Marketing Ideas For Small Businesses

How do you get the word out about your business? Whether it’s services or product, you’ve got to drive customers your way. Marketing plays a very important part in driving clientele to check out what you have to offer. Traditional ideas include advertising flyers, billboards, and radio and TV ads, however traditional ideas might not be achievable when your business simply can’t afford it. Let’s take a look at some less traditional marketing tips that can be just as effective as traditional ideas.

First, show that you’re committed to service. Set a realistic deadline, but factor in an extra day. Strive to deliver your product the day before you promised it. Clients are usually happy to get their product ahead of time and will use you again.

If you can, offer a gift basket with either your product or a coupon for a service. Have clients drop their business card in a bowl or take names online at your website. Have a drawing once a month. Also, if you can, work in gift baskets on lesser known themes such as St. Patrick’s Day or National Secretary Week.

Establish a catalog, one hard copy and one online, highlighting your product or services. Get your friends and family to pass it along. Word of mouth is inexpensive and nothing means more to a potential client than a glowing recommendation from someone they know.

Make yourself available after hours. By revamping your work schedule to take calls at night, you could double your income. Nine-to-five workers come home and are looking to take care of their errands or personal business in the evening hours. By being available at later times, you open yourself up to a range of clients you might not have had before.

Have your business accept credit cards. Offering payment options attracts clients and the payments are prompt.

Instead of taking a potential client out to lunch, try breakfast. It’s usually less expensive and most clients appreciate the invitation to have a meeting with you.

Remember a smile and a positive reminder go far. Take a coffee drive through – most baristas service you with a smile and leave you with a friendly, “See you tomorrow.” Good service is marketing in itself.

Keep in mind quick service leads to happy customers and increased profits, but don’t skimp on your product or service. You might want to tailor marketing for slower days. For example, if you’re a car wash business and Wednesdays is usually a slow day, offer fast service.

Remember most customers usually take their small children with them. If you’re a quick car oil lube business for example, you might want to set up a place for children with a TV, table, toys, or coloring books. This helps to keep the kids entertained while their parents can take care of business.

Do a little extra. If you’re a cookie business, set out a dish of cookies for customers to nibble on. If you provide a service, offer a tip the customer might find useful. Word of mouth marketing ideas can be as effective driving traffic to your establishment as traditional marketing and less expensive. Not only that, it leaves your customer feeling like they’ve been personally taken care of and that leads to repeat business.

Chocolate Chip Cookie: America’s Favorite Cookie?

One of the things that the cookie business has taught me is that people are passionate about their Chocolate Chip Cookies in all of their variations!

Discussions about what types of cookies people like, Peanut Butter, Snickerdoodle, and Oatmeal Raisin are fine but when we talk about these cookies the discussions never get as heated as they do when we discuss the Chocolate Chip Cookie.

American original, this cookie was invented by the proprietor of the Toll House Inn of Whitman Massachusetts in the 1930’s, Ruth Wakefield created this menu item as a way to satisfy the sweet tooth of her guests. Years later she would publish a cookbook Toll House Tried and True Recipes that included her recipe for Toll House Chocolate Crunch Cook that was soon being baked by housewives all across the country.

The debate rages over which is better, thick or thin, chewy or crisp, big or little, everyone has their personal preference. I prefer a chewy one but with crisp outer edges, the best of both worlds if you ask me. But whether you like them crunchy or soft there is sure to be a cookie that has the perfect texture for you.

Not Just Chips

The chocolate chip cookie has been transformed into more types of products than any other cookie. It may have started with only chocolate, but today variations include white chocolate morsels, Reese’s Pieces, M&M’s, walnuts are often added to the dough to give them a bit of crunch, or maybe Macadamia nuts. Chocolate and Peanut Butter is a classic combination so why not Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies?

Don’t like a cookie, turn them into a bar and lets call the Chocolate Morsel Bar Cookies baked in a brownie pan!

How about a GIANT cookie? There is such a thing as a 12 inch diameter, 27 ounce monster cookie that would feed an entire children’s birthday party, or one really, really hungry cookie monster.

A flavor that we get asked to make a lot is Oatmeal Chocolate Chip, and we have a customer that LOVES his Oatmeal Walnut Chocolate Chip cookies.

What started in a little country Inn has grown into something remarkable and while there are many variations of this American classic one thing is for sure…we love our Chocolate Chip Cookies in all of their forms. What is your favorite?

Find recipes for Chocolate Chip Cookies and more at our website.

Make Extra Money With Sugar Cookies

The bottom line is that almost everyone in the world loves cookies. It really doesn’t matter what kind of cookies either, there are fans of each and every kind to be found. Cookies are used as party favors, gifts, and used to make people feel better.

Cookies are also one thing that brings many families together; how many times did you make cookies with your mother or grandmother, and how many times have you gone on to repeat that with your own children? A hundred times? More than a thousand times? There even people who keep cookie dough in their fridge at all times just in case they want a cookie or a spoonful of dough. If you want to make some great extra income, then you might want to try your hand in the cookie business.

If you don’t have a lot of money for startup costs, then you could start off with one kind of cookie, such as sugar cookies. They are basically just flour, sugar, butter, and eggs. Most of the time, even one recipe of sugar cookie dough will allow you to make several dozen cookies at a time. Even if you only charged five dollars per dozen, you will still be making quite a bit of profit for your efforts.

Once you have made and sold a few batches of sugar cookies, then you could either stick with sugar cookies or you could branch out into different kinds of cookies. You could even turn this part time money making venture into a full time job. It all depends on how much money you want to make and how much effort you are willing to put into it.