When I was twenty-three, I had what I believed was a good business idea. I was going to offer a speech coaching service as I had managed to overcome a speech impediment and believed that the techniques which had helped me could help other people as well.
It is all well and good having an idea but if no one knows about the service you are offering, it is basically worthless. I had no real business experience and was unsure on how to proceed. By reading a number of books on marketing for small businesses, I managed to find some potential routes which could help me to get started.
This was one of the first areas I tried. I had a small leaflet produced which explained the speech coaching service that I was offering and then with the help of some friends and family, went around my local area delivering them. This was not as successful as I hoped it would be, however I am sure that this area of marketing could work well for other types of business.
I then decided to speculate to accumulate. I contacted a number of the local newspapers in my area and paid for an advertisment which would appear on a weekly basis. This advert would reach quite a large number of people and even though this was quite an expensive form of marketing, it did work for me in the early days.
I wanted to expand the area that I was going to offer my services. I decided to hold an open day or presentation in various parts of the country which would help to promote my business.
This was successful as newspapers were happy to report this open day free of charge, as it was a local event which would be of interest to their readers.
I advertised in the yellow pages for a number of years but their prices just seemed to increase to an unrealistic level. More and more people now have access to the internet and I believe this is where they are more likely to search for the services they require. Yellow pages or as it is now called Yell, has become more expensive when in reality probably less people are using it.
Advertising in the yellow pages did prove successful for me for a number of years however, and is certainly an area of marketing which could work for other small businesses.
I paid a company to design and build me a website around seven years ago and this has by far been the best marketing investment I have made thus far. I have worked hard to promote this site and it is now doing well in the major search engines.
Radio and television marketing
This is an area of marketing which I have not tried as yet as it is very expensive. I have heard from other sources that advertising on the radio or television can be very beneficial for certain businesses, if they can afford the initial outlay.
I am sure there are many other ways of marketing a small business and I will seek them out in the future for my own business.
The above ideas are what I have learnt about and as you may have read, I have tried some of them myself with mixed success. Every business is obviously different and it is basically a form of trial and error to find which ones will work.
- Social media steals the marketing spotlight(basekit.com)