Monday, April 14, 2008

How Was Your First Quarter?

In case you hadn't noticed, the first quarter of 2008 is over. That's right; one fourth of the year has already passed. We are well into the second quarter.

While the first quarter can be a good indicator of how the rest of your year will be, it really depends on the nature of your business. The key is to start the assessment now. Don't wait until the end of the year to start measuring how well business did.

If you had a tough time in the first quarter, it may be a good time to adjust your strategies. With a failing economy and the distraction of the presidential election, entrepreneurs must get creative to engage consumers. People are not easily spending money these days, so you have to come up with some unique concepts.

The words "free", "discount", "sale", and "special" are especially important these days to use in your marketing campaigns. Make people feel that they are getting a bargain.

Also, now is a good time to enhance your people skills. In a time of uncertainty, consumers are more likely to do business with people they know and trust. So, stay in contact with your potential customers - as well as your existing customers. Make them feel comfortable with you as a seller or service provider.

If the first quarter was good for you, it may be a good time to figure out how to keep the momentum going. Don't assume that the rest of the year will yield the same results. Continue to be proactive.

Whatever you did to create success, you must learn how to duplicate that over and over again. Sometimes a good idea can go stale. This means you have to learn to reinvent your ideas. Use the same ideas, but with a different twist.

In addition, learn how to up sell your customers. If you were able to generate significant revenue from a customer base in the first quarter, you should be able to do this again with the same customers in the second through fourth quarters. Find out what they need and want, and give it to them. Create customer loyalty. Remember that 75% of revenue from the average company is based on return customers.

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