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For Small Businesses, Creativity is King

Probably the last piece of advice you would expect from a by-the-numbers accountant such as yours truly would be this: get more creative in your business! But over the years, I have seen it pay off time and again for my clients.

With your customers or clients, here is my motto: give them everything they expect, and then give them something more. The first part is easy to understand—always deliver goods and services that live up to what your clients would expect from an outfit such as yours. But to distinguish yourself from your competition, provide them with a little something extra that sets you apart or makes you more memorable.

This is where creativity comes in. Let’s say, for example, you operate a small veterinary practice. You treat the animal, they go home, and that is the end of the interaction, usually. But what if, a few days later, you called them to see how their pet is doing? They will probably be surprised to discover that you haven’t forgotten about them and you hope everything is working out for them. Next time they need veterinary services, or have a friend who needs it, they are more likely to remember you and refer you more business.

This is just one example, and you will have to generate some ideas for your business. Get creative, but don’t get grandiose. You can make an impact without spending a lot of money, as in the above example. (Spoken like a true accountant!) The things that customers remember most are great service, great value, and knowing that the person they are dealing with genuinely cares.  —Beth A. Marsh, CEO

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