Orangeville, ON (Jason Mead) So you’re starting a small business. You figured out what you wanted to sell or do and went out and got it all set up. Now all you need is for someone to buy your product or use your service. Right?
How are you going to go about getting your public to know you even exist?
Promote! Promote! Promote!
Well that all sounds simple, but say you’re a financial specialist, a boat builder or llama farmer. They didn’t teach the basic principles of starting small business promotional campaigns in boat-builders’ school. So what do you need to know, and how do you go about it?
Let’s start with the “Basic Principles” of promotion:
What is Promotion?Anything, as advertising, public appearances, etc., done to publicize (get the attention or interest of the public) a person, product, event, etc.
Why do you promote?The purpose of promotion is to make sure people know you are in business. You promote because if you don’t, you won’t make it in business. You promote because it is communication that you need to engage in to survive. You promote to expand and get the attention or interest of the public for your products or services. You promote because if you don’t, no one will know you exist and no one will buy from you and…well, you get the point.
How do you promote?There are more ways than you would ever think. Have you ever heard someone say, “I never promote and I am always busy”. Or “I don’t have to promote, all my business comes from word-of-mouth”? They may not be aware of how they’re doing it, but I promise you they are promoting somewhere. They could go around telling everyone they talk to, that they don’t promote. (Sound funny? It’s still promoting.) Maybe their larger-than-life running water faucet in front of their store attracts so much attention that they don’t need to do anything else. Well here are some ideas you can do “knowingly” to drive in the business.
- Greeting your customers with a smile is a great place to start.
- Calling your customers after they have had a chance to use your product is a good way to promote that you care about their experience with your organization. It can also create an opportunity to make more sales.
- A neatly packaged product, the shipping label on straight, promotes that you take pride in what you do.
- Always keep up-to-date brochures or catalogs about your business in your reception area for people to see and take with them.
- If you have customers coming into your business, make sure they are greeted pleasantly, professionally, and immediately.
Anything that gets the attention or interest of the public for the company, its employees, its products or services (in a positive way) is promotion.