How to communicate your new direction to customers.
Picture this: For years your photo processing business has been turning a nice little profit. You’ve got a loyal clientele and business is moving ahead with the regularity of a one-hour photo machine pumping out prints. Then, in a flash, digital photography goes mainstream and everything changes.
WHO: Mitch Goldstone, co-owner of 30 Minute Photos Etc.
WHAT: 30 Minute Photos Etc. is a photo-processing business that has had to reinvent itself as technology advances the industry. Recently, the shop added ShoeboxReprints.com to its business, using a super-high-speed Kodak print scanner originally designed for banks.
BEST ENTREPRENEUR MOMENT:
When he and partner Carl Berman launched 30minphotos.com the retailer’s online boutique photo service. At first, orders were coming in slowly and only from local customers. But gradually, business came in from all over the country, including leaders in entertainment and politics even Gov. Schwarzenegger.
Later this month, Mitch Goldstone, president of 30 Minute Photos Etc. in Irvine, will address attendees at the Photo Marketing Association’s International Convention and Trade Show. His talk will focus on a new digital-photo service his Kodak shop launched this past November one he believes will spark a sea change in the photo-processing industry.
There’s a generosity to his gesture: Goldstone believes in sharing technological information with his colleagues that can help the industry as a whole. But part of the reason for his speech is also pragmatic. The local entrepreneur contends that whenever you are moving in a new direction with your business and Goldstone has been through several transitions since starting up in 1990 a key to getting your message out in the marketplace is becoming involved with your professional trade groups and industry associations.
“It’s pivotal,’” he says. “It brings you greater credibility as a company, as well as increased exposure.”
If your company is making a strategic shift whether with its overall services or with a specific product – the first point of business is making sure everyone in the company knows exactly what that shift is.
GET THE WORD OUT
- Create an effective website and post information about your new direction.
- E-mail all of your customers about your transition.
- Refer clients to your website for details.
- Send news releases to media outlets about changes in your business.
- Tell your customers to tell their friends about your business and the new services you are offering. “Just ask your customers to make referrals,” Goldstone notes. “It’s the easiest thing to do all you have to do is ask.’”
- Send out promotional materials and advertising literature with products that customers are picking up. Goldstone, for example, puts flyers in customers’ orders of photographs.
Article originally published on OCMetro.com, link no longer available