1) People respond to advertising no matter what your business is.
Advertising is not the same thing as marketing. Advertising is one kind of marketing. I have some clients for whom ads – in newspapers, on the backs of city busses – are absolutely the way to go. I have many more clients for whom such efforts would be a total waste of money. Continue reading 4 Common (and Totally Wrong!) Marketing Assumptions Small-Business Owners Make
1) I resolve to… organize just one thing.
Maybe it’s the cluttered top of your desk. Maybe it’s the list of items your marketing person has been waiting for. Maybe it’s a box overflowing with six months’ of receipts. Resolving to “get organized this year” is one of those resolutions it’s impossible to keep. Pick one chore that’s been hanging over you, schedule time for it – and reward yourself when it’s complete.
2) I resolve to… pick up the phone more often.
In a business environment where seemingly everyone communicates via e-mail and social media, the person who resorts to an old-fashioned phone call stands out. Whether you want to thank a few recent clients for their business or catch up with a former associate, be personal about it by letting them hear your voice.
3) I resolve to… stop wearing every hat in the office.
We all know the feeling. Small-business owners have their sales hats, their administrative and accounting hats, their marketing hats, and their who’s-going-to-clean-the-office-but-me janitorial hats (and mop and bucket). Stop trying to do it all – and you’ll see how much more productive you become.
Got a website? Been planning to add a blog for the last 10 months? Find someone to do the writing and IT work for you. (We know a few…) Looking to raise your visibility with targeted marketing? Partner with someone who does that for a living and make it happen. Want to get involved in community events but no one on staff has time to do the footwork? New Hampshire has an entire association of so-called “virtual assistants.” Get one!
Don’t give in to the lazy days of summer! A few ideas for adding some sizzle to your business:
1) Raise your profile with hot-weather giveaways.
Offer a freebie – ice cream cones, logoed mister bottles – for anyone who comes in your store or office on days the thermometer hits 90. Continue reading 4 Ways to Add Some Sizzle to Your Business This Summer
My take on some of the other social media tools out there that small-business owners might want to take advantage of:
The mostly female users of this photo-sharing website create digital bulletin boards of their own images and “repin” and “like” images from other users. If your product or service lends itself to visual presentation – original artwork such as murals, close-ups of nail art at a beauty salon, interior design photos, anything related to weddings – Pinterest could be a useful tool to drive business to your website. If you use an outside company for monthly or quarterly updates to your website, Pinterest lets you keep new examples of your work in front of fans and customers daily. This keeps visibility high on a small-business budget. Continue reading Beyond Facebook: Which Social Media Site Is Best for Your Business?
No time to read any business articles this week – again? For the last few months, we’ve been trying to share one article a day with our colleagues and clients via Twitter (@InfusionStudio1). Just one article – often a blog post really. Something that will take mere minutes from your day to read. But that will keep you thinking for some time afterwards.
Here’s a sample of what we were reading the past few days.
Continue reading Reading Round-Up: Self-Promotion, The Cloud, and Lego Furniture
The title said, “Don’t Make This Common Year-End Mistake” – and the first thing I see is a pair of holiday socks that eerily resemble a pair I’m fairly certain I own. Uh-oh! Was I relieved to see the writer was talking about promoting your business and not questionable taste in footwear. But Erik Sherman (whose Inc. article I tweeted about yesterday) raises a valid point: Why not take advantage of other people’s down time?
Continue reading Year-End Promotions a Good Idea for Small Business
There is nothing worse than a sharp image of a fuzzy concept. ~ Ansel Adams
I came across this great quote recently – and it reminded me immediately of some of the initial conversations I’ve had with people who eventually became regular clients… and a few who didn’t.
Continue reading Business Advice from Ansel Adams