Ways To Advertise Your Business
Advertising is simply the collected ways of drawing favorable attention to yourself or your products. Since the various tactics are as limitless as the human imagination, we’ll only suggest some general ways of accomplishing it for cheap. First of all, recognize that a neighborhood operation should begin with a neighborhood campaign, and that can mean something as simple as door-to-door fliers or even signs up in the neighborhood. Early on, those signs will work better if they offer mystery rather than a bunch of information. Use something like an arrow and the words. Get people curious enough to swing by.
If you’re not too egotistical about your ads, and are willing to plug products you carry as well as your own store, you can often get aid from manufacturers. That’s why some upper-class retail outlets (gourmet and audio shops, for example) often take to putting out their own newsletters, describing their latest product additions. Be sure you get copies, too, of any posters or displays tied to your manufacturers’ own promotional drives.
Yellow page advertisements are a possibility, but don’t underestimate the cost. If you have to cover a fairly wide area (say, two or three county regions), a medium-sized ad can cost you $1000 to $1500 a month. You also have to deal with long lead-times and relatively long-term contracts. Still, they can’t be overlooked.
Television and radio are, naturally, prestige media, but even the smallest areas they target are quite large. Costs vary hugely, from as low as $5 for a thirty second spot on early morning (i.e., 3 am) radio or second-market TV – up to the roughly $2,000,000 a minute which are charged during the Superbowl games, for example. One possibility, if regulations and your needs permit, is the low-power FM transmitters some colleges operate. Some of these only reach the college dorms, but if those form a part of your market, this can be a dirt-cheap way of approaching them.
Newspapers are far older but obviously you’ve got to decide whether your buyers are readers. Classified ads run around ten dollars per line per day in a medium-large-sized city; you get around a 30% discount if you become a contract advertiser.
Classifieds have two benefits:
1. Anyone can draw them up. You just ask the paper for a form sheet and instructions
2. They can be in the paper and running within a day or so of your turning them in. Regular
ads catch more readers, but are costly, running up to $15-20,000 for a full page in a major newspaper.
Lastly, don’t overlook those small “neighborhood” papers which are really only glorified advertising circulars.