Getting the Best Promotional Bang for Your Business on a Tight Budget
222 Ways to Promote Your Small Business on a Budget by Ron E. Gielgun Actium Publishing, 2000, 238 pages, $13.95.
Who needs a big promotional budget? When you run a small business, you can never have enough ideas for promoting it -- especially when you're on a tight budget.
This book provides short snippets of promotional ideas that go beyond advertising. You won't find them wrapped in a fancy package, but you will find sound, specific advice on everything from point-of-sale promotion to online and overseas promotion. Just one page for each idea, this book is a great at-a-glance reference.
For example, you may have trouble getting honest feedback from your customers. You've asked them what they think of your business, but since most people are afraid to criticize, they haven't been much help when it comes to improvement.
Gielgun suggests asking your customers what they think of your competitors. This works in two ways. First, if they criticize your competitors for certain aspects of their product or service, you'll be sure to do the opposite. Conversely, if they rate your competitors very highly, you'll surmise what they're doing right.
Valuable Business Cards
In your business, you want customers to think of you first when they have a need you can fill -- so you'll want your business card to be worth keeping. Gielgun suggests making them worth real money by partnering with local businesses like pizza shops and barber shops so that anyone presenting your business card will get a discount. List the names of participating businesses on the back of your card. You're sure to gain a place in your prospect's wallet.
At trade shows, prospects collect so many business cards that they are likely to forget what you even sold. Gielgun's suggestion: Put a picture of your product on the front of it.