We've made it to the double digits with our business tips! In this post we'll discuss the value of "free." The other day I was thinking about swtiching from Time Warner to DirecTV, DirecTV seems to have better offers but in the end I didn't switch not only because I didn't want to hassle with having a technician come to my home, taking time off work in order to to have that done and take all my equipment back to Time Warner, no I didn't switch because Time Warner provides me with "free" HDTV, sure their premiums are a little higher, which I'm assuming goes towards the cost of the HDTV channels, but I don't see an HDTV charge on my statement, and Time Warner's marketing campaign is telling everyone that will listen about their "free" HD. In the end the amount I would save by switching to DirecTV wouldn't be enough to make me want to go through that hassle, because in the end, Time Warner's product is just fine.
When thinking about how to get people talking about your business you should give something away "free." It may be something that only costs you a few cents if anything, but by labeling the service or product as "free" it gives the consumer a sense of value. Try and stray away from "free" things such as pens and notepads, as they're too often lost or thrown away, and might not really say anything about your business. For example, if you're running a small cafe, you might want to once in a while give your regular's a free cup of coffee, you can print business sized cards for relativley cheap online these days, get a unique stamp and maybe you can give away the 6th coffee for free once the customer has received five stamps. Very simple, yet very effective, if your customer comes to your store a few times a week it'll almost certain they're not gonna go somewhere else to get their coffee if they've already got four stamps.
You don't have to give out actual "products" for free either, a lot of companies are taking to the web to hold "webinars" to demonstrate or give advise over the web, in the day it's easy for the masses to find you, but when they find you, you'll want to have something to say. Holding a webinar, even if it's a short one can really get people talking about your company, especially if you have information they won't find so easily. The most important thing is to demonstrate value in whatever you're doing, and that's whether you're giving your service out for free or not, value must always be perceived in order for people to come back and do business with you.
If you're thinking about starting your own business or incorporating a business you already have please give us a call and please mention this blog post.