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15 Tips Small and Midsize Companies Can Use to Cut Costs and Maximize Marketing
Steve Thompson, and Celene Adams  

1.Ask your clients in what ways you can most be of help to them, and consider operational and marketing changes on the basis of the information they give you. 

2.Ask your clients for testimonials and referrals.

3.Create a task force from employees across the company to create ways to accommodate the need to cut costs.

4.Ask employees how they can apply their skills to areas of business you need to focus on now. You may find ways not only to retain your existing staff but also to create new products and cross-selling opportunities.

5.Ask yourself before making job cuts if there are opportunities for employees to adjust their schedules, job-share or take leaves of absence in order to keep everyone employed.

6.Register with local agencies to participate in community projects, such as local food drives.

7.Create your own community project, such as a five-mile run for charity.

8.Sponsor an artistic or community event.

9.Network by attending Chamber of Commerce and industry association meetings. Also attend association meetings outside your industry; even though you may not generate direct leads from attending, members may know others who need your services.

10.Keep in touch with your bank manager and your business and tax attorneys. Good relations with your professional advisors may help you when you need help most. 

11.Renew relationships with dormant customers by writing them handwritten notes, making a quick phone call or even inviting them to lunch.

12.Cut advertising directed solely at creating your companyís image and create a positive reputation by participating in community events and retaining staff. For instance, if you want to be known for your allegiance to environmental issues, donít just say so in your marketing; get involved in a beach or street clean up. 

13.Ask clients which magazines they read and write articles for publication in those magazines. Or write a column for a trade publication in your industry. You can also create an Internet blog and/or a podcast, and post articles about your companyís activities on your web site and/or on social networking sites to increase exposure to potential clients. E-mail newsletters are less popular these days, but if you tailor them to your clients they may be appreciated. If writing is a challenge for you, consult a ghostwriter or a public relations firm for help.

14.Give a free or low-cost seminar in which you invite existing and potential clients.

15.Create joint-ventures. Find colleagues, business associates and other companies whose businesses complement yours and do joint promotions. 

Steve Thompson is President of Aspen Risk Management Group. Contact Steve at: 619-294-9863, or via the Web at: www.aspenrmg.com

Celene Adams is a San Diego-based freelance writer.  Contact Celene at www.celeneadams.com, or 619-825-6062