Your most important asset, as a small business owner, is your Data Base: the list of people that you should be growing daily and communicating with frequently. In my opinion, small business success depends a great deal upon who is on your list, and how you communicate with them.
I sometimes feel like a broken record; I am constantly reminding all my business contacts about the importance of having a data base, growing a data base and communicating with them the right way.
My grandson will be going into the eighth grade this fall and is facing one of his first major decisions, and that is the selection of a high school. High school is also the time to start building a “list” of school friends and other people you meet and like. Some high schools have a vibrant alumni program that will support a graduate, if he wishes, for the rest of his life. Friends that you make in high school and college may go their separate ways, but you can keep those great memories alive if you communicate with everyone on a regular basis. Most everyone can be helpful at a future date. It may be opening a door for a certain job, or helping you land a big customer, but you will never know if you are not staying in touch.
Back to a small business. I believe that a good list can be responsible for up to 40% of goods and services sold. There are many types of lists that small business owners can develop. The most common one is the list that you create with names and contact information, and you “touch” them with e-newsletters, cards, phone calls, etc. Other lists are those that you create online through social media and lists that you acquire for direct mail.
The quality of the list is easy to control when you are asking people you like to become part of your data base. In social media, you get followers and if your content is good, you will also get the right followers. Direct mail also requires a careful selection so that you are targeting people suited to what you are offering.
My message today is to stress the importance of having and growing the right lists. It’s never too late to start nor is it ever too early to start.
Tips & Advice by Nick Petra, CFP – Founder of Strategic Duck and BizQuack
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