Awards & Engraving

February '19

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22 • A&E FEBRUARY 2019 Laser Engraving where he did all the sales. I have two woodworker partners at present: one who creates for my business, and one where he does all the selling of his product with my lasering services. His clients have also become my clients, using me for prod- ucts and services outside of my partner's product line. When I refer to partners here, I am not talking about a business partner from a traditional point of view. We each have our own separate businesses and there are no contracts needed. Today, a large portion of our business comes from client referrals, customers, and those we have met and become friends with by networking. We have worked hard to produce quality products and services, meeting all deadlines and at a fair price. We treat our clients and customers like good friends. This has assured us that refer- rals keep coming, even in light of new and ever-changing competition. SOME OTHER CONSIDERATIONS Affordable media advertising is difficult to find these days. Your local online Patch is one possibility. Another is Nextdoor, the mobile app. Ask your friends, neigh- bors, and customers what their source for news is. Coupons such as those in Book of Values delivered door-to-door may be another good general source. If you try these generalized advertising services, agree to the shortest timeframe possible to try them out. If you are thinking of using email or newsletters, create a method to allow people to opt-in. Make sure you provide prod- ucts and information that is useful to the receiver — do your research on your target market. Investing in what is considered spam is a waste of your valuable time and can actually hurt your business. If you have some expertise that could be of value to your customer base, consider offering it in a seminar. As all seminars, even short ones, can be time consuming to create, consider partnering with others of complementary expertise to participate with you. If you create something of value that can be offered over and over again, your setup time will be well invested. Marketing can be an overwhelming chal- lenge for many who are comfortable with the graphics and technical end of our busi- ness. If this is especially challenging for you, consider hiring a marketing consultant. You may want to eventually take over your own marketing; however, the consultant's exper- tise may be valuable in helping you create an initial marketing plan and identifying who your potential customers are for your product lines and how you best reach them. A&E A cost-effective direct mail method is to use larger postcards. I create a campaign around a product line or a theme by focusing the postcard that way.

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