Ask Entrepreneur - Marketing

How can a dental office attract new patients?

I work in a dental office. We advertise and send cards for every occasion, but we are looking for additional unique ways to attract new patients.

What kind of discount should you give a distributor who buys your line of apparel?

We have a line of accessories, and a distributor wants to buy a medium-volume order. Should we give him a better discount than we give our retailers and, if so, how much?

Should we raise our prices or maintain our existing prices in this economy?

My wife and I have been running a food business (crepes) for seven months. We started with a penetration pricing strategy, setting the crepes' price below that of other competitors to gain market share. It worked because we were still profitable. But with the economy worsening, the price of ingredients is also soaring. We raised the price while still keeping it below our competitors' prices, but we are in survival mode because the profit is very thin. If we raise the price again then our price will be the same as our competitors, but our market share is still far from what we expected. What should we do? Raise it again or hold on ?

I just started a customer service consulting firm. What's the best way to get customers?

I looked into purchasing a mailing list. I need names of people who are in charge of operations.

How do I determine a price for my patented billiard product?

My product is called The Laser Rack. It incorporates laser technology into a billiard rack to allow for visible confirmation that the rack is perfectly aligned. I have received a lot of positive feedback from pros as well as amateurs. My dilemma is setting the price.

How would you define marketing?

I am doing a project for school and one of the reqirements is to develop my own definition of marketing based on five to six different definitions from different sources. How you would define the word "marketing"?

How do I go about achieving local news coverage for my company?

I own and operate a seasonal lighting company that decorates people's homes at Christmas time. I believe that publicity from the local TV stations or newspapers could help my business boom this season! However, I can't figure out how they would find me. Should I contact them or hope they stumble upon my business?

Can a 501C corporation advertise in public places and newsprint to attract new members?

We are a golf/country club with 501C status. We feel we can attract members if we advertise our club in local newspapers. Is this legal?

What other ways can I advertise my business on a nonexistent budget?

I have been advertising by: word of mouth, by free directories online, via e-mail signature that links to my website, through Myspace, LinkedIn, Facebook and even Craigslist.

What kind of events would help promote my new business, and how do I find them?

I recently started a business preparing and selling homemade dog food.

How can I jump-start my business in this economy?

My partner a I have a service bureau business specializing in document management services for the legal community. For 14 years we've had a steady business--until now. We are at a loss for what we can do next; we've exhusted all of our resources to keep sales coming in, but it hasn't worked.

How do I market to wealthy individuals?

We prepare and deliver healthy gourmet meals that are customized to people's diets. How do I market this to the wealthy class without spending a fortune?

How can I persuade clients to renew their web hosting subscriptions?

I run a web hosting company. Some of my clients' one-year contracts will end in October. I plan to send them a letter asking them to renew their subscriptions and need advice about what to say.

Can I buy a kit to guide our company through the corporate identity process?

Our family-owned company needs to consolidate its image and rebrand. Before we consult an image specialist, we want to develop cohesive positioning. Can I buy a roadmap-type product for the initial internal diagnosis?


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