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  • Thinking of starting a new business? Where do you start? And once you get started,

  • how do you make it a success?

  • Welcome to The Knowledge -- a series of helpful videos offering free advice from business

  • people who've been there...and done it.

  • Marketing your business is one of the hardest mysteries to untangle -- here to shed some

  • light is small business operator Bonnie Tuttle; Master Painters Association CEO, Mark Amos;

  • and entrepreneur Troy Trewin.

  • Your business is ready to go...but how important is it to know your customers?

  • Bonnie: It's imperative to know your customers. Without your customers you don't have a business.

  • Mark: Try and spend a little bit of time finding out a little bit out about who your potential

  • customer is going to be before you actually do the quote.

  • Troy: If you don't know your customers and what they like, and even them personally,

  • their experience won't be the best that it can be.

  • So how do you find out what your customers want?

  • Bonnie: You need to ask. Always ask. Ask. Ask. Ask.

  • Troy: You can ask them in several forms. Informally, in conversation or you can send out, for example,

  • online surveys.

  • Why would a customer choose your business over a competitor?

  • Bonnie: We're a local business and we promote that as one of our differentiators. People

  • like that and they've told us that they prefer to hire someone who's local and not part of

  • a franchise.

  • Mark: Providing quality work and quality service.

  • Troy: ...and having a really strong customer service ethic and policy, responding quickly,

  • builds up that momentum with that, with your customers.

  • And how well do you understand the journey a customer takes?

  • Bonnie: As we do talk to our customers along the way

  • Troy: Going in to a new business or a new market, what we will do is study the competitors,

  • of course, and look at the products and what's out there. So we actually step through the

  • process of being one of their customers and understanding that first.

  • There are so many media options available...so how do you choose what best suits your marketing needs?

  • Bonnie: We're quite informal so we can do a lot of face-to-face networking, hanging

  • out at barbeques, going and meeting people at school events.

  • Mark: Actually identify what your market is and then advertise to that market.

  • Troy: Swot up on marketing, read some great marketing books, talk to other entrepreneurs,

  • talk to your mentor, maybe get a marketing mentor because marketing is such an important

  • part of your business. Get a marketing mentor and ask them what sort of mediums you can

  • be using to get your customers to come in.

Thinking of starting a new business? Where do you start? And once you get started,

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The Knowledge - Understanding your customers

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    Penny posted on 2013/07/10
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