|Small Business Guide - Small Business Resources
(Add to Favorites | View All Articles | Resource Directory)
Competing without a corporate-sized advertising budget
Breaking The Chains!
Everyday, customers and business owners are bombarded with billboards, logos, print and electronic ads from huge corporations. With annual ad budgets that are more than our businesses' SALES in an entire year, our small independent businesses are getting squeezed out of consumers minds (and wallets) more and more each year. But the good news is, there are ways to fight back and "break the chains":
The Internet is one place where, compared to print and other forms of electronic media, the playing field is relatively level. A website filled with loads of great content will be loved by the search engines like Google and Yahoo!, and because of that, customers that may not even know where you are can find you and buy online. If you own a retail store, start an e-store. If you own a restaurant or a service-related business, offer a gift certificate or printable coupon. Starting a mailing list on your website with the latest news, events and special offers is a great way to get (and keep) loyal, regular customers. The options are endless, and best of all, content is the Internet king, not slick, flashy, repetitive advertising. If you aren't comfortable with all things Internet, there are many companies that are, and can help you with web design, web hosting, search engine optimization, and web marketing.
"Strength in Numbers" is more than a catchy phrase, it is becoming a necessity in our current business climate. Trade organizations can purchase products together to get better rates and buys, they can advertise together with direct mail coupons and newsletters (another big money saver), and they carry more political clout by appointing representatives to call on state legislatures or even Congress in order to promote legislation favorable to small independent businesses. If your area doesn't have a trade organization, or does but you feel it doesn't meet your needs, start one! The National Federation of Independent Business is a great resource with representatives in all fifty states and Washington D.C.
Advertising is not cheap, because the prices that the large corporations are willing to pay for it have priced it out of the reach of most small businesses. This is not necessarily a bad thing; let them have all of the cold, impersonal, beat you over the head repetitive advertising! People only care about this on Super Bowl Sunday anyway! Always go for the personal touch. If you own a restaurant or retail store, introduce yourself. Let them know you appreciate them coming by, and you can't wait to see them again. Always offer coupons or incentives, and be as unique, creative and memorable as you possibly can. Remember that "word of mouth" advertising is so great you can't put a price tag on it. Put yourself in the customers shoes, and stay there! Don't ever do what you want; do what they want. Don't just market your business, market yourself. It leaves an impression, and with the sorry state of customer service today in most (chain) businesses, people won't forget it!
Remember, you are an independent business because you wanted to do something new or different, so promote yourself accordingly. Here's to you "breaking the chains" and becoming successful with your chosen endeavor.
Jason Gober is the owner and founder of Independent Business Online (http://www.myibol.com & http://www.shopindies.biz), providing web design, hosting and web directory resources to independent businesses. He can be reached anytime at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Feel free to reprint and distribute any articles from Independent Business Online in their entirety, including email and website links.
News provided by Yahoo! News and Google News
Investors leading surge on small-biz loans - Insurance News Net
Small business advice: What to know (and do) about Obama’s cybersecurity proposals
LCC Small Business Center to hold program on starting a non-profit organization
'Small Business Basics Series' begins in March
Small-business analysis shows gender differences in credit management
SurePayroll Small Business Scorecard(R): Small Businesses on the Hunt for New Hires
Fla. lawmakers propose small biz sales tax holiday - First Coast News
Judge tells American Express it can't bully small biz - Crain's New York Business
Decline of small business hurts recovery, jobs growth
Getting City Contracts; Local Government Contracting
All cities have a purchasing office and/or a procurement officer. They handle all city contracts that are sent out to bid.
Mobile Pressure Washing and City Contracts
Many mobile pressure-washing companies turn to government contacts to make money. It is very easy to acquire such municipal contracts for cleaning, as the government needs some cleaning up.
Small Business Vendors; Getting the Best Service
If you are a small business you know that you must rely on your vendors to make sure you have everything your customers need. Lack of vendor support can lead to upset customers or even loss of your business.
The Types of Skip Trace Accounts
First, we need to define the different kinds of skip trace. There are three basic types of skip trace accounts, they are:The Typo AccountThis account is really not a skip trace account.
Window Cleaning Business Case Study
How do window cleaning franchise businesses start? It is a fascinating case study indeed, as most all window cleaning businesses start from such humble beginnings; a bucket of water, a sharp entrepreneur and a quality squeegee. I never thought in a million years I would ever enter the Window Washing Industry.
Cost Effective Franchise Regulations, Come again
The Franchise Group at the Federal Trade Commission in all their ego and glory has proclaimed that franchise disclosure laws are "Cost Effective." I hate to break it to the FTC, but your comments and court are completely naked.
SBAs 8(a) Program Can Help Some Companies Compete
Q: A friend told me that as a woman of Native American descent I might be eligible for a special SBA program that will help me start a small business. He said I could compete for government contracts through this program.
Successfully Adding a Service To Your Business
There will come a time in your business where you feel ready to add another service offering. To make this successful, there are ten tips to consider before moving ahead.
Secrets to Washing Fleets of Trucks from a Nationwide Fleet Washing Service
Washing the exterior of a truck. Sounds easy right? Well, it's not really.
Take a Break - Have a Pity Party
Pity parties are nothing new. In fact, we do it all the time and I'm guessing that you probably go to many.
Small Businesses - How to establish branding without spending a fortune
When we speak of branding most of the time people try to relate it to big business house, however, the fact is that every business needs to establish their brand in order to survive the competition. This is nothing new; experts and management gurus had been preaching the same sermon for years now but what they have not told is why you need to brand your small business? How is branding going to help you to establish your business? How can you establish your brand without spending a fortune on it?You might be having a very small business but would you like your client to perceive your business as a small time entrepreneurial effort? Definitely not, and your business cards, letterheads and other marketing collaterals does just that.
Pet Grooming Business
Do you like animals? Would you like to work for yourself? Pet grooming could be the career for you.A grooming business is more than just washing dogs.
Why is My Restaurant Not Full Every Monday Night?
In a quest for customers and to keep those customers, restaurants are now compelled to develop a marketing plan. Marketing plans are a crucial component for anyone who has the desire to make their restaurant a success.
Franchisor; Ongoing Support and Ideas
Ongoing support for a franchise system is omnipotent. A major part of any family relationship is communication.
Outsourcing your PR may be more affordable than you think
Small businesses need Public Relations, possibly more than large corporations, to put them on the map. If you consider that time is money, however, you may find that handling your own public relations is a daunting task and not necessarily worth the monetary savings.
Top Ten Tips for Leveraging Conferences for Big SUCCESS!
As I am preparing for my attendance to the CoachVille's Third Annual Coaching Conference, I have been considering how I can make the most of my conference attendance. These ten tips will support you in leveraging those conference you will attend in the future and for creating an unforgettable experience!1.
Buying a Franchise
Buying a franchise is not for everyone. This guide will help you evaluate whether buying a franchise is right for you.
Job Costing - Do You Know How?
What's your job profitability? I meet with business owners every day that are unsure of their profitability at a company or job level. They "think" they are making money because they have a few dollars in their checking account.
How to Get Maximum Results With Minimum Effort
Get maximum results with minimum effort. Sounds great doesn't it? The key is leverage.
A Business Tail: Veterinarian Foams at Mouth, Chases Tail, Learns New Tricks--Case Study
Many self employed professionals find themselves overwhelmed, frustrated, and confused when it comes to running their businesses. The deep skills they have in their professional field do little to prepare them for the dog-eat-dog world of running a business.
|Home | Site Map | Privacy Statement | More Articles|