Business advertising is a complex area that must take into account a number of variable factors, from which demographics to target, which kind of media would be most suitable, to which advertising strategy is best to reach your audience and convince them to invest in your product or service. Small businesses have the additional burden of doing all of this within a small and inflexible budget. Fortunately, there are many options available to the entrepreneur.
The YellowPages is still one of the best ways for a small business to advertise. Your average phone directory will place your ad on a page relevant to your business, maximizing the number of people who may patronize your business. The popularity of the internet means that printed media is on the decline, but many phone directory companies include in their packages inclusion into their online edition. An advantage to an ad in the phone directory is the potential customer is probably already seeking out your business. In most other media, the ad actively seeks out the consumer.
Brochures are a handy option for small business advertising. There are companies who specialize in the production of fliers.These can be handed out or left for prospective customers to take. Some of these flier manufacturers may also drop distribute them to the mailboxes of residents in your area of choice for an additional cost. This is an attractive and common option for restaurants and cafes who can print their entire menu on the brochure.
Newspaper ads are another avenue available to the small business owner. The cost of newspaper ads are at an all-time low due to a decrease in readership. Many people get their news from the online editions of their favorite publications, so advertising online at their websites or others that would attract your target demographic is another possibility to explore.
There are other factors that small businesses must consider when jumping into business advertising. Larger companies have the luxury of testing their ads on focus groups and using other measures before ‘going live’. The best weapon small businesses have in achieving success is good word-of-mouth. Encouraging people to become loyal customers is thus essential. Coupons, discounts, and other deals are an often-used and smart incentive to attract new patrons. If a customer is satisfied with a product they were able to try at a discounted rate, there’s a good chance they’re willing to pay the full retail price for it.
Since many small businesses are on a tight budget, they sometimes try to cut costs by producing ads themselves. However, when an advertisement campaign fails it is more often the message rather than the medium that is to blame. It is therefore a wise idea for a small business to consult if not hire someone who specialises in advertising and/or media relations so that the most effective ad can be created. It’s pointless to spend money on advertising when there is no or insufficient return on the investment.
Developing credibility in the community and loyalty among customers is essential to any business, and advertising is a powerful and important tool to help achieve that.Small business advertising isn’t simple, but if planned accordingly it can help take a tiny start-up to the next level.