Re: How To Advertise A Small Business?!

Postby FLATULENTFRIEND on Sat 1/Oct/11 6:35pm

northernmonkey wrote:Good old yellow pages on the interweb... thats usually my first stop when I want a tradie and don't know anyone.


Thankyou :) Great idea :thumbsup: I hadn't even thought about the physical yellow pages for next year.
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Re: How To Advertise A Small Business?!

Postby lastnotfast on Mon 3/Oct/11 8:40am

I'll chime in. Referrals are great sources of business. Make someone happy and it will repay for years. But it's rough in the first couple of years.
My advice:
Don't price too high, use the local newspapers, sometimes an offer works, and count on just attracting your local suburb first.
:)
I now have tons of bikes after being in business
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Re: How To Advertise A Small Business?!

Postby Slapheid on Fri 21/Jun/13 10:03pm

Hello.
Can anyone suggest a good piece of software/or service for laying out a small business website?
The Wahine is setting up a medical/clinical services business and is wanting a site with 8 -10 pages; a few detailing the services, a few resource pages for patients and other professionals.etc

She has looked at WordPress (too "Bloggy looking") and Westpacs/MyOb (very basic, non customizable template, more suited to online selling)
She's no software boffin, so is looking for that Holy Grail of "enough options to be able to customize to her needs, but not so much that it is a chore to learn/handle)
Muchos Gracias in advance
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Re: How To Advertise A Small Business?!

Postby happybaboon on Fri 21/Jun/13 10:34pm

Pay someone to do it. DIY websites by non-techy people look amateur, with the exception of those embraced as a blog (like Oli does). It's one of the fundamental LAWS OF THE INTERNET.
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Re: How To Advertise A Small Business?!

Postby NickCW on Fri 21/Jun/13 11:02pm

You could check out something like wix. It's cheap and relatively easy to set up
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Re: How To Advertise A Small Business?!

Postby igota29er on Sat 29/Jun/13 12:12am

Given the information you have provided I would target the local papers that are delivered free to every home, they are generally lower cost and have a reasonable readership, people seem to look for the local interest and look for people they know, even if they aren't avid news readers. Also ask every person that contacts you how they found you.

My best tip though is to have three or four different size prepared ads so you are ready to go for any last minute distress space there might be around. Don't be afraid to be cheeky, we sent full page ads to many publications with a cheque attached for 10% of the ads rack rate, we put a covering letter in and said here is our ad, if you find a spot to place it over the next month please bank our cheque. This gave them a guaranteed one side of the page if they had someone else prepared to pay more for the other side. You would be surprised how often the cheque was cashed. I do not recall ever having the ad or cheque returned with a no thanks although some did come back weeks later when the ad hadn't been placed which indicated that while we were being cheeky the publication wasn't prepared to say an outright no from the outset.

Never believe the reps about readership or coverage. I advertised a tourism business with a free upgrade coupon in a Jason's travel book, we only had two coupons redeemed in 12 months. In this publication we also ended up with an 8 and 0 mixed up in the 0800 number, the other party got 1 phone call all year. This month for a building company we took a full page in a specific interest magazine, used a unique 0800 number and have received zero phone calls. The same rep has rung me every two days wanting to know if I will take a page in his next edition......apparently this next one is the biggest issue ever so I offered a flat payment per call, he wouldn't take the risk on his product delivering us customers so why should I take a risk with my advertising $ in his mag.
As I said above - ask where people first found you and take the time to put steps in place to measure advertising effectiveness, even just the old 'mention this ad before (date) for 10% off your bill' will be a great way to see how effective an ad is.

Grabone has been good to us, but I have noticed a change in customers attitude, they now want full service and flexibility regardless of what T&C's you have set, while 2 years ago customers were more accepting of the deal being special with specific T&Cs. As someone else mentioned ensure you have capacity and be prepared for the last two weeks being inundated with remaining coupons which can cause a cashflow hiccup. Don't be a afraid to negotiate the commission or offer a tiered commission for the last 30% of your capacity - offer initially say 100 vouchers at the full 30% grabone commission (remember this is 30% of the sale price which is already discounted 50%+), then add 50 more vouchers at 15%, that way they get their pound of flesh but if it exceeds expectation you don't get skinned as well. I know of massage type places that oversold and ended up with 3 months work being sold for a net of less than 30% of their normal rate, the low non-redemption rate didn't make it up.
Upselling Grabone can work too, so you offer a simple service along with a high margin item to ease the loss on the main product, locally one business does a WOF with a holiday service check and a bottle of window washing fluid. I am sure the holiday check and fluid are grossly overpriced in the `normal price' but don't want a WOF from them so have never challenged it.
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Re: How To Advertise A Small Business?!

Postby Simonius_Titius on Sat 29/Jun/13 2:33am

igota29er wrote: ... Never believe the reps about readership or coverage. ...

This, amongst the other good advice.
Online advertising is full of bull too. Start with Yellow Pages. Various me-too websites will then copy your info onto their site for free.

People commonly use Yellow Pages to find local businesses now. My calls from the wrong side of town have dwindled, which is a welcome thing.

Business cards - have plenty, and make them cheap and informative. Pop them into local letterboxes when you need a quick pulse of convenient business.
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Re: How To Advertise A Small Business?!

Postby FLATULENTFRIEND on Sat 29/Jun/13 4:00pm

igota29er wrote:Given the information you have provided I would target the local papers that are delivered free to every home, they are generally lower cost and have a reasonable readership, people seem to look for the local interest and look for people they know, even if they aren't avid news readers. Also ask every person that contacts you how they found you.

My best tip though is to have three or four different size prepared ads so you are ready to go for any last minute distress space there might be around. Don't be afraid to be cheeky, we sent full page ads to many publications with a cheque attached for 10% of the ads rack rate, we put a covering letter in and said here is our ad, if you find a spot to place it over the next month please bank our cheque. This gave them a guaranteed one side of the page if they had someone else prepared to pay more for the other side. You would be surprised how often the cheque was cashed. I do not recall ever having the ad or cheque returned with a no thanks although some did come back weeks later when the ad hadn't been placed which indicated that while we were being cheeky the publication wasn't prepared to say an outright no from the outset.

Never believe the reps about readership or coverage. I advertised a tourism business with a free upgrade coupon in a Jason's travel book, we only had two coupons redeemed in 12 months. In this publication we also ended up with an 8 and 0 mixed up in the 0800 number, the other party got 1 phone call all year. This month for a building company we took a full page in a specific interest magazine, used a unique 0800 number and have received zero phone calls. The same rep has rung me every two days wanting to know if I will take a page in his next edition......apparently this next one is the biggest issue ever so I offered a flat payment per call, he wouldn't take the risk on his product delivering us customers so why should I take a risk with my advertising $ in his mag.
As I said above - ask where people first found you and take the time to put steps in place to measure advertising effectiveness, even just the old 'mention this ad before (date) for 10% off your bill' will be a great way to see how effective an ad is.

Grabone has been good to us, but I have noticed a change in customers attitude, they now want full service and flexibility regardless of what T&C's you have set, while 2 years ago customers were more accepting of the deal being special with specific T&Cs. As someone else mentioned ensure you have capacity and be prepared for the last two weeks being inundated with remaining coupons which can cause a cashflow hiccup. Don't be a afraid to negotiate the commission or offer a tiered commission for the last 30% of your capacity - offer initially say 100 vouchers at the full 30% grabone commission (remember this is 30% of the sale price which is already discounted 50%+), then add 50 more vouchers at 15%, that way they get their pound of flesh but if it exceeds expectation you don't get skinned as well. I know of massage type places that oversold and ended up with 3 months work being sold for a net of less than 30% of their normal rate, the low non-redemption rate didn't make it up.
Upselling Grabone can work too, so you offer a simple service along with a high margin item to ease the loss on the main product, locally one business does a WOF with a holiday service check and a bottle of window washing fluid. I am sure the holiday check and fluid are grossly overpriced in the `normal price' but don't want a WOF from them so have never challenged it.


Thanks for your insights into newspaper advertising especially
:thumbsup:
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Re: How To Advertise A Small Business?!

Postby FLATULENTFRIEND on Sat 29/Jun/13 4:08pm

Simonius_Titius wrote:
igota29er wrote: ... Never believe the reps about readership or coverage. ...

This, amongst the other good advice.
Online advertising is full of bull too. Start with Yellow Pages. Various me-too websites will then copy your info onto their site for free.

People commonly use Yellow Pages to find local businesses now. My calls from the wrong side of town have dwindled, which is a welcome thing.

Business cards - have plenty, and make them cheap and informative. Pop them into local letterboxes when you need a quick pulse of convenient business.



I haven’t advertised in the Yellow Pages yet. Not sure why. I think it’s partly because I don’t want to get too much work – then I’d have to do it (!) and with what I do the learning curve is still steep as I’ve been teaching for so long.
My wife and I made up a little flyer (8 to an A4 sheet). We printed a whole ream of them. We use them as business cards to give people.
When I was in another part of town I put them in 4 streets worth of letterboxes. I got 2 jobs from that within 2 weeks. People want what I do its just that my service needs to be known.
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