Here’s the hundred and first time you’ve heard it: it’s a tough market out there.
Small business owners are flooded with more priorities than they can handle, ranging from raising capital to streamlining processes to everything in between. Whether a function of not enough time in the day and/or limited know-how, marketing, advertising, and promotional tasks are quick to slip through the cracks. But they don’t have to.
Luckily, the following four promotional strategies require little time, know-how, or budget. What’s more, they are proven concepts that will help to increase your business’s recognition, pool of customers, and most importantly, your bottom line.
Forget the Traditional Business Card
Whether you use them to network or get your name out to the market place, guess where the majority of your business cards end up? Here’s a hint: not in front of your customers and prospects. As at least 80% of U.S. households have business card magnets on their refrigerator. You should take advantage of the opportunity and have your name and contact information stick around, literally speaking, for the long run. Of course, clever and interesting designs stand out from the crowd.
Think Outside the Box
Looking to get people talking about your business? Here are a few ideas to get you started:
- If you own a pizzeria or restaurant, *cover* your delivery vehicle with branded magnets and encourage passers-by and customers to take one and even photograph you. Little doubt word will quickly spread about the magnet covered car.
- People love discounts. If you’re a plumber, contractor, or handyman create a coupon magnet so customers will call you instead of the competitor the next time your services are needed.
- Create several editions of limited run magnet designs with your company information. You’ll be surprised how quickly people begin collecting, talking about, and trading your magnets both online and off.
Creating a Facebook account and a company blog to facilitate two-way dialogue with your customers are easy, free, and often highly productive tools for small businesses. To drive traffic and get a following include your Facebook and blog information on your business card magnets, letterhead, menus (if applicable) and all other printed materials.
Always Remember: People Love Free Things
Who doesn’t like getting free stuff? In the eyes of the small business owner, the best free item is one that has a long shelf life, is inexpensive, and useful. Think baseball schedule magnets of your local team and even calendar magnets. Simply add your contact information and company logo and you have yourself a useful, inexpensive promotional product that will be seen (not to mention used) by your customers for the foreseeable future.
Needless to say, all it takes is a bit of time and know-how for the small business owner to develop a cost effective, well thought out strategy to grow their business and bottom line, tough market or not.
About The Guest Author: Eric Warren is a client consultant for the website Magnets, a leading provider of promotional refrigerator magnets for small businesses and multinational corporations alike. Eric regularly interacts with clients in an effort to help them develop a lasting presence within their markets.