90 Days to Success Marketing and Advertising Your Small Business

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Regardless of the industry they are in, small business owners need to attract new business. 90 DAYS TO SUCCESS MARKETING AND ADVERTISING YOUR SMALL BUSINESS is designed to educate small business owners on the various forms of advertising that are ...
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Regardless of the industry they are in, small business owners need to attract new business. 90 DAYS TO SUCCESS MARKETING AND ADVERTISING YOUR SMALL BUSINESS is designed to educate small business owners on the various forms of advertising that are available today, help them identify which forms are appropriate for their business and customer base, and how to develop marketing and advertising strategies with quantifiable (and highly profitable!) results. The book provides a blueprint for a successful, fiscally-sound marketing and advertising campaign that will yield profitable results for any small business within just 90 days. With this book and some common sense, you'll be able to make marketing decisions that can help your business weather the tough times and grow to new heights.

From the Author: Top Ten Marketing Tips

  1. Answer the Phone 
    No matter how much effective advertising you have, it all goes to waste if you do not have a live person answering the phone. People may leave messages, but rest assured they're calling your competition. A live answer will let the sales process begin.

  2. Have a Website 
    Some companies choose not to have a website because of the cost. While some businesses will need a high-end site to thrive, a low-budget website should be used as a minimum as an online business card.

  3. Be Listed in the Yellow Pages 
    Being listed in your local directories creates a sense of legitimacy with your clientele. Even if you choose not to advertise there heavily, be sure to take advantage of your free or low-cost listings.

  4. Solicit Your Existing Customer Base 
    Assuming you've left your customers satisfied, be sure to include them in mailings, e-mails, or any other form of direct marketing you use. This will ensure their loyalty and promote referrals.

  5. Identify Your Most Desirable Customers 
    Knowing the demographics of your top customers will help you market to the right kind of audience. Even if you do business with most of the general public, it's still important to skew your message to your most favorable clients.

  6. Use Continuity in Your Ads 
    You may advertise in the newspaper, online, the radio, and more, but be sure to have some continuity throughout your ads. Whether it's a color scheme, tagline, or even offers, you will brand your business most effectively in this way.

  7. Keep Your Business Name on Air at All Times 
    When choosing to run a radio or television commercial, keep your name out there as often as possible, no matter how awkward it may seem. You have to invest a good amount of money to make these mediums effective, so make sure the public isn't left wondering who the commercial was for.

  8. Negotiate and Use Other Mediums as Leverage 
    Just as you do with your suppliers, use your advertising rates with other mediums to negotiate with other advertising sales reps. They'll repeat the features and benefits for some time but eventually their best pricing will be uncovered.

  9. Offer Coupons 
    Coupons are simply one of the most effective ways to call your clients to action and to track the effectiveness of your marketing strategies. Whether you circulate a coupon, make a dated offer, or simply announce a sale, these strategies will deliver immediate results. Don't be afraid of "cheapening" your product or service; the wealthy consumers respond better than most to these tactics.

  10. Never Stop Advertising 
    Business couldn't be better and you're busy as can be. Keep it that way by continually marketing your product or service to replace customer attrition and to keep your business top of mind with your existing clientele.

Top Ten Marketing Mistakes

  1. "Meeting or Beating" Your Competition 
    This tactic not only ensures your competition the first shot at doing business with your client, it also ensures you will be the lowest-paid company in your industry. Making aggressive offers is great, but encouraging competition will leave you in the dust.
  2. Weak Offers 
    5% off a $5 lunch isn't worth the effort of raising your scissors. $50 off a $4000 painting job isn't going to inspire your customer base. You're wasting your advertising dollar if you are not making aggressive offers.
  3. Free Advertising 
    Free advertising can play a small part in your marketing strategy, but it's not going to deliver any groundbreaking results. If these free venues were effective, someone would have already monetized them and figured out a way to charge you...
  4. Bad Business Name 
    "AAAA Anything" may get you listed first but there is no chance you will be able to brand your product. Also, avoid buzz words like "Best" or "#1" or "Discount"--these are not memorable and have been done thousands of times. Lastly, initials and abbreviations have been proven time and time again as having difficult rates of recollection.
  5. Blowing Money on Logos or Ad Design 
    On a local level, your ad's message and offer is more important than its design or your company's logo. Instead of spending tens of thousands of dollars with an agency, reinvest with additional reach and mediums.
  6. "Trying Out" a Medium 
    If you tiptoe into a medium, it will fail and you will write off its effectiveness. "Trying out" radio or television with ten commercials run over a month simply will not work.
  7. Rotating your Billboards 
    Your billboard rep will tell you to move your billboards around to reach more people. This is false. They want you to move your ad to clean out their old or unpaid inventory. Keep your billboard in one place, for more than a month, and your branding will be more effective.
  8. Being a Jack of All Trades 
    Many businesses, namely contractors, want to put every service under the sun in their advertisements. If someone is looking for a roofer, they will look for a company that does roofing. They will not look through the overstuffed ad and call the roofer who has also listed painting, foundations, cleanouts, new construction, pool installations, and twenty other services.
  9. Focusing on Branding Only 
    Elegant magazine ads, simplistic billboards, and hours of commercials can be great tools to brand your business, but you will not find success if you do not call your customers to action with offers. Also, leaving out directional advertising such as yellow pages and online directories will make it nearly impossible for your potential customers to reach you.
  10. Stop Advertising 
    Business couldn't be better and you're busy as can be. You pull all of your advertising to pocket even more of your profits but your clientele slowly dwindles. New buyers to the area don't know about you while old clients either move or are swayed by the competition. It's okay to trim the fat, but keep your message out there.

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