An extract from my second book, Power Climb: Growing Your Small Business which was published in 2012.
Keeping in touch with clients is important, particularly now in the current economic climate when competitors may be cutting back. You may choose to do this perhaps by regular mailings or newsletters, there are always opportunities to keep in touch.
There are always seasonal events that give you the chance to stay in touch, such as summer competitions/etc.
An example of this from my own business is Christmas cards. It may be another area where people are thinking about cutting back, however there are good business reasons for sending these:
1) Maintaining client contact is very important.
2) There are other alternatives such as electronic cards, however in a digital world there is still a place for real paper cards and they do stand out.
3) For ourselves, December and January are the two busiest months of the year. We specially arrange our workload so that we are able to take on new clients at this time of year, when other accountants may be turning people away, so being visible is important.
When you consider the benefits, the cost of the cards and postage is very affordable and justified. We commissioned our own card last year, and it was a very easy process.
One of the options would have been to include my signature printed on the hundreds of cards we sent out, however I chose to sign each one by hand as I think it is important.
In recent years I have seen companies send an e-card with a note that they are going to make a donation to charity instead. Rather than choose this route, I sent paper cards and also made a charitable donation.
Our Christmas card is somewhat unusual when compared to the normal cards people receive…I choose the image of a business jet in the snow as it has several relevant meanings, ranging from the fact that we help clients businesses take off to the fact that I have been a qualified private pilot since 2000.