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2012-10-04

-- Bandera Business Association -- Elements of a good marketing plan

BBA

It is amazing how many people open a business and are successful right away - or they appear to be. The most successful businesses have a good marketing plan; others survive by the seat of their pants.

In previous articles, we talked about curb appeal - what people see when they walk or drive by your store.

Sometimes we get complacent and overlook the obvious and just accept what we see everyday. It wouldn't hurt to walk outside, cross the street and just stare at your store.

Update, update - and continually make changes that grab curiosity.

Does the name of your business use a logo? If not, contact a graphic artist to design a logo for use in all of your advertising, letterhead, sign and business cards, everything that will help spread the word about your business. Every time you put your company name in print, use the logo. All of these things are basic but critical if you want to move to the next step.

Local advertising is a must. Make sure everyone knows about you and can find information about your store in local papers. To track responses, insert a coupon for store specials in the paper. Encourage people to look for a new coupon weekly in your ads.

Get involved in the community activities at the schools and in local events. Sponsoring a charity event will let local people know you support the community. This will make them more willing to shop locally.

Get a webpage. If you don't have a one, you're not in business. It doesn't have to be elaborate, but should cover all the bases. It's amazing how many local businesses open a website and forget to include their phone number. Be sure to list every way possible way for the customers to reach you - and that includes local and 800 numbers.

Be a good ambassador to the community. The Bandera Convention and Visitor's Bureau (CVB) distributes a sheet listing all weekly activities in Bandera. Make sure all of your personnel know where the CVB is located so they can share information with your shoppers. Also, keep updated CVB handouts at your store.

Come up with your own event and call the CVB at 830-796-3045. They'll include it on the calendar, too!
Also, remember that networking can make a difference, so join the Bandera Business Association.

For membership information, call President Margaret Paradee at 830-796-3616.