How do I find the likes and dislikes of potential customers?

This is a very broad question. However, start by looking at the “Statistical Abstract of the United States” There are 13 section titles, do not give up because of the titles. For instance Section 7, “Parks, Recreation and Travel” once you enter this section there is a multitude of data about peoples activities, such as “Participation in the top 10 sports Activities by Sex” or the” Attendance for various Activities” or the” Number of Gun Owners”. There is a lot of information in the census reports. www.census.gov/prod/www/statistical-abstract or http://factfinder.census.gov/servlet/SAFFFacts

Can you suggest some ways to get free publicity for my business?

One type of publicity that is available is the Press Release. If you have something interesting to share about your business then a Press Release may be in order. Learn the format and the requirements of a standard Press Release from sites on the Internet. There are prototypes of acceptable styles used in the Newspaper industry. Another free publicity avenue is to offer local charities that are having an event your place of business as a registration location. The charity or event organizer will include your business’s name and location in their event publicity.

Sales in my commercial house painting business have dropped over 25% over the past two years. I have made cut backs in personnel but, I am still having cash flow problems. How can I address the cash flow problems and increase my revenue?

Review all expenditures to determine what are absolutely necessary. Continue to look at personnel cuts. It may come down to the point where you are the only employee until sales justify hiring or rehiring personnel. Start contacting prior clients and remarketing your services to them. They are your best prospects. Let them know that no project is too small. Face to face contact is best. This will give you an opportunity comment on specific problems or job opportunities. Think of your business as if you were just starting. One client at a time.

Q&A - Marketing and Sales