How to promote your small business
Keeping a small business going can be extremely hard. Many businesses fail in the first year of operation and others die soon thereafter. It is difficult to keep going when you have little capital and you have no reputation. How can you possibly attract investors to a venture that has no history and little behind it? There is no safety net. Many people who run small businesses feel constant stress because they never know when something is going to come along and take their small business from them. A competitor could ruing everything.
A small shift in the economy might destroy a business overnight. Given these obvious difficulties, how can you help your small business grow? One of the best answers to this question is promotion. Obviously you cannot attract investors unless the business has some success, but you won't get any success unless you really promote the business to customers. Many people are unaware of all the ways to promote their businesses. They think it consists of just running an ad in the local paper. You need to know that there are lots of ways to promote a small business. Getting your business name out there in as many ways as possible will lead to better promotion and better business. When business starts to boom you can attract investors and potentially expand. So what are the best methods for promoting your small business?
- Word of mouth. This is an excellent method but it is slow and difficult. Once word of mouth starts you will see a quick upswing in business. One way to do this is to start the word of mouth yourself. Talk about your business and see if you can get friends and family to talk about it as well.
- Mail. Sending letters or advertisements to local customers or members of the community can be a great way to spread the word. Try including coupons or advertising some sort of deal.
- The yellow pages. When people look for a service they will pick up the yellow pages and find any business that will get it done. In this way you might gain a bit of an edge over your competitors who are more established.
- Newspapers and billboards. These are good methods and a billboard can be free. Make sure you generate some sort of attractive advertisment. People will be drawn to your add as much as to what you do.
- Car advertising. While many people are fairly annoyed by advertisments placed on their cars, you might be able to catch someone's eye.
- TV advertising. Many people don't realize that if they advertise on cable television stations it might not cost as much as with a major network. Obviously you might not be able to do this during primetime, but a good television commercial could help.
- Customers. Your customers will be one of your best sources for promotion. This is obviously the case with word of mouth, but it can work in other way as well. For example, offer your customers some sort of a deal if they can bring a new customer with them.
- There are hundreds of methods you could use to promote your small business. Don't just settle for one method. Try several and see which ones are most effective. Be creative and come up with methods that might work well for your particular area. Some areas will have better methods than others. The point is to diversify and to experiment. A dynamic promotion plan will definitely help your small business.