Ref: Daily reader 16 July 2007 OFA Newsletter If youâ€™re a business owner, you have probably felt frustration accompanying expensive new marketing techniques. You want to increase your profits, but you need to spend more to do so, right? In â€œHow to Get Customers for Next to Nothing,â€ Bob Negen of WhizBang! Training presented methods to help avoid this trap. Business owners need new, inexpensive ways to attract customers, and Negenâ€™s presentation on Sunday offered a variety of suggestions. Negen spoke of four key marketing concepts. These were the cost of acquiring a customer, knowing the lifetime value of a customer, the idea of breaking even on the front end but breaking the bank on the back end, and the role of reciprocity. Keeping these concepts in mind, some suggestions for attracting customers were offered, such as using gift certificates. These can be a valuable marketing tool, but donâ€™t forget that you donâ€™t pay for the new customer until he or she actually visits the store! Gift certificates are also great to give to your best customers, either in person, through network groups or in endorsed mailings, as a may to show you value their business. Endorsed mailings can help gain new customers as well. Identify business partners in your area and send their customers a â€œthank youâ€ of one of your gift certificated along with a letter from the other business. This is a mutually beneficial way to gain and keep customers for both enterprises. Donâ€™t forget to track the number of people who use these gift certificated and the average sales amount. Picking a charity to work with is another way to gain customers. Send gift certificated to members or to a time-specific event. Working with a charity presents a great opportunity for publicity. Finally, make a comprehensive plan. Try to determine qhat you will do and how much money you expect to make from each endeavor. More customers will be arriving soon!