It’s always fun to surprise and delight your customers. This puts a smile on your client’s face, boosts loyalty, and is fun for your employees too. Here are five ways to surprise and delight your customers with inexpensive perks.

1. Handwritten thank you note.

Email and social media have all but killed the handwritten thank you note. So when you send yours to your top customers, it will really stand out.

2. Promotional items.

Promotional items are frequently handed out at trade shows, but they can be used in other settings too. These are items where your logo is typically imprinted and you purchase them in quantity. Items that are useful and popular include coffee mugs, t-shirts, fidget spinners, screen cleaners, webcam covers, key chains, notepads, calendars, and more.

Choose an item that is similar to or a reminder of your business or product. An IT consultant might choose a screen cleaner, while an accountant might choose a piggy bank.

3. Coupon bag.

If your business is located in a shopping mall or office building with other businesses around, go door to door and ask for coupons that you can put in a coupon bag to give to clients. Clients will be delighted to get a coupon for the dry cleaners, florist, and hair salon in your center no matter what type of business you’re in.

4. Random prize.

If your business has a stream of clients coming in a physical store or a virtual one, you can award prizes randomly to customers. If customers are grouped together as in a classroom or lecture hall, it’s easy – you can hold a drawing for a prize. Or you can select a random number and the customer assigned that number wins a prize.

Choose a prize from one of your services or products, or give something away that’s universal and “hot,” such as an Amazon Echo Dot.

5. Free samples.

The cosmetics industry has been giving away free samples and gifts with certain purchases for decades. Grocery stores often have free samples of food at a little booth staffed by a host at the end of an aisle. You might be able to apply this idea to your business with a little bit of creativity.

Think of how you can “sample” your service or product and package it up in a free gift or sample. If you offer a service, you may have to get extra creative. A consultant can offer a book that’s related to the service offered, a spa can have healthy treats while clients wait, and a divorce attorney can offer stress balls or fidget spinners.

With customer service declining in many businesses, try these five things to wow your customers and set your business apart.

If you haven’t looked recently, there is a whole new world out there designed for our convenience. One of these conveniences is food delivery. This industry has changed so much that it deserves a fresh look.

No longer do you need to go out for lunch if you are having a busy day or just need to stay in the office for any reason. You can simply order lunch on your cell phone, and it will be delivered approximately 45 minutes later to your door.

There’s an app for that

It used to be that you could only get pizza or Chinese food delivered, but those days are over. Some restaurants will deliver directly, but there is an easier way. Food delivery apps such as GrubHub will let you order from hundreds of different restaurants in your area while they send a driver to collect it and deliver it to your door.

How much will it cost me?

First, ask yourself how much you are worth per hour to your company. Or, if you will get home earlier because you don’t have to go out for lunch, ask yourself what the value of spending more time at home or with your family is worth to you.

Besides the cost of food, you’ll pay a delivery fee of $0 to $5 and a tip for the driver. When you factor in the cost of your time, gasoline, and wear and tear on your vehicle, using a food delivery company is a no-brainer. Not only will you be helping yourself, you’ll be helping a hard-working driver, too.

What are my options?

The specific options in your location will vary, but some of the companies that are offering food delivery services include:

  • GrubHub and Seamless
  • DoorDash
  • Eat24
  • Postmates
  • Caviar
  • UberEats
  • Delivery.com
  • Amazon Prime Now

All you need to do is download the app, set up an account, choose a restaurant, and order your food. You can also order from your PC or Mac using a browser and visiting their website.

Try these food delivery apps, and while you’re at it, treat the entire office to a meal.

One of the most important success factors of small businesses is the ability to generate revenue, and to do that, most businesses need to market their services and products to bring in new customers and sales. The challenge for small business is how to make their marketing dollars work the hardest, and this requires careful tracking and measurement. Here’s one way to get started tracking your marketing spending so that you can find out what’s paying back the most.

List your sources of revenue

First, determine where your sales are coming from by making a list of all the ways you are currently attracting customers. Here are a few:

  • Website via search
  • Social media
  • Google ads
  • Referrals from existing customers
  • Ad in a local magazine
  • Article or Newsletters
  • Board membership on local nonprofit
  • Chamber of Commerce membership and participation

Track your expenses by source or method

Once you have your list, it’s time to look to your accounting system. Create an account for marketing expenses in your chart of accounts to track expenses for these marketing methods.  Sort them by the payee to review totals for each category.  If you need our help, please feel free to reach out.

The goal of this step is to be able to get all costs associated with each of these marketing methods so that you have a total cost over time by method. Don’t forget labor: if an employee spends three hours a week updating your social media accounts, this should be included in your costs.

Determine the source of your sales

To the extent you can, match the sales that come in with the marketing source or method. In other words, if a customer knows you from the Chamber and spends $500 with you, match the $500 revenue with the Chamber marketing source. Do this for every sale you can. If you don’t know or can’t attribute the sale to any one method, then code it to an Unknown tracking code or account.

This step can be difficult, depending on your business type, especially if your customers are anonymous, as in retail or restaurant sales. However, every business can do better by asking “how did you find out about us?” to each new client that comes in and recording that answer.

For online sales, you can use tracking apps such as Google Analytics to help you measure digital marketing methods.

Do the best you can on this step, and implement procedures to capture this information as accurately as possible for future sales.

Analyze and adjust

This is the fun part. Once you’ve done all the hard work, you should be able to match sales to costs and determine the volume of sales that are coming in for each marketing method. Let’s say you found out that you are getting no sales from your nonprofit board membership, the newsletters articles, and social media. You now have some decisions to make.

If you are doing these things solely for the purpose of marketing, you could cut them out and focus on the remaining methods. It could also mean that you need to redo your social media strategy; it’s not working now, but another strategy might. Or just one article or newsletter is not enough, but three articles could start paying off.

At any rate, you have far more information than you did before you started, and now you can make smarter decisions about your marketing. If we can help you code and crunch all of these numbers, please reach out any time.

Learn How Revenues Are Transactional with Rhonda Rosand, CPA and QuickBooks® Pro Advisor of New Business Directions, LLC. If you want to create more revenues within your business you just need to create more transactions! New Business Directions, LLC specializes in QuickBooks® set up, clean up, consulting and training services, coaching small…

The Mt. Washington Valley Economic Council

FALL 2018 

QuickBooks® Desktop Boot Camps

with Rhonda Rosand, CPA – Advanced Certified QuickBooks® ProAdvisor

 

Session #1 QuickBooks® Set Up – Do It Right the First Time

 Tuesday, October 2nd, 2018, 9 AM -11 AM

Whether you are starting from scratch or starting over, there is a right way and several wrong ways to set up a QuickBooks® file.  Learn how to do it right the first time. 

Avoid some of the common mistakes we see people make.

QuickBooks® Solutions

Accounts and Items

Users and Permissions

Customers/Jobs/Vendors

Class Tracking

Common Pitfalls

 

Session #2 Customizing Forms and Templates and QuickBooks® Reports

Tuesday, October 16th, 2018, 9 AM – 11 AM

Learn how to customize forms and templates and create QuickBooks® reports that are useful management tools for your business.  Understand the difference between profits and cash.

Customize Forms and Templates

QuickBooks Reports

Revenue Planning

Cash Flow Management

 

Session #3 Accountants Only…

Tuesday, October 23rd, 2018, 9 AM-NOON

This is a session designed exclusively for tax preparers, enrolled agents and accountants.  We will cover advanced level topics to help you streamline the process and best practices for troubleshooting your client QuickBooks® file during this busy tax season.

What’s New in QuickBooks® 2019

In Product Demonstration of Features

Client Data Review and Accountant Toolbox

Common Issues and Troubleshooting

Hosting Platforms

3rd Applications

 

Courses are $35 each and held in the Community Room at Granite State College-Conway.

To register call Susie at (603) 447-6622 or email susie@mwvec.com