We want to share YOUR good ideas:

What have you done recently from a marketing or cost-cutting standpoint to improve your bottom line? And, would you be willing to share your ideas with our readers?

If so, please e-mail your comments to us at:

Here are the first tips from our readers:


Meanwhile, here are some tips from us you business owners can use - and you can use these principles at home, too.

How to THRIVE when the economy DIVES
Jan. 16, 2009

Layoffs, budget cuts . . .the economy is struggling.

And yet . .some people are still spending money. Most people are still employed.

What we really fear is the unknown and there are some uncertainties for everyone these days.

What we can control is how we react to circumstances. In every adversity there is opportunity . .to learn, to grow.

If you're involved in business - that includes most of us, in one way or another - here are some techniques to use in a down economy. They're low-cost. . .as in no-cost! Put these in place and you'll survive tough times. In good times, you'll thrive!

What's more, you can practice these principles in your family life , too.

Visit with your existing customers

  • You are much more likely to get repeat business from them than you are from someone you have labeled as a prospective customer.
  • It will cost you more to reach new customers than it will to stay in contact with existing ones.
  • Contact your existing customers and tell them that you're thinking about them. Ask them how things are going.

People are more interested in themselves than they are in you. This is especially true when times are tough.
  • Ask questions that will bring emotional responses.
  • Emotion makes people buy.
  • Being genuinely interested in your customer helps you develop a relationship that will live on after a sale.
Focus on creating opportunity
Be careful about what you watch and listen to . .and about how you talk to your customers.
  • If you expect a disaster, your mind will look for ways to make it happen.
  • If you expect success, your mind will look for ways to make THAT happen!
  • It's your choice!

Show concerned persistence
  • If you have a prospective customer, don't give up on them until you have asked them to buy, over time, at least three times.
  • Write them a note, or ask them when you see them what would make them buy. You're asking a legitimate question. If the response is honest, you both may learn from it.
Expand your knowledge!
  • Position yourself in your community as an expert in your product or service area.
  • Customers need more help than ever in making good decisions. It's a maze out there!
  • Be proud of your role as trusted professional your customers can rely on.
Do more than they expect
  • They have purchased from you, and now you deliver, above and beyond.
  • Provide a level and quality of service that no one else can.
  • They chose you. Make them really glad!

Ask them: Who else?
  • Who else could really benefit from your products and services? Ask them.
  • People want to help other people. If they really liked what you did for them, they'll refer you to friends, relatives and neighbors!

About Keith "LeRoy" Brake -
I can help you to develop your marketing strategies, whether you're a one-person operation . .or much larger. I can help you write and edit publications, media releases and marketing material. I can assist you in developing media relations.

Visit with me today . .there is no charge for the initial consultation - I want to be sure that I can help you before starting a project!

Keith Brake
321 East Main Street
P.O. Box 87
Montezuma, IA 50171
Phone: (641) 623-3333


Feb. 22 - What steps have helped your bottom line?
Feb. 24 - Great principles to do business by
Feb. 24 - Don't pull your ads during down times

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