From the March 2004 issue of Entrepreneur

Saschah Bianchin and Barton Liang make almost every day a special experience for their Salon Liv clients. This luxurious Chicago salon offers more than your typical cut, color and style. They created "Liv the Experience," an event held every Thursday night for their clients to come in, drink champagne and have their makeup refreshed for a night on the town. "We have champagne and strawberries-they just love it. It's different," says Bianchin, 28.

Bianchin and Liang also offer Liv Express, an everyday service for working professionals who want a quick cut, style and head massage in 60 minutes or less. "We want them to have an experience to remember," says Liang, 34. "They feel special."

Making special events part of your everyday business routine can help you bring in new clients and also keep things fresh for existing clients. It certainly worked for Salon Liv, which expects sales in the $1 million range this year. And be mindful-it doesn't have to be a huge, break-the-bank event, says Marley Majcher, party planner and founder of The Party Goddess! Inc. in Pasadena, California: "Special events can be any kind of little something."

The possibilities for your daily or weekly special events are endless. You can start small by sending a special gift package to your clients. Even small gestures add an air of excitement for both you and your customers.

To get the wheels turning about your special event, consider what your clients have in common. What are they interested in? If you own a dog-walking business, throw a monthly dog-walking party, and invite all your clients out for a fun stroll in a local park. Ask clients to bring their favorite dog treats to spark conversation for the group. If you have a catering business, ask clients to a cookie-tasting to help you pick your new dessert offering. It takes just a few minutes of their time but stays in their memory when it's time to choose a caterer. "So much of it is just jumping in," says Majcher. "Just do something. Inevitably, when you're thinking of stuff, it sparks another idea."