Owners use customer service, on-site services and networking to grow business

vbridges@newsobserver.comJune 30, 2014 

Shop Talk reporter Virginia Bridges asked small-business owners what’s been the single most important thing they’ve done to build their business. This is what they said.

• “(Built) a premium, customer-oriented service that could easily differentiate us from every competitor in our industry sector,” said Robert Keefer, CEO and owner of Now Hear This, a Raleigh-based audiology and hearing clinic. “And then crafted all of our marketing messages around that operating philosophy.”

• “The single most important thing I have done to grow my business is to donate my services to worth (while) causes throughout the Triangle,” said Terry Walser, president of TriMetro Security Services, a security guard and patrol company in Wake Forest.

• “Continual and regular contact with qualified prospects,” said Rufus B. Langley, president of the Apex-based Corporate Benefits and Individual Health Insurance Sales. “Follow up and introducing new and relevant ideas to their needs.”

• “Working on-site of companies that I contacted either directly or through one of my five benchmarking groups. … I worked at a very reasonable fee, with very little overhead,” said Rick Habegger, principal consultant at HR Strategies & Solutions, a staff augmentation company in Apex. “It is a very simple process. Work hard and do not bill high. I have made as much as $1.3 million in one year. Not bad for working above your garage. This led to other work that ultimately led to placing short-term staff on site.”

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