Help Potential Customers to Reach Your Company |

A small business must identify a unique market niche, find customers and develop ways to attract those customers in order to survive. The IMC approach should be used with a major emphasis on the company’s name and brand. These ingredients must be understandable and help the customer believe that little purchase risk is involved in giving the company a try.Likewise, one of the main aspects small businesses should develop is the venues by which consumers can contact the company. These include:o Traditional Methods
o Networking
o Lifestyle Marketing
o WebsitesTraditional Methods of helping customers reach the company include the firm’s telephone service, mail and in-store visits. Having a phone number that spells a word such as 231-AUTO or 555-SHOP will help the customer remember the number. Some firms ask for sequences of numbers such as 885-1234 to assist in recall. Mail and e-mail to the business should be opened and answered quickly in order to maintain the perception of service quality.Phone numbers, Internet addresses and mail addresses should be prominently featured in all marketing communications when a new business opens. Customers must know how to reach and find the company in order to make purchases. When a customer visits a retail store, it is vitally important to maintain the same prompt, courteous and sincere service.Networking begins with something as simple as attending a Chamber of Commerce, Lions Club or some other local civic group meeting with a handful of business cards. It is important to develop contacts and relationships with other local business people, city officials and other key citizens in the community. One method of strengthening these bonds is to become involved in committees and projects.Networking provides the opportunity to meet other business people, create leads and personally promote a new company. Networking also offers an avenue for feedback from customers as well as other business people. Relationships can be formed in many ways. A business owner’s doctor, lawyer, butcher, dry cleaner, family and friends should all be made aware of the new operation. They can pass along referrals and positive word-of-mouth. When making new contacts, the business owner should exhibit tact and diplomacy. Seeming pushy is a negative in these kinds of relationships.Quality networks offer the possibilities of word of mouth endorsements and referrals. They can lead to not only more customers but also quality employees. Business-to-Business sales of anything from flowers to food to computer repair and consulting services can greatly increase company revenues.Lifestyle Marketing is a guerrilla marketing technique that is an excellent method of reaching customers and also represents a major opportunity to hear back from them. A booth at a special event such as local street fair offers the chance to visit firsthand with potential customers along with those who have done business with the company. Suggestions concerning product modifications as well as methods of delivering those items may come from direct users.Businesses that use the Internet or are involved in e-commerce should select a Website address that is easy to remember and related to the business. For instance, The Pasta House Co. has the Website address The goal is to make it easy for customers to find and communicate with the company. A quality Website is easy to navigate and provides pertinent information. It should be an easy method for making purchases. An e-mail feedback option is vital. It is important to monitor e-mails and respond to them quickly.