People often come to my office with great ideas for products and niche market businesses and want to know the best ways to let people know they are available and in business.
Some of these folks have Web sites and while I don’t know too much about starting a Web site, I feel that the basics of starting any business are the same regardless of whether the business is a brick and mortar type or a virtual one.
If you open the doors, turn on the telephone or post a new Web site to the Internet, there are things you must do.
Make noise…albeit joyful noise…called marketing yourself.
Call everyone you know.
Send letters to every company in your area who could use your services.
Let your local newspapers know that you have a new product or service available and where they can find it. The story may not make news the next day, but eventually it will get in either the business or community section of your local paper.
Find groups like the Chamber of Commerce, Kiwanis, Rotary etc. who have monthly meetings and might be in need of a guest speaker.
If there is a local cable station, try to get booked as a new local entrepreneur. Local stations are very often trying to find interesting stories about local people.
Post your new business card on every free bulletin board you can find where people who might use your service or product will see it.
Send e-mails to everyone on your list.
Hire a company to get your Web site name out to those folks you can’t reach.
On the Internet there are many companies who promise to get your Web site at the top of every search engine and their prices are reasonable. Just do some research to find not only the best price, but also to find a company that will do what they say they will do.
If you must travel a lot and use major airlines, let them know what kind of business you are involved in. They have on-board magazines and some of them use local interest stories.
Network, network, network. Call, write, e-mail, then call again on everyone you’ve ever worked with who can help you move your business forward. At every gathering you attend hand out your card if appropriate.
College professors often belong to groups or have connections in their fields of study so they can make important connections for you. The same is true with clergy. They are connected in many communities and possibly can be of help to you.
Running a business on the Internet can have problems unique to it, such as server problems and finding people to maintain your site and expenses that would pertain only to operating a Web site, but for the most part a business in my mind, is a business.
Getting people to come to your site or your store is really not all that hard to accomplish. Most people will try new things – once.
It’s what you do to keep them coming back that will make or break your business.
Article – Copyright 2001 Stanley I. Mason. Syndicated by Paradigm News, Inc.