The best ways to market your business offline
It may seem easy to remember to promote your business online. After all, you're probably online a good portion of the day already, and it's practically second nature to do things online, that promote your business. However, small business owners who are savvy in the Web world tend to forget is that there was a whole world of business happening, before the Internet, ever made its way through the office doors. Although online promotion is important for your business, it's crucial to remember to go back to your basics, and do offline promoting as well locally, nationwide, and worldwide depending on whom you are marketing to. Here are some of the best ways to market your business offline-
- Don't be afraid to talk about your business-This is one of the best and most inexpensive ways, to market your business locally. Using word of mouth, information spreads fast and this can be beneficial for small business owners who are trying to gain new clients, and increase their popularity. Do not pass up a chance to talk to people who you run into at your local coffee shop, supermarket or library, and tell them a little bit about your business offerings in a casual way. You will often find that, (if done right and subtly), this is a great way to gain new clients in your area.
- Networking with other small businesses-One of the best ways to market your business is join forces with other small companies like your own. This is especially helpful in pooling resources that can be scarce, for up and coming businesses. You can network in a number of ways including but not limited to: attending Chamber of Commerce events, networking events, volunteering at high visibility non-profits, in a high visibility position, church memberships, and anything else that will get you face to face with people. Another great way to network is by joining a business alliance. They often hold weekly lunch meetings and spotlight one individual for each business.Check within community to see what type of business alliance is offered.
- Advertise in free and local papers-Many times small business owners overlook free papers, and simply give outs. However as the economy becomes more difficult many people are searching for businesses, using these type of publications. It is important to take advantage of free local magazines/newspapers that are available in your vicinity. Keep in mind that you will most likely have to pay to have an ad placed in these periodicals, but the good news is that large numbers of individuals will read the items since they are free.
- Hang up flyers and posters around town-Although it can seem quite juvenile, hanging up flyers and posters in strategic locations actually works. Many small business owners report receiving lots of business, after using this tactic. Sometimes you can receive calls from something as simply as hanging a poster in your local library. Other places that you could consider hanging up your flyers or posters include but are not limited to: supermarkets, malls, social clubs and business centers. It is important to make sure that you are allowed to hang up your flyer, before you hang it up. Keep in mind that most companies require a signature from the office manager before a poster or flyer can be hung up.
- Keep old contacts-Another great way to spread the news about your business is to stay in contact with past businesses that you worked for as an employee. You want to make sure to let them know what you are up to, should they or anyone they know, need your product or service. This is just another form of networking that can help you spread the word about your business.