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Boost Your Business : An Expert's Tips

Michael Walsh. Twenty years business assessment and marketing counsellor for the Federation of Master Builders and Guild of Master Craftsmen (UK)

02 July 2013 @ 12:14



If your business is dependent upon the advertisements you place in freebie ad-papers you are likely throwing good money after bad. The ad-paper is not working for you; you are working for the ad-paper.


To be solely dependent upon an ad-paper is like a guitarist strumming on one string. There are many ways to attract attention to your business. Let me run a few options through with you. Remember, these were gleaned over twenty years as a business-vetting manager for Britain’s premier quality assurance trade association.


A restaurateur invested a great deal of money in a new restaurant. Under no illusions, he was painfully aware that over time, newspaper advertising would cost him as much again. Fortunately, a friend of his was a man with marketing shrewdness.


They hit on a plan. The owners of the town’s many hairdressing salons were invited to attend the opening night and to bring their partner with them. Everything was free including the entertainment. A fabulous night was enjoyed and for weeks afterwards, those who attended shared their experience with their salon clients. These in turn checked the restaurant out. This one bright idea filled more tables over time than expensive advertising ever could.


The actual financial outlay was reasonable. These included staff wages, an entertainer and 10 percent of the menu costs. Probably about the same as a single half-page advertisement in the newspaper.


A tradesman I knew never advertised but was constantly busy. How did he do it? Simple, when he finished a job he politely enquired as to his client’s satisfaction. He then said, “I am glad you are happy with it. I wonder if I could ask you, do you have family or friends who might be interested in my service?” You now know why this bright spark never needed to advertise.


Talking of which I spent an hour or so in the delightful company of Pam Morgan, wife of Steve Morgan. Pam was pivotal to Redrow Homes becoming the UK’s biggest house builders. I asked the lady what advice she would give to other business owners. She replied, “Always exceed your customer’s expectations and you will never need to advertise.”


We all know them; the businesses we no longer give our custom to. We now go to their competitors because we have been offended by the attitude of a staff member. Try this: Offer staff an annual bonus of 5 or 10 percent of the company’s profits.


If you do so, they will have a stake in being attentive, courteous and encouraging customers to return, to recommend or bring friends to your business. Believe me, their annual bonus will be a very small part of your increased profitability. Think too, what fun you will have at the annual awards ceremony when handing those cheques out.


These are just a few ideas of a great many. If you want to thank me this is easily done. If your business has a website or marketing content that needs editing, correcting, and improving with added flair, send it to my desk. We can work together as we make a great team.


Michael Walsh.

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