Lately, I’ve had a lot of conversations with business owners about where the biggest bang for their buck is when it comes to advertising their business. Since it seems to be a common theme this month, I thought you might be interested in it as well.
The first question I always ask is how quickly do you need to drive business to your door? If the answer is. “Right now – I’ve got no customers!” that sends us down this kind of a path:
- Get out do some cold calling. Go knock on doors, meet people, tell them what you do and where to find you.
- Ask your network for referrals to your business. You’d be amazed what simply asking will do for your business.
- Radio – Find at least 1 station you can afford and buy it. Try to get as much frequency as you can afford. If you can’t afford much, buy 1 week bursts (1 week on, 2 weeks off). If money’s tight look for a radio auction you can participate in that will allow you to donate your goods or services for radio advertising.
- If you can’t afford radio, consider online advertising. You can limit the people who see the ad nicely and control your costs, while maximizing the viewing by your target audience.
- As a long term strategy – consider social media. They won’t return business quickly but if you start now, 3-9 months down the line you’ll have business coming in because of them.
If the answer is, “I’ve got a steady stream and I’m OK for right now, but I want to make sure I’ve got a pipeline for the future.” Congratulations, you’ve got the luxury of branding possibilities:
- Social Media – Facebook and Twitter are powerful, open accounts and spend some time and money making them consistent, interesting, and cultivate relationships.
- Radio Branding – Put together a branding commercial that will keep your business top-of-mind for the listener.
- Television – If you’ve got the money, television is a powerful brand builder. But take the time and spend the money to make the television commercial better than “local direct.”
- Online – buy some small amount of online advertising to showcase your business. It’s really quite affordable at Google or Facebook and you’ll see nice results because of it.
It’s a tough position to be, limited budgets, finite time, and the overwhelming need for your business to be a success. But it’s not a position you alone find yourself in…almost every small business owner finds the same set of demands. These strategies will help you to navigate those demands – successfully.