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194.

Become the High-Value, High-Price Provider

Let your competitors fight over the pennies while you slip off with the dollars. Customers are willing to pay more for perceived value. They don't buy designer clothes because they're going to last longer; they buy them as a status symbol. Find a way to set yourself apart from the competition by offering better customer service, better image, better packaging, a green advantage, a good citizen image, etc.

195.

Focus on the Cash Cows

It's easy to waste time and on things that offer very little return. In other words, don't lose a $600 sale with a 50 percent profit margin to a $12 T-shirt.

I learned this the hard way when I had a vintage airplane ride business. We found that we spent a ton of time fussing with our T-shirt inventory--having them designed, finding printers, keeping all the sizes in stock, and so on. That time would have been much more productively spent marketing our $600 WWII airplane rides.

196.

Develop Strategic Alliances or Joint Marketing Relationships with Larger Companies, Customers, Distributors and Even Competitors

A truly symbiotic relationship will result in higher productivity levels for both of you. For example, if you have a new iPhone add-on, approach an established provider about distributing it for you. If you sell shopping services to house-bound adults, join forces with someone who offers reliable home repairs.

197.

Expand Your Business

Think about offering new products to the same customers, or the same products to new customers, or new products to new customers--and think about it in that order. The least-risky, highest-payoff opportunities generally lie in doing business with your existing customer base.