As I write this, the Senate has passed their version of the tax reform bill, and now we wait for the final version of the bill. But here’s the big number:
Apparently, Congress thinks it can enact a dramatic overhaul of the law, adding substantial new legislation governing pass-through businesses and multinational corporations, in only four weeks without leaving behind glaring loopholes and opportunities for (legal) manipulation.
I’m licking my chops.
And all on your behalf, as a friend of First Tax Relief.
The process isn’t yet finished (it needs to go through the “reconciliation” process, and the President needs to sign it), but we have some basic ideas about what’s to come for 2018.
I’ll do a deeper dive in subsequent weeks, and I’m excited about the possibilities for you, and for your Cleveland business.
But speaking of sharing, and getting the word out there … let’s change gears, shall we?
Build A Brand In Cleveland And Do It Well
“There are no strangers here; Only friends you haven’t yet met.” -William Butler Yeats
Unfortunately, many Cleveland small businesses brainlessly ape big corporations with their marketing, by (wrongly) believing that “if these huge companies built their businesses by that kind of marketing, then it surely should work for us.” Build the brand, they say.
The thinking behind that kind of marketing is that you “get your name out there”, and the clients and customers will pour in. “It’s all about word of mouth,” they say.
Well, if you choose to go down this road, far better is real word-of-mouth advertising, and there is a single, basic secret to stimulating a high rate of it. And we can all take a page from the fine folks at Disney….
Word-of-mouth marketing is taught there as “find ways to do what you do so well and so uniquely that your customers cannot resist telling lots of other people about you.” At the Disney Parks, this principle is implemented in the forms of cleanliness and authenticity.
When first-time visitors to Disneyland and Disney World are surveyed and asked what sticks in their mind most about their visit, the overwhelming, number-one answer is the cleanliness of the parks. The number two answer is the authenticity of the environments.
Disney marketing pros understand how this translates into real life. Tom and Sally go back to Peoria and tell their friends, “You can’t believe how clean the parks were.”
Then four more families from Peoria pile into motor homes and bring their family (and their money) to the home of the Mouse.
Because they understand this, the Disney people think of park cleanliness as marketing, not just maintenance. They use this to stimulate referrals.
And any Cleveland business can also find ways to stimulate referrals, to stimulate word-of-mouth advertising, often by doing things that should be done anyway.
In a retail business, excellence and creativity in the store environment and in customer service are most likely to stimulate referrals. You can identify hundreds of different things to change in the office or store environment, as well as customer communications, which can be directly responsible for developing a very high level of word-of-mouth advertising.
And that will beat “brand-building” every time.
Feel very free to forward this article to a Cleveland business associate or client you know who could benefit from our assistance — or simply send them our way? While these particular articles usually relate to business strategy, as you know, we specialize in tax preparation and planning for Cleveland families and business owners. And we always make room for referrals from trusted sources like you.
First Tax Relief