So you’ve set up a business, secured money, developed a great product and service and now it’s time to start trading. But wait! Trade is slow, customers are few and far between and you can see your business failing as costs outweigh profit. The key to correct business success, especially for start-ups, is advertising. If no one knows about your business or your brand then how can you possibly expect people to give you their money. You need to approach advertising from multiple sides, don’t just focus on one medium.
Everyone advertises, even the most successful companies in the world, companies which people know about inside and out. It’s all about brand awareness. If companies who are already known advertise, it is logical that start-ups or unknown companies need to pump even more effort into it, usually with less monetary resources.
You should start local, depending on what your business is, you need to tell the immediate population about it. Start off by distributing flyers. Again, target your audience. If your business leans towards student services then post flyers in student-heavy areas or even university accommodation, if it caters for all ages then use a widespread approach, word of mouth plays a huge part here, so target different communities and age groups to ensure your business gets spread around. Business cards are also a great asset here, you should seek to promote your business yourself, try going from door to door, or offering to speak at events and seminars, here you can hand business cards out to help with advertising and promotional activity.
Another way of snagging your immediate community, from which you’ll likely draw the majority of business, if advertising in your local paper, it’s a good start, and again, it can help you get the word out and attract potential customers. In line with this, you can write an article or two and try to get them published in local publications.After you’ve done this, you can try to become members of professional groups, if there are professional groups in your business area you should try to join them because they lend your business a sense of credibility.
Now, look at exactly what you’re offering, and target other businesses. If you offer cleaning services, for example, start targeting offices and other business areas. Targeted advertisement like this really can make the difference. This can also be done by calling prospective businesses, although this can count as cold calling if it’s done in a professional and polite way it can pay dividends.
If you use a car or transportation vehicle for your company then consider getting your logo and branding painted on the side of your vehicle. This creates brand awareness and impulse from the consumer. You should get this done professionally, so again your business is taken seriously.
You should also start sampling your product as best you can, whatever it may be. Give it to professionals and ask them for a review of your product, being endorsed by experts in your business field can draw in more custom and advertises your product at the same time.
Spend time on your website to, remember, you may sell products from your web page but the website itself is one of your strongest advertisement tools. Keep the coloring consistent with your brand and spend time on your wording, make sure it’s to the point and not overly verbose. You should also ensure your website can be accessed via phone and tablets, lots of people do their browsing via those these days. You can also make some money from your website using ads for sites. This way you can make a secondary income advertising for similar or related products.
Once you have perfected your website you can turn your head to online advertisement. It’s more complicated than advertising offline, but if done properly you can reap the rewards in terms of customer increase. First, build yourself a platform on social media. Use these pages on sites like Facebook and Twitter. Don’t try to lure people to your page with cheap tricks, instead use quality content to get them engaged. Talk about issues relevant to the service you offer to draw them in and use links to direct them back to your website. You need to publish content on social media to draw people in, but don’t over publish, be understated and professional.
Using your website as a springboard you can now start to use email marketing. Some email marketing campaigns can really drum up some great business interest so make sure you use it wisely. You should start compiling an email list as soon as possible. Use past clients’ email addresses and send them coming offers and promotions. You can also use a monthly newsletter for people to subscribe to, on this, you can tell them about what’s going on with your business and how you’re changing. Be careful to do this in a tactful way, no one wants their email inbox swamped.
Try using promotions to ramp up interest. Money off sales or special offers can bring people back to your website, you can inform people through email, social media, and traditional advertising means. Along with this, you can also offer contests, where people have to visit or site and sign up with a chance of winning something. It puts more people on your mailing list and brings people to your website.
Finally, you can investigate search engine optimization. This allows customers to find your website and services with ease. Sometimes it’s easier than others, it depends on what kind of business you’re operating, but you need to check, because if no one can find your business no one will use its services. It’s easier than you think, and many companies can help you out. It’s essentially tailoring your web page so that leading search engines pick it up when people do a search. This is why running a blog on your web page helps too, it picks more people up, just keep the blog relevant to your business at all times. With all of this done you should have drummed up enough business to keep your business running, you can increase and decrease the extent of your advertisement as required, so you’re not hemorrhaging needless amounts of cash.