Valley First

Growing your business by working the business beat

Growing your business by working the business beat

Angela Brown – Assistant Vice-President, Marketing

In business, referrals and word of mouth recommendations are huge. For many business owners, there’s no better way to create buzz than by going old school—getting out and telling people who you are and what you do. Hitting the local business beat can drive feet through your front door.

People have to know about your business, what you do and, increasingly, how you are involved in the community. This is where your contacts can help.

Network, network, network
Networking and growing a business network are essential to any business owner. However, networking is more than just handing out business cards and making cold calls. It’s about establishing meaningful, mutual relationships.

A terrific place to start is by joining your local chamber of commerce, business association or service club. You'll grow your network and expand your reach, and even if everyone you meet doesn't become a customer right away, they may need your services in the future, or be a great source of referrals.

Do good things in your community
Sponsor a charitable cause, look for ways to volunteer, or partner with an established activity or event. Get your employees involved, too. It really does make you feel good to support your community, and everyone benefits — you, your team, your customers, the people you sponsor and, of course, the community at large.

Being present in the community will also help advance the visibility of your company. People will associate you with a good cause and that often translates into a favourable view of your business.

Be genuine and build loyalty
The best advertising is a referral from someone who's been satisfied with or supportive of your products, services or company. Even if you’re not making a sale, make sure you treat everyone like a valued customer. You never know when they may become a client or who they will talk to about your business.

Angela Brown is a marketing expert with more than 25 years marketing experience. She has worked with many organizations—large and small—and in the past owned and operated her own marketing and PR agency.


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