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by Kellee Gabel, The Web Professional, Inc.

Have you ever heard the expression “a bird in the hand is worth 2 in the bush?” This philosophy has served me well throughout many areas of my life.

My reason for asking you is this: We all know that business we already have is a great source for more business and for gaining referrals, right? In my humble opinion, however, this can also be seen as taking the business and loyalty of our customers for granted.

In business, are you doing all that you can to be on par with your competitors? I’m not talking about competitive pricing. Only you know how much you must charge to compete and profit in your market. What I am talking about is, are you out there making sure your customers remember it’s you they’ve relied upon in the past and that you’re still ready for and desirous of their business.

At the moment, I have before me a list of prospects, and it occurred to me that many of these businesses that don’t have websites or Facebook pages or LinkedIn profiles or blogs are those who’ve been around for a long time and have relied on recurring business from past customers.

In many instances, they’re the standard go-to place for things like trophies, athletic shoes, senior pictures, boutineers and corsages, pizza joints, you know… the types of businesses just around the corner… the ones we rely upon pretty regularly in our daily lives.

But what happens when Bright and Shiny Company B arrives on the scene? One might think, there’s no way Bright and Shiny Company B is going to steal Mr. Trophy Man’s business of 40 years. Mr. Trophy Man’s been fulfilling the local sports team trophy orders, and coach has Mr. Trophy Man’s number in his play book.

In reality, new businesses usually come out of the gate loaded for bear. Starting from scratch, means spreading a sales and marketing budget as far as possible. Online is affordable and goes far. Bright and Shiny Company B knows they need to make the most of their dollars. So, first they get a website and post pages on social media sites, and then they start listing themselves in directories like Google Places and Merchant Circle, and start advertising on the radio, “visit our website, www.brightandshinycob…”

Wait, Mr. Trophy Man doesn’t need to do all these things? He’s been on the same corner and has been serving the same groups for years. There’s no way Bright and Shiny Company B is going to get any of Mr. Trophy’s business.

Oh, sure they will. When the individual tasked with fulfilling the trophy order this year forgets his notes, the first thing he’s going to do is pick up his smart phone and look up trophies. Guess whose listing is going to come up in Google Places or in the search engines? That’s right, Bright and Shiny Company B.

So the moral of the story is, a bird in the hand can fly away. Get out there, and keep old customers in the know about your business, and maybe give new ones an easy way to find you too.

All business names and web addresses mentioned above are fictitious and are not meant to depict real people or business entities.

If you need help with marketing your business online, The Web Professional, Inc. is available to assist you.  In fact, we’ve been helping businesses achieve online marketing success for over 11 years.  888-614-7776