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Every business needs the same things to become successful: a good plan, a good product, and good people who can make things happen. Simply put, so long as you have a product or service that is in demand, you should experience a steady supply of revenue.

Business is all about buying and selling, marketing and promoting, and beating the other guy or girl.

For your business to be truly successful, you will have to attract more than just a one-time sale. You’ll want consistent repeat business, meaning that the customer did not cost you anything to acquire. Repeat business can eventually create a residual income, becoming dependable enough that you can actually work it into your budget.

So how do you get your business in front of potential customers?

  1. Diverse advertising.Try utilizing various avenues of advertising to get your business noticed. Using both online and offline methods will work best.
  2. Nighttime radio. The cost of advertising is minimal, and the audience size is often deceptively large. Though you might not be up at 3 in the morning, many people are.
  3. Yellow pages. Though probably obvious, you may not realize the full potential of your advertisement. Did you know that 73% of the people who check the yellow pages contact a merchant, and 45% make a purchase? Those are pretty high numbers, and that traffic is highly targeted.
  4. Website/Internet. You need a good website. This is the face that you will show your online customers, and you want it to be a good one. They are relatively inexpensive, and marketing one is also quite inexpensive. You can begin by purchasing inexpensive hosting at Host Monster. Put your websites address on all print materials, and spend some time trying to generate organic traffic by submitting your website to the various search engines.
  5. Direct mail. Direct mail gets results, no matter what anyone tells you. The key to success with direct mail is to get someone to actually read your pitch. Try having the envelopes hand addressed, or including an attention grabbing headline on the envelope. If you are selling insect repellent, for example, you might have a headline like “bugs bite, but our prices sure don’t!” This is somewhat witty and catchy, and many people may feel inclined to read the resulting pitch.
  6. Coupons. People love a good deal. If your product is worthwhile, you will experience a good conversion rate from promotional customers to full-priced customers. Don’t be worried if your growth is slow but steady. Remember that slow growth is better than no growth, and any money made is still profit. Your initial focus should be on a good product and good service- worry about larger details, such as TV Advertising campaigns or public relations staff when you need to, not because you can.

Most of all, enjoy your new business. Success is only success if you enjoy it when it happens!

If you would like more tips and advice on starting your own business or your career, be sure to sign up for our free newsletter in the sidebar.

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12 Comments »

Comment by SEO Blog
2007-05-23 09:33:09

Great post. I submitted it to Digg as well so hopefully you’ll get a bit of traffic to it. Keep up the good work!

 
Comment by Fun Game Videos
2007-05-23 17:39:36

Digging… :D

 
 
2007-05-23 13:26:28

[...] Essentials New Business Owners Must Know - If you have recently started a business or you plan to start one soon take a look at this post. I especially like their tip on using the internet. In my opinion all businesses MUST be online and you will be surprised what it does for you even if you are a so-called “ecommerce” company. [...]

 
Comment by Fun Game Videos
2007-05-23 17:38:48

I confirm about Nighttime radio exposure - I used it for my business before and we got plenty of follow ups from people, because they actually were hearing the commercial, and it was not lost behind daily noise.

 
Comment by Mr C
2007-05-24 03:51:47

Forget Yellow Pages. I have just taken an advert out in Thosmon Local that means that whenever someone contacts me out of their directory, they get 50 Nectar points.

This makes me stand out from the crowd and more people are likely to ring me. Brilliant! I also got Nectar points just for taking out the ad.

 
Comment by digitalnomad Subscribed to comments via email
2007-05-24 10:57:40

I was stopping br from Ja Kel Daily Dot Com, where I see you were nominated for a Top Ten Influential Blog award. Like your other blog too, Jane.

 
Comment by Fashion Industry
2007-05-28 09:21:17

Also thinking outside the box!…I try to do that as much as possible to separate myself from what everyone else is doing

 
Comment by digitalnomad Subscribed to comments via email
2007-05-28 10:10:58

Don’t know how outside the box this is. Most of these items do work, but are not exactly innovative.

Direct mail has dismal returns unless you can throw incredible money resources at it. New small business would have a hard time justifying the costs of direct mail and even yellow pages.

Radio is also bleak in terms of showing a return on the investment. Again, I am looking at this from a small or startup business point of view.

You might as well include classified advertising, and handbills (flyers) in with your list to make it complete.

Comment by Mark Riffey Subscribed to comments via email
2007-06-06 19:59:13

digitalnomad,

Direct mail typically fails because people tend to mail as if they were dropping leaflets out of a plane, and they mail the same piece to different types of prospects.

For example, imagine the ROI of a direct mail piece about US Prime beef to addresses in a community in India. Extreme example, but it makes the point.

Radio requires a knowledgeable rep and a business owner who knows how to choose a rep as well as someone who knows their clientele and is willing to choose their air time carefully. Remainder time isnt always a good deal.

In both cases, segmentation is critical to success.

Yellow page ads are an art form. Testing is impossible due to the annual nature of the ads, but if you use it - direct response concepts are a must. DO NOT blindly follow the ad salesperson’s advice. They dont own businesses, they dont track ad performance, they sell ads.

Mark

 
 
2007-06-04 00:17:50

90% of all businesses in America fail because of those big corporations like Wal-Mart obliterate their competition. Only smart businesses that target untouched niche get through and become successful.

 
2007-06-19 05:58:00

[...] realize the full potential of your advertisement. Did you know that 73% of the people source: Essentials New Business Owners Must Know, Career [...]

 
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