Advertise My Business – How Consumers View Businesses Who Advertise During Tough Times

As a small business owner, you are also a consumer, so you’ll be able to completely relate to how advertising your business affects consumers. Whether you are advertising at the current moment or not, you’re sending out messages to your prospects and customers about your company, some of which you may not want to be sending. It is important to understand what your customers think of your business so when they talk about your company, they can send out positive messages that will help your company prosper. If you’re wondering, “Should I advertise my business?”, consider how it will make you look to your prospects for years to come.

When consumers think about businesses who advertise during tough economic times, two things come to mind.

1. They perceive your business to be financially stable. Consumers know it costs you money to advertise and they put value on those companies who have the ability and budget to do so. They understand that although advertising your business is a necessity, it requires extra money to facilitate. Knowing that you have the finances to put money into your business tells them you’re not on the verge of going out of business.

Think of it like this; aren’t you less likely to spend your money with a company you fear will be closing soon? Well, your prospects and customers feel the same way. They wonder about warranties, returns, service or maintenance they may need down the road, upgrading or adding to their previous purchases. They may even wonder how good your customer service is. If you’re not advertising, they may just assume you can’t afford to pay your employees, which leads to unhappy employees who do not take care of customers very well. If you wouldn’t invest your own money into a company as such, you can’t expect your prospects to do it either.

Bottom line, you don’t want to give the consumers any reasons to think you’re hurting for business. More business is always better but tell them you’re doing well with what you’ve got.

2. Seeing more small businesses advertising provides consumers with comfort that prosperity is possible and still happening. With all the boohoo about how down the economy is, it’s a breath of fresh air for consumers to hear of small businesses that are still around. They respect a business owner who can still create a presence for their business even with all the economic problems that so many people are complaining about. Advertising your business says, “If I don’t like the way something is, I’ll do what I need to change it rather than complain about it.”

It seems that advertising your company builds character, respect, and superiority as if “only the strong survive”. Wouldn’t you agree that when you see a small business advertisement, it makes you feel good, like things are moving along? It is the idea of possibilities that excites society and advertising helps create those ideas.

It is a proven fact that businesses who continue to advertise through hard economic times beat out their competition, even decades down the road. I strongly feel it’s not only because they are putting themselves out there but because of how well consumers respond to their efforts. The next time you ask yourself, “Should I advertise my business?”, the answer will be VERY clear to see.

Advertising Any Business Offline With Business Cards And Fliers

If you’re promoting any online business with out utilizing business cards then you are doing yourself a disservice of fairly significant proportions. It really is an easy comfortable way to communicate with your potential leads. It is also very cheap in comparison to other methods. It doesn’t take a great deal of effort to distribute you business cards. You can give them out to just about anyone you come across. Most people are agreeable to taking and reading a business card if it is just handed to them. Also, you can leave them in conspicuous places where peoples natural curiosity will cause them to pick one up and take it with them.

What are some of the resourceful ways you can get busy with business cards? Well one creative method though not to pleasant to talk about is to leave them in public rest rooms. I leave a few anytime I am in one. In my own business Infinity Downline I find activity to my sales funnel following such placements. You can also leave your business cards in book stores in magazines or books that have to do with the nature of your business. You can leave business cards in cafes and eateries under the salt shakers or such where patrons following you can find them. Or you can leave one with your tip to give to your server if you think your business has appeal to them.

Another good method I like are drive throughs. Think about all of the drive throughs you zip through. You have fast food restaurants, banking institutions ATMs to name a few usually busy situations where people drive through in their vehicles. What you can do is place a couple of your business cards where they can be discovered by the next few people behind you. I have never found yet a drive through where you can’t locate a slot, crack, nook or recess to secretly leave some business cards in.

These two preceding methods if you think about it requires no extra time in your schedule or activities than what you are already doing. All advertising is, whether it be online or offline is communication. If you do these easy methods methodically and every time, it can add up to hundreds if not thousands of eyeballs looking at your business per year from no more effort than what you are already doing. If you have your business websites URL on your card this can create another easy stream of traffic to your website.

Sometimes with business cards rather than putting information on them about my business I put a small appealing contextual ad on them instead. This is designed to get a person curious enough to check out my website later when they are at their computer. On these kind of business card ads I usually only list my business websites URL anyway so if they are curious they have to go online to my website to find out about what it is I am marketing.

I typically like to generate a sense of urgency with my text ad in who ever is looking at my cards. This is accomplished by stating there is a bonus listed on my website that is soon expiring. This lets them know they had better visit my site soon before it is too late and they lose the chance to get my bonus. Often people will visit just to satisfy their curiosity and find out what the bonus is all about if nothing else.

Another thing I do with my business that can be applied to any business is to promote it with colorful or black and white fliers, or circulars as they are sometimes called. These fliers can be placed in local businesses that have bulletin boards. You may need to get permission from the owner first though. If you have any doubt you should definitely ask them before tacking them up. If they do not want them their, they will just throw them a way, and that can be a waste of your time and money.

Often local business establishments have their bulletin boards located right in the entry way of the store and are usually open to the general public. You see all manner of ads from people from furniture sales to home based businesses. Walmart use to have public bulletin boards here in Oklahoma, but they ceased the practice and now entry store boards are only utilized by them and not open to use by the public.

Occasionally businesses have display boards that are only their for their local patrons business cards. Old fashioned Mom and Pop cafes are famous for this practice and these types of boards are usually smaller than the typical bulletin board and are plastered with local businesses business cards. They are usually placed near the cash register where people can look at them while they are waiting to pay their bill.

You can if you have enough aggressive boldness, personally hand out your fliers in community areas like busy city sidewalks. This is effective when large groups of people are using the sidewalks in their daily activities. To give you a good example of this, think of how many movies you have seen depicting hoards of people all transversing the avenue sidewalks of New York City. You could probably pass out a thousand in an hour with hardly any walking on your part just letting people pass you by and handing them one.

A great deal of your evening night clubs and popular bars have bulletin boards as well. These are usually good places to place your fliers. If you are one of the bars patrons and frequent it often, you can do some low key networking as well while you’re out having a good time. Word of mouth is still a very effective low cost offline method to communicate your business. In a social situation it can be done in a manner that generates curiosity and questions where you do not have to chase a person to tell them about your business. People are naturally curious about what other people do for a living so the nature of your business can easily come up in a conversation.

While on the topic of mixing it up socially. College students are notorious for getting out and about with their friends and meeting new people. A great number of college students have a social networks that transverse their personal sphere of influence many times over. Another thing in relation to college campuses is that there are many many bulletin boards to be found on them. In my area the University of Oklahoma is prevalent and they have bulletin boards not only inside in most buildings but outside on public walk ways too. An additional tip, you can add little tear off strips at the bottom of your fliers that each contain your contact info, whether that be a phone number, email address or the URL of your website.

By the way if you are going to use a phone number as your contact, you might consider using a voice mail that is toll free to your prospect. In this method you can have an outgoing promotional message of 2 or 3 minutes in duration that is really there just to garner interest in your business and to possibly elicit to your prospect into leaving their own contact details where you can call them back. This is a good way to pre-sell your business where you do not have to waste time doing it live over the phone.

If you choose to do a toll free voice mail make sure you include a call to action for your prospect to leave their name and phone number as often they won’t unless asked or told to. Then you want to call them back as soon as you can. In this way you might catch them before their enthusiasm has started to fade and it may be you find when you call them you have a new customer to your business. Or in my case a new member to my affiliate business.

Selling a Business – Tips to Advertise a Business For Sale Successfully

Anticipate a buyer search criteria and categorise your business accordingly

It is important to file your business for sale advertisement in such a way that it grabs the attention of the maximum number of relevant business buyers. The more types you file your business under, the better your exposure will be.

If you are selling a pub that serves food, for instance, it is worth filing the business under not just ‘pubs’, but also ‘pubs and hotel property’, ‘restaurants’, ‘taverns’ and ‘bars’, as your likely purchasers will be searching for a business for sale under all or some of these categories.

It is also worth including key information such as the postcode, street or town where your business is located in your description text, so that any business buyer using the keyword search facility will find your business in their search results.

Honest figures will help your business to sell

In order to sell your business successfully, it is vital that you give your potential buyers a sensible indication of the kind of living they can expect to earn from the business. New business buyers aren’t just relocating from a street or village that they are familiar with; in most cases they are also walking away from the financial security of a monthly paycheck to become their own employers. This constitutes a daunting step into the unknown for a lot of people, and the more data you can reassure them with in your advertisement, the better your response levels will be.

You can include the turnover, gross profit and/or net profit figures on a weekly, monthly or daily basis with an advertisement, and it’s advisable to include at least one of these figures as a bare minimum if you can. Other figures that are worth mentioning in your advertisement are footfall / shop frontage (if it is a retail business), traffic levels (if it is an online business), demographics on the local economy (if it is a service-led business) and lease length / rent review dates (if it is a commercial property).

Your figures may be highly confidential, in which case it is perfectly acceptable to write ‘turnover and profit figures available on request’; The most important thing to do is to acknowledge the figures in your advertisement; if you don’t, it can look suspicious or unprofessional, and it can stop potential buyers from taking you seriously and enquiring about your business for sale.

Pricing your business for sale :

To get your business to sell quickly, it is important to price your business sensibly. An overly ambitious asking price might feel like a safe place to negotiate down from, but if you price your business too high, your potential buyers might not come across your advertisement in their search, as it will fall outside of their price range. If you price the business at a value lower than you are prepared to accept, you could find yourself inundated with buyers who you are not prepared to sell to, wasting your time and theirs. Remember that the price at which your business is sold is ultimately dictated by your acceptance – or refusal – of an offer; at the initial stages, your priority is to generate as much valid interest as you possibly can in your business for sale.

Take a look at comparable businesses for sale on websites listing businesses for sale and pick an asking price that is in line with what looks to be current market values. If you are unsure of what your business is worth, you can get a free business valuation from business agents or websites advertising businesses for sale.

Choose business-related photos that help your business to sell

Your existing promotional material may be remarkably effective at bringing customers through your doors, but you are dealing with a very different target market when you are selling a business. The business itself is now the product, and your ‘customers’ in this case will be looking for signs of prosperity, security and success. For instance, a photo taken inside your premises at peak times showing a busy shop floor will give potential purchasers more incentive to enquire than a beautifully-crafted logo on its own. Try to take photos that show off the passing trade and ‘bustle’ of your business.

Choose the right place to advertise your business for sale

Advertising your business for sale online is a great way to get maximum exposure. The price to advertise online is also less expensive than on print newspapers and magazines.

How to Advertise Your Business Using Your Blog

One of the best online marketing strategies is to share content across key social media sites. I think this is the best way to learn how to advertise your business.

You can start a paid advertising campaign using paid Facebook ads or paid Twitter ads, but depending on your budget, you can start losing money fast without getting any return on your investment.

I think there’s a learning curve even in doing some cheap paid advertising, testing different ads to see which is best, testing different sites to see which produce the most traffic and sign ups.

You need to test banner ads against text ads on different sites, and it can eventually get really expensive. That’s not a problem if you’ve got the cash set aside in an advertising budget.

But I find the best way to promote your business opportunities is to learn how to advertise your business with your blog and sharing content. It’s a more subtle way of advertising since you’re using content to share your expertise and brand yourself as an expert in your industry.

How to Advertise Your Business with Free Social Media Advertising

Blog posts can be shared across all of the main social media sites at once, actually, using a WordPress plugin.

Advertising on social media sites can get expensive if you use their paid advertising campaigns. Look at the Facebook ads that show up in your Timeline and on the sides of the page. That costs money! Sharing your blog posts on your Facebook wall is Free!

When you share your thoughts and experiences in a blog post, then share that information across a few key social media sites, you’ll start getting more traffic because you can link to your business opportunity landing page in each of your blog posts.

Here are the main social media sites I post to on a regular basis:

  1. Facebook Fan page
  2. Twitter
  3. LinkedIn
  4. Tumblr
  5. Pinterest
  6. StumbleUpon
  7. IBOToolbox

I will add that blog posting and sharing content might take a little longer than just buying into your business’s co-op, if they have one.

If you have the money in your budget, I would buy shares in a co-op but I would still learn how to advertise your business opportunity using your blog because it’s a great way to promote your business in addition to buying into co-ops or using paid advertising.

And with your own blog, you can add your company’s banners to attract even more attention. You can place a banner ad at the beginning of a blog post, in the middle of a longer post, and again at the end.