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It's taken a couple of years to figure out what's happening in the economy, but the picture is getting much clearer. Unfortunately, what lies ahead is a business terrain shrouded in fog.
Certainly, some sectors of the economy are growing stronger, and some regions are faring more positively than others. Yet, any overall appraisal is mixed -- at best. How can business cope with such erratic conditions?
No matter what the situation, it's still possible to attract new customers, keep present ones, and increase sales. Here are 16 practical, useful, put-them-to-work-now ideas.
1. Keep giving them a surprise. Getting attention is the key today and, amid all the clutter, it won't be easy. It's the only way to cut through the cynicism. But cute won't cut it and shocking simply sours. Be dramatic. For example, one insurance agency offered to buy small contractors the biggest steak dinner in town if they couldn't save them money on their business insurance, and this challenge made the telephone ring.
2. Get to the right person. Hitting the target …