. Keep detailed financial records and create a collections department or plan to collect past due bills. Loans for small businesses are still going to be difficult to attain, so you need to minimize your credit risk and perform credit checks on your clients.

Start promoting yourself and your business. Teach a class or submit an article for a local paper to identify yourself as an expert in your field.

Join discussion groups or online forums related to your product or service. Start chatting and posting to topics and you never know who may be interested!

Join professional organizations, local chambers of commerce and any other trade group that may help you gain insight and exposure to potential clients.

Shop around and always get at least three bids for any product or service. Chances are likely they will fight to gain your business.

Study your competition and work hard to stay ahead of the game. Develop new ideas and innovations to keep your competitors guessing and to constantly upgrade the profile of your business.

Go for a change of pace. If you do things the way you’ve always done them, you’ll be stuck in a rut with no advances and innovations.

Use as much of your collateral to advertise your business as possible. Include coupon codes on invoices or tuck discount flyers into bags. Every contact with a client should be a marketing opportunity.

Collaborate with other businesses on marketing opportunities to save money. Send a direct mail piece with a neighboring business to save on printing and postage.

Market your service as a product. Give it a name and charge a flat rate versus by the hour. It makes it more tangible for the customer.

Focus on a referral system and really follow through. Your current, happy customers are your biggest salesforce. Ask them to write a review on your website, blog about your company or simply tell a friend about your business.

Lolo Siderman received her degree in Business Administration from the University of Southern California’s Marshall School of business in 2010, after graduating from the Art Institute of Pittsburgh with a degree in graphic design. She has successfully started and either managed or co-managed four companies in a variety of industries, such as design, real estate services, and sports training.

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