Marketing Your Home Business
For new business owners, having customers find you can be one of the many challenges in getting your business off the ground. While many believe that the internet is the best way to gain market exposure, if your business is focused on one specific geographic area, going online can be unproductive. You will still want a professional website to serve as an online brochure and for some reason many people have the opinion that an online presence increases the credibility of a business.
While direct mail marketing has fallen out of favor for many businesses, it remains one of the best bargains for the money. A professionally deigned mail piece with a well written message can mean more than thousands of internet ads or emails that might be considered spam. If you are not able to design and write good copy hire someone to do it for you and then follow their suggestions.
Even your answering machine can work for you when you can not answer the phone personally. Instead of the traditional message about leaving a name, number and brief massage, add a sales pitch to your outgoing message. It can provide information to callers no matter what the time of day or night.
Press releases are often misunderstood by business owners who believe that simply sending out a press release will automatically get them mentioned in the newspaper. While most newspapers have a thick wall running between the editorial content and advertising, many times editors will read a release and see no news value and hand it to the ad department for a potential sale. In worse case situations, the press release is pitched, never seeing the light of day.
For a press release to have half a chance of making into the newspaper, it has to have some sort of news value. A promotion or an appointment of an employee is always welcome in most papers but the release has to be about the person with your company name mentioned as an ad near the bottom. Releases that talk about new, exciting products can be useful but sending out a monthly press release is generally a waste of time.
Customer referrals can go both ways, depending on their experience with your business. It has been estimated that a customer who has a good experience will tell six of their friends. A customer who has a bad experience will tell 13. The best way to get new business is to treat the customer right every time you deal with them. Even if it means losing a few bucks on a sale item, by giving them a hard time, even if they are completely wrong, it can cost a whole lot more in future business from them and their friends and family.
Obinna Heche: Los Angeles- California
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