Category: Promotions


Cheshire Cat

There’s a lot of buzz out about the new version of Alice in Wonderland. My favorite character was always the Cheshire Cat. I loved how he slowly dissappeared and reappeared, and his singing and laughing.

Cheshire Cat
Lately I’ve been a bit of a Cheshire Cat with my business, appearing when I feel like it, and fading away when it’s super hectic. I need to be more of an Alice, curious about everything, and ready to take little leaps of faith. Growing and shrinking my business as the opportunities arise. What about you? Which character do you feel you’ve been lately?

Ah Cauliflower, the often overlooked, delicious alternative for so many vegetables.  That’s right cauliflower. I know what you’re thinking.  Does she mean the boring white vegetable that I sometimes eat becomes it comes in the bag with the frozen broccoli?  Yes I do, and look again.  It’s not white, it’s a wonderful shade of ivory with tints of green in the stem.  It’s the combination of broccoli and cabbage.  A wonderful nutty flavor, with a smooth texture, it’s no wonder restaurants have started substituting it for mashed potatoes.

So how does this help your business?  Easy, go to the store, buy some cauliflower, follow one of the recipes at the bottom of this blog, and be pleasantly surprised.  Don’t you want your customers to be pleasantly surprised when they visit your store or use your services?  I do, and so I am becoming cauliflower.

Branching out is one of the easiest ways to turn your business around.  Just as cauliflower is made up of several branches of yummy clusters, so can your business offer many alternatives to it’s client or customer.  Many times I hear clients talk about new avenues they’ve thought of in the past or always wanted to try, but they then shake it off as if it was an incredulous thought, too grand for their business.  Sometimes it is these ideas that could open new roads and possibilities.  A bar that puts in a kitchen, a salon and day spa that treats every customer as if they are there for the full treatment.

Are you one of many of a type of business, a seemingly plain vegetable among the many colorful ones?  Sure you could be flashy and change your logo, or your ad strategy.  Or you could focus on being consistent, and letting the quality of your business speak for itself.  Spending your time and money on flashy new ads and out of the box promotions are not the way to invest in a business.  You can bring in all the new customers you want, but if you can’t keep them coming back and you’re losing your regulars, then you’re not making any money.  It’s the one in one out strategy that bars use to keep numbers down for the fire marshall.  They hate seeing the one leave, because he was spending more money to keep the party going, then the new one who is walking in will spend all night. The new clients you bring in aren’t as loyal as the ones that have been sticking by you in these rough economic times.

So now to the best part about cauliflower!  It’s an amazing anti-cancer vegetable.  It has at least 2 identifiable chemicals that fight tumor growth and cancer in general.  I didn’t even know that until I researched it for this blog!  No I’m not telling you to fight cancer, I’m telling you to surprise yourself and your customers with what you are capable of.  Pitch some of your new ideas to your most loyal customers and see how they react.  Want to add a new service  or product?  Offer it to your best customers or the ones who would benefit the most from it.  Just one positive experience could be what you need to make the decision to offer it to everyone.

The recipes below are simple and surprising.  They accentuate the natural goodness of the cauliflower.  Try one out and while you eat make a list of products or services that you can add to your business that will only improve the nature of your business, without changing your quality.  I myself just ate a delicious dinner with cauliflower and brussel sprouts.  Brussel Sprouts?  Oh yes, but that is for another day and another blog.

Recipes

Roasted Cauliflower (what I just ate)

Roasted Curried Cauliflower

Cream of Cauliflower and Stilton Soup

Cauliflower Cheddar Gratin

So often clients take for granted that their business is clearly defined or understood by the general public. If someone doesn’t know what you do, or has the wrong impression, why would they use you. The key is to always be educating them, and sometimes that means hiring a teaching assistant. That’s where a promoter or marketing firm comes into play. Let them become your gardner, they can sow the seeds of new business.
Trying to fight a fire when you’re not a firefighter is an exercise in futility and dangerous. So is wading into the world of promotions and marketing without any training. Every day new companies pop up that promise quick results. Your company is not a product on an infomercial so why hire someone who will treat it like one. A good client/marketer relationship is key to succeed where others will fail.
So how do you know if you’re picking the right one? Well some of it is a gut instinct, if you don’t like someone or the way they talk about their business or yours, don’t hire them. Just because they are successful, doesn’t mean they’ll be successful for you. A promoter or marketing firm should be as excited about your business as you are. They should be invested in its performance. Local companies are going to be more effective as well, because they know the market and live in the community.
Can you get online, post your info, and sign up for several sites? Sure. But do you have time to manage the information once it’s out there? Take what you make in a year (if you own your company and don’t take a salary, use your gross profit) and divide it by 8,760 (total hours in a year) that is how much you are worth on an hourly salary. Want an even bigger number? Divide by 2920 (total work hours based on an 8 hour day). Is it worth your time to sit at the computer online all day, or would you rather pay an expert in the field who can maximize their time and your money with targeted posts and pages.
We are beyond the age of websites. Everyone has a dot.com name. I just bought my own name as a domain today, it was still available, so why not? It doesn’t mean that now I’m famous or that my business is going to grow exponentially. Navigating the mine field that is Social Networking, is not for everyone. It’s like the old adage sometimes you have to spend money to make money.

Other Resources
PR Sarah Evans
Behind the Creative Curtain
Open Forum by American Express

How to handle the first bomb

It’s going to happen, you’re going to have an event that just bombs. No one shows up, or everyone shows but no money is made. How do you handle this? Simple, you try again. Sometimes you’re just not going to have a great event, that doesn’t mean they’ll all fail.