16Mar/09

Marketing Mondays | Sometimes We Forget to do the Simple Things

Business advice is rarely, if ever, new.  We hear these things time and again, but the everyday urgencies of our businesses often force us to put good intentions on the backburner.  The firefighting mentality is anti-growth.  In order to expand, ideas like this one, from the American Express OPEN Forum, must be implemented even when it is not convenient to do so:

We are big fans of “growing” loyalty among Ideal Clients over pretty much any other business building tactic. It’s the lowest cost sales activity you will ever engage in, since you are already doing business with them, you already know what they want and need, and you can easily find out if they are being wooed by someone else. How easy is that?

And yet… we have hundreds of examples of business owners who not only don’t take advantage of this fantastic opportunity, they positively destroy it. See if you recognize yourself in these stories:

A client who spends $100 a month in your hair salon calls to make an appointment only to find her favorite stylist has left. Did you keep a database of all the clients who came to the salon and allowed you to contact them, tell them the news and offer them an incentive to remain a loyal client? If not, you lose $1200 a year.

A customer who has been leasing his upscale cars from you for years needs some emergency service. Your service center is booked up so you tell him you’re just too busy. The customer not only takes the car somewhere else for service, he never comes back. Did you check to see how much that customer’s business was worth and find a way to accommodate him? If not, you lose a lifetime value of $500,000.

A customer buys over a thousand dollars in clothing and accessories from you. He is particular but happy to spend to get the quality he wants. He leaves the store and never hears from you again. Did you add him to your database with a checklist of his preferences so you could contact him when specials were available? If the answer is no, you lose the $10,000 he would have spent with you over the next five years.

What would it take not only to keep those customers, but “grow” their business by 25% without spending a cent you wouldn’t have spent anyway?

The first step is a database of every single customer who does business with you. If you can, link it to your point of sales system, so you know how much they spend, on what, and when. At least, set up a spreadsheet with columns as follows: first name, last name, street, town, postal code, phone, email, and a column you can put an X in for the kinds of products and services they buy. Since your computer already comes loaded with Excel, that’s free.

The second step is to sign up for an automated email service.  Sending to up to 500 customers, more than you will ever need, will cost you about $20 a month – almost free. And the first 60 days in many services are completely, 100% free.

13Mar/09

Everybody’s Schmoozin!

On Thursday, 50 Chamber members met for lunch and “power networking” at Brima. The Chamber’s famous Schmooze a’Palooza event kicked off it’s 2009 series with plenty of great food, fabulous contacts and lots of business cards! When members stood to give an overview of their businesses, nearly everyone introduced their company as “recession-proof”! We are so blessed to be in a community where our business owners and employees are positive and energetic!

Chamber board member & Trustee, Patrick Fagan (Fifth Third Bank) chose to use his 30 second introduction to share a reminder about the Chamber’s “Buy Lakeland. It makes good cents!” campaign. He let the group know about the board’s renewed focus on the campaign and their commitment to keep business and dollars in the Lakeland community.

Join us for our next event on July 9, 2009 at Mt. Fuji Steakhouse! Details & registration available in May…

11Mar/09

Spring on the Adventures Spring Break Camps

Spring Break Adventure Camp -Sapphire From the Press Release:

Explorations V Children’s Museum, located at 109 North Kentucky Avenue in downtown Lakeland, will offer “Spring on the Adventure” Spring Break Camps March 30, 31 and April 1-3, 2009.  The camps will be open for children ages 5-13. Half-day and full day camps will be available.

Sessions will feature hands-on themed activities such as Spring into Space, Spring On the Games & Toys, April Fool!, Weather Widgets and Food Science and will also include museum exploration, afternoon snack and outdoor play. Campers will need to furnish their own lunch.

Prices run $20 per child per half day (9am-1pm) for museum members and $24 per child per half day for non-museum members.  Full day (9am-5pm) fees are $35 per child per day for museum members and $40 per child per day for non-museum members. Children can be registered for individual days or for all five days. Pre-registration and pre-payment are required.

Additional information regarding Spring on the Adventure Spring Break Camps can be obtained by calling Explorations V Children’s Museum at 863 687 3869 or via email to info@explorationsv.com

10Mar/09

Fun Bike Center Motorsports named a “Best Company to Work For”

In these rough times it is great to hear positive news from our local business community. I am proud to announce that Dealernews Magazine Named Fun Bike Center Motorsports a ‘Best Company to Work For’ in 2009.

 

From the Press Release on CNBC.com, Daniel Dorsch commented:

"We are delighted our work and large investment in the community and people of Lakeland, Florida has been recognized nationally as one of the top motorsports dealerships anywhere. This is really nice for the people on our team and the customers we serve." Dorsch Continued: "Our leadership style and focus on our management has produced so many winning teams over the years we just can’t help but celebrate the wonderful people who work on our teams. Everything we do is with the employee and our customer in mind."

Fun Bike was also noted as Runner Up for best Exterior, which they note was made possible by fellow Chamber members Rodda Construction and Furr & Wegman, Architects.

 

Congratulations to Fun Bike on this great success.