Market and Price

Ideas for Promoting Your Small Business

Promoting your business is the key to success, but it can be confusing to new business owners. Advertising is the main way to promote your business, but advertising alone doesn’t always lead to runaway success. Here are some easy ways to promote your business outside of advertising.

1. Show your existing customers that you appreciate them.
Making your customers feel important and appreciated can encourage repeat business. Start by saying thank you in person, on receipts and invoices, and with mailers or surveys. Say thank you by offering a free gift with their purchase, such as T-shirts, key chains or pens. Gifts with your logo or business name keep your company in your customer’s mind while also showing your customers how much you value them. Offering additional products or services for free with purchase can also say thank you without breaking the bank.

2. Get the word out to potential customers.
Attract customers to your place of business by holding demonstrations of your product or services both outside your physical store (if you have one) or at trade shows or local events. Get the word out on the internet by creating a website, but don’t forget to feature your web address on business cards, letterheads and mailers. Newsletters are also a great way to show your knowledge of your field and feature new products or services.

3. Be an expert in your field.
One possibility for exposure is to write an article for a trade journal. You can then include copies of the article with other promotional materials or mail it out to your customers to show that you are an expert in your field. Consider holding seminars on your product type or services to share your knowledge with other businesses in your area. Just remember to schedule any seminars well in advance, market them, and follow up with attendees.

4. Get involved in your community.
Research local events in your area such as design or culinary contests, holiday events, or charitable events. Think about where your product or service will fit into these local events. For example, cooking competitions are great ways for restaurants or cookware stores to showcase their products. Are you a member of your local Chamber of Commerce? Consider joining to get your name out to community leaders. Your business can also get exposure in your local community by donating to charitable causes. Many organizations are in need of a wide range of consumer products as well as professional service time. For example, if you have a meeting facility, consider hosting a charitable event. Remember, volunteers are potential customers too.

5. Offer specials or coupons on your products or services.
Coupons can be an effective way of encouraging repeat business, but remember that to be the most effective, the price break on coupons should be at least 15%. However, while discounts and specials may bring new customers through the door, discount buyers don’t always become repeat customers, so make sure and monitor the results of your coupons.

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