Any other small business owners on this thread. I am wondering what people on this board do to market their business and services?
To try and grow during this economy what have you guys done to be successful. So far I have found networking and picking up the phone the old fashion way works the best.
I did call a local framing company and gave them my pitch. I have never met a local business owner that was so rude. He asked me to take me off his list… I was floored because I am just down the rd… List… I don’t have a stupid list. Well needless to say that guy lost my business. I will also make it known to anyone I know don’t go there… I just some people don’t get it. Why would you be rude to another local business. A simple no thanks is fine. It is not like I am going to continue to call this guy. What a dink:)
you’re absolutely right - face-to-face is best, keep yourself in the firmament! attend regional meetings with like-minded souls, make sure your product (whatever that might be) is as good as it can be. Grow your knowledge to overtake your competitors, and take advantage of low interest rates (if you can) to invest in either human resources (training, team-building, more skilled people) or material ones (more efficient printers, faster computers etc.)
lastly make sure your reputation is spotless.
I suppose all that ^^ sounds obvious but I imagine it’s easy to become disheartened in a recession. don’t become the victim of inertia!
I would agree with the above face to face is the best, although more time consuming. People buy on trust, and the best way to build this rapport is meeting them face on. And with store owners, they like people who buy from their store . . . so pick a can of soda, pay for it and then try to establish your proposal. Be prepared for rejection, with your business I would expect a 1 in six sucess first meeting ratio, followed by an addition sale in 3 months if you have left your card and followed by a phone call once a month thereafter. And ofcourse, you will be dismissed again by some on the phone.
I did work for a small lawyers office before . . . we’d get sales people all the time, and the boss would only buy from those who gave a “good performance” . . . no matter that he was in debt by a hundred “g’s”. Let rejection slide like water off a duck’s back and roll in the dough. And please do also use whatever it takes to get your product to the market including the 'net and brochures and many others. Best of luck!
Funny (choice of words) he asked YOU to take yourself off HIS list??
On a more serious note, no one knows where you’re located unless you steer the opening part of the conversation in the right direction. Meaning, if you’re calling a business “down the road” be sure to state that … the outcome (in your case) might have been more pleasant?
Other than that I can only tell you that connections at the right places with the right people will enable you to go into business for yourself. Those connections have to be earned and take time to form.
Networking is over hyped in my opinion and usually misunderstood. Think about it this way. Your network are people you helped to achieve something in the past and because of that, you can call in a favor or two.
Without telling us what kind of business you’re trying to get off the ground, it’s kind of impossible to give you any specific hints.
Above all, be professional and forget that guy you called. He had every right to be rude to you and if that bothers you, than you are not ready to do business.
Hope this gives you something to think about Good luck!
I told the guy in my pitch I am a local web development company in my opening pitch. I have no problem telling you guys I just wasn’t sure if it was appropriate. We have an established customer based that includes customers like www.stephenking.com but 95% of our business has been all word of mouth. I am trying to make a focused effort on bringing in new customers that have not heard of us before.
I understand he has every right to be rude. I am just surprised he would respond to a potential customer that way. I have been hung up more times than I can count you have to take that with a gain of salt, I agree.
He asked me to take him off my list. Sorry for the mis-type:)
Oh and another good way is referrals. Ask your friends, family and potential clients if they know someone who would be interested in your products. This approach generates about 10% of revenue for professional insurance and real estate agents from the back of my head.
Do something to make headlines - anything that attracts attention, be it good or bad. Pay some high school kid to wear a bear suit and dance out front of your business (the tax place in my town does this - literally, and it actually works). Advertise it in the phone book, on the billboard of a local sporting outlet (little league, soccer, etc.). Be retarded yet professional and entertaining.