And these are just a few of the many localized businesses you'll find in every town across the world. And what most of these business owners do not realize is that every single one of them can use the Internet to grow profits -- even without a website. Here's how..
We'll use the first business on the list as an example. Let's say you offer a limo service. Either you are considering putting up a website or you already have one. But since you only serve local communities, your website is limited in its reach and sales potential. So forget about the website for a minute! Here's a BETTER way to drum up business using the Internet...
Grow a powerful customer "e-list" that includes the name and email address of every customer you ever get. And when every slow period (expected or unexpected) hits your business, spend an hour and email a personal message and a special savings coupon to these folks.
This strategy is virtually free and your customers will love you for the special attention. (And your bank account will love you even more!)
Here are the exact steps you need to take to use this Internet marketing strategy for your local business:
If you do not already have one, start a customer database on your office computer today. There are lots of ways to do this. Some software solutions for small businesses include database software and contact management software, such as...
If you are completely non-technical or do not have the money for a software solution or a programmer, you can start a basic customer database yourself. Simply open up Notepad on your computer. (In Windows click Start, Programs, Accessories, Notepad.)
Once Notepad has opened, type the following headings...
then press the Tab key.
What you will have is something that looks like this...
Mr./Mrs. First Name Last Name email address
Next press Enter to move your cursor down to the next line.
Now type your first client's salutation (Mr. or Mrs.) and press Tab. Next type their first name, then Tab. Then their last name then Tab. And finally their email address then Tab.
That's it, you have the start of a basic database! Save this file every time you update it. It will be a powerful tool in your business for years to come.
If you went with the basic customer database using NotePad, the next step is to get an email merge program. Here are a couple programs that are easy to work with...
These programs allow you to open your tab delimited customer file and will merge any of the fields directly into your letter.
There's nothing more to do other than create a great letter
and email it. So I'll close today's tip with this final component -
Sticking with the same example as above, here's a letter that is guaranteed to boost the bottom line for your limo service. Feel free to borrow this and modify it for your business. A few small changes can tailor it to ANY local business.
(The fields enclosed in brackets are database fields that your
email merge program will fill in with your customer's details.)
* This work at home tip is by Jim Daniels of JDD Publishing Co.,
helping online businesses since 1996. Whether you own a medium sized
company or you work from home, Jim can help you.