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The Sew What’s New Archive

This archived content is from Mary Wilkins’ sewing and quilting message board “Sew What’s New,” which was retired in August 2007. It is being provided by “Sew What’s Up,” which serves as the new home for many members of “Sew What’s New.”
From: blanken6
Date: 11-10-2004, 03:05 AM (1 of 6)
I thought I would run this by you ladies before I tried it? I have just started my business so of coarse it is slow going, but I thought if I told my existing customers that for every new client they recomended me to and use my services that I would give them $10 back, up to $100. That is 10 new clients per person, it kind of bites me in the back side in the begining, especially if I get low paying jobs. But as those people tell people then I could build up a real base. I just don't know if I am missing something in this? I do know that I don't know how to end it when I do finally get enough clients? Just not tell them? Any thoughts? Thanks ladies!
Proverbs 31:10-31
User: blanken6
Member since: 08-11-2004
Total posts: 41
From: dmoses
Date: 11-10-2004, 08:13 AM (2 of 6)
Maybe you could use a coupon system,(e.g. coupon is for first-time customers...maybe 10% off, and the person who refers them could get a percentage back, as well). So, you would give this coupon to existing customers to give to a friend...and if that friend uses the coupon, they would both receive something back. That way, you can end it when you are ready. :smile:
Take care,
User: dmoses
Member since: 02-22-2002
Total posts: 964
From: Pudge99
Date: 11-10-2004, 10:10 AM (3 of 6)
I would never just give them ten bucks. Offer a discount on their next purchase. A percentage works better than a set dollar amount. People will often spend more to save more. Think about when you get your coupon for 20% off your entire purchase at Joann. Most of us buy more than we would say if they offered a $5.00 coupon.
This is my opinion as a consumer. Of course I would rather have the ten bucks but if you want me to come back, the discount is more of an incentive.
Pictures of my successes and failures
Pfaff 2040
Janome Mylock 134D
Singer Futura CE-100 w/ Autopunch
Husqvarna Viking 3D Sketch
User: Pudge99
Member since: 10-30-2001
Total posts: 1375
From: Linda in Colorado
Date: 11-10-2004, 12:29 PM (4 of 6)
How about trying this -- give each person one of your business cards when they pick up their item. On the back of the card write this (or have a rubber stamp made): "When you return this card you will receive a (5%) (10%) ($ amount) discount on your first order and (name of current client) will receive a referral bonus."

The referral bonus could be a percentage discount, a dollar amount discount or whatever you think will pull for you.

My discount to first-time customers is 5%. And my referral bonus is a card offering $1.00 off a future order. My customers can use those dollar cards one at a time, or save them up and redeem several at once.

Be sure to encourage your current clients to pass your card along to friends and family. It works!
User: Linda in Colorado
Member since: 03-27-2000
Total posts: 102
From: blanken6
Date: 11-11-2004, 03:33 AM (5 of 6)
I like the card idea especially. When used that way, I wouldn't have to keep track of who recieved what and how many times. Plus, I can end it any time by not putting it on the back. The percentage idea sounds good also (except than I would have to do math? :bolt:). It makes sense with trying to get more customers on top of my original; I have had a lot of one time customers (costumes, party dresses and such). I suppose I could offer an either or type of system upon request? Ooo...that helps so much everyone, Thanks!
Proverbs 31:10-31
User: blanken6
Member since: 08-11-2004
Total posts: 41
From: paroper
Date: 11-11-2004, 08:53 AM (6 of 6)
If you want to go above a dollar, I rather like the percent off idea. 10% is only 5 dollars off of 50. That wouldn't be nearly as bad as 10 dollars off 50. That way if the job is simple, you won't be working for free. If you end up doing a $300 wedding, it ends up being $30. In the beginning, the money comes in slowly, but it really shouldn't take too long to get the word out. Be sure and take a hand full of cards to your local fabric stores. A lot of them have scrapbooks, bulletin boards or "posts" where they "stick" cards for seamstresses. You may want to occasionally go back to vist and add cards. Some restaurants, convience stores and small grocrey stores will also post cards. You probably walk by these every day and don't notice because you aren't looking for them. Keep some on you at all times. I've given out cards while waiting for car repair. Your local self-service laundrymat is a WONDERFUL place to collect business esp. repair/hemming business. I used to keep a tear off sheet at ours and change it about every 10-14 days. I would post cards there too. Drop some off at the cleaners. They usually do repairs, but sometimes will have customers that they will refer. When I got started, I called all the schools within several miles, starting with the grade schools. I got the names of the band teachers, pom sponsors, pep club sponsors, vocal music teachers and drama teachers. To each of these teachers I sent a brief letter introducing myself as a member of the community. I gave my sewing experience and told them that I would like to be considered for custom sewing. Along with the letters, I sent tear off sheets with my information (for bulletin board) and business cards hopefully to be given out to the students. If you like to do alterations, check at local bridal shops. If you know any wedding planners, leave some cards with them too. Make sure that your kids' teachers and school secretaries know you are sewing. You'll be amazed at the number of people you may get there. Look for other seamstresses and link with them. You may get some referral from them. I have also helped other seamstresses when they are too busy. (If you work with them though, you need to be willing to show your work so they don't have a problem referring their business to you...their reputation is on the line.) If it were me, the only cards I would give out with discount possibilities would be those that came to me directly. Some of these sources will call years after you made your initial post.

Bernina 200e, Artista V5 Designer Plus, Explorations, Magic Box, Bernina 2000DE & 335 Bernette Serger, Bernina 1530 Sewing Machine, Bernina 1300 DC Overlock (with coverstitch)
User: paroper
Member since: 02-03-2004
Total posts: 3775
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