Every business needs to advertise to survive, or at least to get started. Getting your name out into the open and into the public view is essential for gaining leads that turn into sales. For small businesses especially, without a past history or strong branding to rely on, a smart marketing mix with powerful promotions is practically a necessity.
With the vast myriad of advertising options available, the opportunities can be overwhelming at first: Online ads, billboards, local print pieces, value pack coupons, direct mailers, postcards, letters, brochures, trifolds, school programs, affiliates, newspapers, social networking, cold calls, flyers, and more all represent different tools available for a small business to use. Rather than work out the intricate details, the best tips for small business advertising involve perspective and strategy.
Free Is Key
It may seem obvious, yet many fail to develop the insight or boldness necessary to take full advantage of the simple fact that if a method exists to advertise for free, you should probably take advantage of it. Contact local television stations about “bulletin board”-type announcements, perform Google searches for online free offers for printing postcards and business cards, make phone calls, and generally use your innate creativity to consider how you can raise business awareness in your area. One effective component of a modern-day marketing mix is to have Facebook and Twitter accounts for your organization, and to use them appropriately with a website and blog.
There is a reason that salesmen (and saleswomen) positions still exist, despite being thought of as obsolete even with the advent of the telephone: Face-to-face interaction provides a much greater chance of success than a cold call over the phone. With flyers or other materials in hand, take an investment of time to go door-to-door in strip malls and other commercial districts to see if other businesses will display your materials. In a local area, especially one where you already have connections or a positive rapport, you may be surprised to find that many places will freely display your materials without hesitation. This also provides a unique chance to discover new networking opportunities, or even get in touch with key vendors.
Some small businesses feel as though they do not have enough clout to be able to determine pricing and deals from their suppliers and other contacts. However, every operation should keep in mind that their dollars spent, even if seemingly insignificant, are still dollars that could go elsewhere. Whether requesting a few dollars off a print ad insertion, or wrangling for another spot on the radio, or convincing a large office supply chain that your annual budget deserves a corporate account in order to access steep discounts, small business owners should not be afraid to firmly negotiate with representatives.
Entrepreneurship can be an arduous, difficult, frustrating, time-consuming experience. However, it can definitely also be remarkably thrilling and deeply rewarding. With the right marketing arsenal prepared, a small business owner can be on his or her way to success.