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"The only way to discover the limits of the possible is to go beyond them into the impossible"

~ Anonymous

Tea Time with Liv

Marketing your business

In this time of recession many WAHMs and small businesses are seeing the decrease in sales. Some unfortunately are seeing sales stop completely. While it is discouraging you can still be successful. It takes work. If you were properly marketing your business prior, the added things you need are not going to be a strain. You may have to add an extra hour a 2 a week. Some will add more. The harder you work, the more benefits you enjoy.

When marketing your business it is far more than just telling everyone about your business, giving them a link, and watching the sales come in. If you do this you will never get your business off the ground.

First thing everyone in business for themselves, whether you are a consultant or a business owner, are business cards. Even if you are strictly doing online networking you will come across someone offline who is interested and needs your product. While I am not a big fan of less than professional cards, you can print these yourself on heavy card stock or order free ones through places such as Vista Print. Even if you start with an option that is easier on the pocket I highly recommend you move to a better quality business card. These speak volumes at your attention to detail and quality.

When you are out at the store, in the Dr's office, waiting for an oil change, how many conversations do you over hear? How many times you wish you had a card. While getting my nails done I was talking about makeup. Another woman getting her nails overheard the conversation and brought me her card. Ever leave a cashier that was exceptional? Did you ever leave them a card and tell them to call you and how you needed more team members like him/her? When someone asks for your number this is when you give a business card. What about those restaurants that offer free giveaways when you drop in your business card? I never just drop one in. I tuck it in on the side facing those outward so anyone walking up will see the card. Leave a business card with a tip. I was recently eating at a local restaurant where the table at the entrance has business cards from patrons visiting. As I left I placed a stack of cards on the table. I was playing pool at our local billiards establishment where they had bulletin boards in the bathroom and mini billboards on the back of the bathroom stalls. Management placed my flyer on the bulletin board and I contacted the bathroom billboard company.

Thinking outside the box is easier than you think. How about those waiting rooms with magazines. Ever see the opportunity to donate you own with a label on the front and back saying "Donated courtesy of xxxxxxxxx", a pocket for several business cards tucked on the first page, add in a brochure to the middle or even a catalog.

How many of your children have classroom newsletters? Many of those are teacher sponsored. Ever thought to negotiate a small ad in that newsletter while you take on the sponsorship of that newsletter? That is money back in the teachers pocket for other classroom needs. Visited the local boys and girls club? How about the local ballet school, cheer leading or gymnastics gym? They need sponsorships at some point and even fundraisers. Same with private sport organizations.

How many parades come through your town every year? Maybe just once for Christmas or as many as every holiday. You can dress up your truck or even a borrowed truck to advertise during a parade. Toss our wrapped candy with a label wrapped around it containing your information. Have someone pass mom and dad mini flyers with a coupon.

Utilize Youtube to promote your business. Be yourself and give a little blurb about who you are and your company. Show a product or 2 and why you love them. This is just like talking to your customer one on one. Leave the self consciousness at the door and don't over criticize what you look like. Its you they are looking at not something else you are trying to be. A webcam is n easy purchase with great options for $30 and under. These can take video as well. Once you uploaded that video to Youtube, upload to MySpace, Facebook, and anywhere else that allows video uploads.

I love the plant deals I find at Walmart and Lowes. You can get the small 5" pots for $5 or less. Many times you can take this one plant and turn it into 3 or more. Their palms are a great for this. Replant them in new pots, wrap colored cellophane with a ribbon around the bottom, attach a thank you note with a business card and brochure or catalog. This is an instant thank you gift to hand deliver for party hostesses, first time customers, or loyal long time customers. Even just recognize your customer's birthday with a cute and simple plant.

Everyday is an opportunity, every door that is closed can be opened, every person is a potential lead to a sale. Keep your eye open and look at all sides. Look outside the box and see where you can shine. Avoid the ordinary and do the extraordinary. This is when you will truly be successful.

Olivia Vidal
© 2009
So Chic Bag Boutique


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