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While it is common to assume that a company’s growth is based on selling the perfect product at the right time, there is often more to it than that. In fact, there are several secrets that entrepreneurs should know about in hoping to expand their business. Here are some of the most effective ways to build a strong and thriving market presence.

Hire and reward success-oriented employees.

Avoid hiring people who just want to earn a paycheck. Look for the ambitious employees who desire to make a difference in the company and in their own lives. People who continually raise the bar and expect solid results from themselves and others tend to be the most dedicated and hard-working employees in the business. Recognize superior performance and offer employee incentives to develop a strong, cohesive employee team effort.

Emphasize customer service.

Many organizations focus their resources on capturing a bigger share of the market. However, experts suggest that it is even more important for a company to ensure customer satisfaction through surveys and questionnaires, prompt attention to questions or complaints, and loyalty initiatives that encourage repeat purchases. Word of mouth recommendations to friends and relatives makes a stronger impact than any other type of marketing strategy. Conversely, a dissatisfied customer may end up complaining on average to 20 people, potentially costing the company those additional customers or prospects.

Embrace technology.

Like it or hate it, technology is here to stay. In the professional realms, the Internet plays a valuable role in establishing a dynamic presence through a website, blogging, or networking. Using these tools is neither difficult nor time-consuming if you manage your schedule wisely. You can hire a college student or technology intern to update the website and use SEO techniques to bring visitors to the site and possibly become customers. Social media like Twitter, Facebook, and Linked In is a valuable resource in promoting the company’s news and initiatives.

Get involved in the community.

Join local civic groups like the chamber of commerce or Rotary. Make a presentation at a local high school or community college. Participate in business events like meet-and-greets or trade expo’s. The more that people get to know you and trust you as a local expert in your line of work, the likelier they will be to do business.

These friendly secrets require minimal time and cost. Start growing your business today, using these tips.