What works well for big business may not necessarily help a small business to grow. In the retail industry, for example, what may work for major retailers may not work for a specialty retail store on the main street of a small town. While a large retailer can afford a well-produced television commercial, a local gift store will probably go broke paying for a single commercial of the same quality. Unfortunately, small companies try to emulate big companies, which can even be detrimental to their reputation as many consumers like to support independent, local businesses.
What a small company should do is focus on local business marketing rather than assuming that only expensive marketing common to big business is effective marketing. Sometimes inexpensive local marketing can be unexpectedly successful as well.
7 Ways To Advertise
1. Place a classified ad in a magazine, paper, or local periodical.
2. Arrange for ads on buses, taxes and billboards.
3. Put business cards wherever there is a community board. These can be found in grocery stores, shops and Laundromats. They can also be placed on the windshields of cars.
4. Buy an ad in the local phone book.
5. Hang a flyer in community halls, church social rooms and in public libraries.
6. Print an ad on the back of tickets, travel booklets, and town maps.
7. List an ad on the Internet with community websites and area-based forums.
5 Ways To Give Things Away
1. Create giveaways for distribution with every purchase. The company name and contact information can be imprinted on pens, key chains, small wireless notebooks and refrigerator magnets.
2. Emblazon baseball hats with the company logo as a prize for some small contest or as a thank-you-for-shopping gift.
3. Print up T-Shirts with the business' logo and distribute these to customers who spend a certain dollar amount.
4. Donate a product for a fund-raising event or sponsor a rest stop in a walk-a-thon.
5. Offer a prize for a high school contest.
Connecting with community needs is another means of creating brand or company name recognition.
5 Ways To Volunteer
1. Be an expert for a radio show interview.
2. Give for an educational speech.
3. Volunteer to teach a class.
4. Take time to be on a board of community events.
5. Write free articles for local magazines and newspapers.
5 Ways To Sponsor
1. Sponsor local sports teams.
2. Assist with a charitable event.
3. Host a cook-out event.
4. Offer to pay for a town construction, a building, a road or a sign.
5. Promote a business forum about your products and services.