We all want our business to be profitable. In order to increase our sales / income, we all have to advertise our business. With competitions being tight, it’s hard to differentiate our business from our competition especially for small businesses.
I’ve had a business before and still want to pursue it. It’s fun and stimulates me. I always think of ways to close a deal. Here are some of the ways I observed to be effective. Some of which I’ve done before and will do in the near future (when I get back to my business):
1. Print Advertisement. Forget the yellow pages and newspapers, what I’m saying is a publication that is meant solely for advertisements. These publications offer free advertisement. If there’s none in your area, find a publication that offers free or low-cost advertising. In the Philippines, there are several publications that offers just that – free ads. It’s very effective. Readers tend to keep the publications for references so it has longer shelf life.
CONS: The ads are too small, you really have to come up with a good slogan. PROS: The ads are alphabetically arranged. Keep yourself always on top so the readers will see your ads first. Ads have to be catchy but it does not have to be expensive.
2. If your business can afford it, hire someone who can work for you on-commission basis. These on-commission sales personnel will help you market your business. They will look for a prospective client, close a deal and make the sale for you. You have to comply with their orders. Before you do (hire someone), you have to set a percentage on how much they would earn if they close a sale. Make it clear.
CON: It’s just like having an employee, they need motivation. You have to come up with ways to keep them upbeat and stay focus. Example: Rewards… have quota system, if they reach beyond their quota, you can give them freebies or additional incentive. Nice! PRO: They will market the business for you. All you have to do is comply with their orders.
3. BUSINESS CARDS. Always have a business card with you. You never know who you’ll bump into. it can be someone you just rode with in a bus, train or any public transportation. That’s why I sometimes eavesdrop at someone else’s conversation (don’t tell anyone…Shhhh!). And then, smile whenever I hear something funny… then, bam! A prospective client… ha! It only takes a smile. As the scouts motto, always be prepared! Besides, it makes you look professional.
4. Always include your name, address, contact details in all your emails, faxes, etc. Friends and families are your number one prospective clients so it wouldn’t hurt to put your address when sending an email to them.
5. Put a signboard outside your establishment. It’s a lot easier to remember. Passers-by can easily identify your business and will then tell others about it.
6. Free Ads Site. Like i said, free ads… internet has come a long way. There are so many free ads sites to choose from. These sites will definitely help you out if you want to be competitive and global. Maximize the power of the internet. Take advantage of it.
7. Always smile. Be friendly. This always make repeat sale. Being a friend will definitely make your clients or prospective clients comfortable with you and will tell you exactly what they want and need. You will then comply, satisfy their demand and make a sale! Yessss! Never go out of the public without smiling. (not in a creepy way please!)
8. Always, always, always, do your best. Your business reflects your personality, style and attitude. If you’ve done a good job, chances are, they will transact with you again. Existing and recurrent clients are the best clients.
These are just some of the ways I’ve come up with. A little gesture will go a long way. It wouldn’t hurt to try. These are all easy and pretty much free and practical ways to market your business. I hope that helps!