At last we have seen some sunshine! If you are starting to think about summer promotions, here are some of the important dates you need to remember:

Mon 4th June Schools first day of term*
Fri 15th June Cheltenham Food and Drink Festival weekend
Hu 14th June Football World Cup starts
Sun 17th June Father’s Day
Thu 21st June Summer Solstice
Mon 2nd July Wimbledon Tennis begins

I am convinced that word of mouth recommendations are the lifeblood of most small businesses.

Potential customers want to believe they are making the right choice by buying your product or services. Hearing people say good things about your company increases their confidence in you and helps persuade them they haven’t made a mistake.

Here are 10 really easy ways to provide good customer service and get people saying good things about you and making recommendations.

1. Provide excellent value. It should go without saying that your product or service should be first class and competitively priced.

It won’t be long before that Coca Cola truck is rolling and the John Lewis ad is tugging at our heart (and purse!) strings: Christmas is coming!  

Here are some of the important dates to think about for your promotions over the next three months:

Fri 15th Dec        Schools break up for Xmas*
Thu 21st Dec         Winter Solstice
Sun 24th Dec        Xmas Eve
Mon 25th Dec        Xmas Day
Tue 26th Dec        Boxing Day
Sun 31st Dec        New Year’s Eve
Mon 1st Jan        New Year’s Day
Tue 2nd Jan        New school term begins*
Sat 6th Jan        FA Cup Third Round weekend

If you are just starting up in business you will be looking at getting a stationery pack together. In my view the most important item is a business card and here are the reasons why:

• Professional stationery makes you look like a professional business. It is what people expect of you.

• It is an opportunity to get some information across quickly and easily. The name of your business is a must, of course, together with a contact number.

If you have social media presence (eg a Facebook page) include that too.

Have you ever wondered why so many articles, blogs, videos and newsletters feature lists?

The simple answer is because they are very popular. But why?

One of my recent blogs was titled ‘9 Top Tips to Creating a Great Advert’. Someone reading that phrase is not going to expect an in depth article delving onto the intricacies of how advertising strategies work. They expect a list of nine straight forward bite-sized ideas that they can easily take on board. Quickly.

Lists attract people because they can be read fast and may provide a simple solution or answer to a problem.

Additionally, they have the advantage of being very easy to share. This makes them ideal for marketing by email or social media. Messages that include a list in the subject line are proved to be opened more often than those without.

Despite the bitterly cold current weather, Spring is definitely on its way. I always think that it’s an ideal time for a promotion tied in with one of the many notable dates.

Here is a brief schedule of some of those coming up in the next three months:

Thu 1st March St David’s Day
Sun 11th March Mother’s Day
Fri 17th March St Patrick’s Day

I understand why a lot of people have the perception that young people don’t read these days.  However, it is simply not true, especially with regard to magazines.

The 2016/17 Magazine Media Factbook published in the United States found that 91% of Americans read magazines.  Not only that, the number rises to 94% for adults under 35 and 96% for adults under 25.

The report also found that the average person aged 18 to 25 read more than ten issues in the last month and the top 20% of that age group read more than 22 issues.

It concluded that print magazines reached more teens and young adults than the top 25 primetime TV shows and their content is trusted and more influential than that of TV, radio and the internet.

If you are still debating your New Year’s resolution, I have a suggestion for you.  Why not switch to Direct Debit payments for our services?  

You will find there are plenty of benefits when using Direct Debits:

•    It helps you spread the cost.  Rather than having to pay a large sum up front you can instead spread the payments over a period of several months.

•    Your payments are guaranteed.  Your bank will give you an immediate money back guarantee in the event of them making an error in your Direct Debit payment.  You will also receive advance notification of any changes to the payment date or amount and have the right to cancel at any time.

So that was the summer was it?  Writing this it feels like autumn already so we may as well pack the kids off to school and think about some important dates and interesting anniversaries for your promotions over the next three months:

I am always being asked for ways that small businesses can improve their marketing.  Here are five that are simple and straightforward and can help you grow your business in 2018.

1.    Keep it Local.  The further afield you go the greater the risk you run of spreading your marketing too thinly.  Local marketing keeps costs manageable and allows you to react quickly to any new localised trends or fluctuations.

2.    Access Free Marketing.  Yes, I’m talking about social media.  Every small business needs to engage with these.  It will take up some time thinking what to write but don’t forget it doesn’t cost you a penny.  Make friends on Facebook and Twitter and let them spread the word, doing your marketing for you.

Here at the Link Directories we want to help you get the most out of your advertising and we want you to place adverts that will work for you and help to bring you in new customers. But for a lot of our customers who may not have advertised before, the thought of putting an advert together can seem daunting.

So we have put together our 9 Top Tips to help get you started and to help you create a great advert…

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