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Fast Forward Your Marketing Efforts

Read these tips to get your marketing efforts started today.

1. Hold a contest. Generate excitement by creating a time-sensitive contest related to your business.

2. Sponsor a survey or poll. What do mothers want most for Mother's Day? What is the favorite car color of buyers in your area? If you can conduct a survey or poll and find out the answers, it could be news. Just pick an interesting question that relates to your businesses and survey your customers. Issue your findings in a press release--the media often love this light view of human nature.

3. Create a great giveaway. Come up with a must-have T-shirt or a fantastic gift-with-purchase. Choose something that's useful to your customer base--for instance, a construction company may have tape measurers printed with its logo.

4. Helpful hints. Create tip sheets or how-to instructions for your clients. Own a housecleaning business? Share your 10 best stain-removing "secrets" with your customers.

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