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Wyoming Business Tips for May 3-May 9

April 28, 2009

A weekly look at Wyoming business questions from the Wyoming Small Business Development Center, part of WyomingEntrepreneur.Biz a collection of business assistance programs at the University of Wyoming.

By Jeremy Wilch, business counselor

""Where do I look for new customers who will fuel my growth and bolster stagnant sales?" Jim, Evanston

Business owners grow accustomed to searching for new business within the traditional markets that have always supported industry.

For example, if an owner sells car parts he likely looks to automotive dealers, car repair shops and the like when it comes to finding customers. A caterer will often associate with wedding planners, hotels and other event-based organizations as a means to locate new business. These traditional customer bases are vital to any business, and marketing services to a target audience should be a crucial component of a marketing plan.

However, in the current economic climate, more businesses are finding it necessary to solicit additional business to pump up sales or replace existing customers that have either stopped consuming or changed purchasing trends for one reason or another.

The question becomes: "Where do I look for new customers?" The answer is to look for new customers in non traditional places.

We at WyomingEntrepreneur.Biz offer assistance with many areas of business, including marketing, sales and helping owners to tap into new markets. A powerful tool for finding a niche in a non traditional market is the DODGE Construction Report.

A publication of McGraw-Hill, the DODGE Report offers a weekly list of all commercial construction projects of a certain type and size or within a geographic area. This service is normally quite expensive, but we make this information available to our clients at no charge.

Many, if not all businesses, can find a non traditional market for their product or service by reviewing the information in this free report and then contacting the likely customers to match product with need. Businesses far removed from the traditional construction industry have found success in marketing their business to the projects located on the DODGE Report.

For example, an owner who sells artwork can find a cornucopia of office buildings on the DODGE Report, most of which will require artwork for their foyers and lobbies.
An owner who sells cleaning services can create a list of projects that may have overlooked this essential phase of the project in the initial planning. There is limitless possibility for matching product/service with needs through this weekly listing of the active projects throughout the region.

If you believe your business may benefit from having access to a valuable list of consumers from the region, contact a local Small Business Development Center or visit the Web site The DODGE Report, available to most businesses, includes continuous support and customization of search criteria.

And remember, when it comes time to increase customer base, think of the potential customers outside the traditional markets. We are happy to help.

A blog version of this article and an opportunity to post comments is available at

The WSBDC is a partnership of the U.S. Small Business Administration, the Wyoming Business Council and the University of Wyoming. To ask a question, call 1-800-348-5194, e-mail or write 1000 E. University Ave., Dept. 3922, Laramie, WY 82071-3922.



Posted on Tuesday, April 28, 2009

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