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Advertising your Home Business on a Budget
When you are starting out in a new home business
and no one knows who you are, one of the greatest
challenges you will face is how to drum up new
If there were not people in your community or
marketplace that you knew who needed your
products or services, you probably would not have
started your business to begin with. But, once
you have talked to those who you personally knew
who needed your what you offer, then your next
task is to find others who will help keep your
Many people know that they must turn to
advertising at some point in the future, but they
hope that day will be long down the road. For
some, this utopian concept will come to fruition.
But for the rest of us in the real world, we must
come up with creative solutions for meeting our
home business advertising needs while working
within our budget.
Most people have a misconception about having to
spend lots of money in order to advertise their
home business. When you start out, you honestly
will not have much money available for
advertising, and if you do, you should still
spend it wisely.
Before you jump headfirst into the world of
advertising, let me share some of the lessons I
have learned concerning this most important topic.
It does not have to cost an arm and a leg to
advertise your home business, unless you fail to
plan and fail to test.
As much as is possible, you should always test
your advertising. If you jump in and start
dumping tons of money in to advertising without
first testing your advertising, you might find
yourself broke and without sales at the end of
the road. Most people who commit this error write
off their failure on the home business they chose
or the economy or any of a hundred other excuses.
But, if they are unwilling to take responsibility
for their mistake, they will never learn from
their mistake. Don`t let this be you.
All testing should be done in blocks. If you
begin to advertise simultaneously in newspapers,
radio and television, how will you know which
advertising is bringing people to your cash
register? You won`t. All you will know that
something might be working, but you will not know
what is actually doing the trick.
Even if you tell people in your advertising to
tell you how they found you, my experience shows
that fewer than 10% of the people ever will tell
you anything and those people who do may not
even get the facts straight! You cannot rely on
your customers to tell you what advertising is
working for your home business. You must put in
the extra effort to know for yourself.
Only when you have a proven and solid advertising
portfolio should you venture to drop big bucks in
an advertising campaign. Even then, you should be
careful to keep further measurements to determine
how much the maximum advantage of an ad would be.
Sometimes you might be able to reach ten times as
many people, but depending on the kind of media
and other factors, the additional exposure will
only generate twice as many sales. Keep your eye
attuned to situations like this to get the most
from your advertising dollars.
As Lesson #3 illustrates, sometimes your best
advertising investment may actually cost you less
money. When you are first starting out, whether
you are running a home business or a business
outside of your home, you need to be able to get
people talking and thinking about your business.
If you are busy testing ads in media`s such as
the newspaper, magazines, radio, and television,
you need to learn ways of promoting your business
that do not require large cash expenditures. A
few examples are:
Word of Mouth
Non-Primetime Ads on Radio and Television
Here is more information about each type of
WORD OF MOUTH
This of course is the cheapest kind of
advertising on the planet it does not cost
you anything. Ask your customers if they know
anyone who could also use your products or
services. When they are happy with your offerings
and service, they will be willing to tell you
whom you can contact, and they will pass the
word for you.
You can usually pick up 500 business cards for
about $20. When you do, hand them out. Do not
give more than a couple of cards to each person.
If they need more cards from you, they will ask.
Some people are known to network with others on a
regular basis. Some of these people are also
known to be always looking for an extra few
bucks. With these people, you can suggest to them
that if they write their name on the back of one
of your business cards and the card is presented
to you, then you will pay a referral fee to them.
You do not have to offer much sometimes one
dollar is enough. Look at your home business and
your offerings and decide how much would be a
good referral fee.
Press Releases are a good source for generating
news about your home business. The business
editor at your local newspaper is always on the
lookout for a good business story to fill the
business news section of the newspaper.
Of course, the business editor understands the
economics of running a paper and is more inclined
to run your story if you buy advertising in
his/her publication, but will still print
stories for special events and openings.
The important thing to remember about Press
Releases is that it must be constructed in the
form of a news story. Even if you are a sole
proprietorship, quotes from you should be written
in a third person format: John Doe said, "Your
A Press Release should pack the most important
information at the beginning of the copy, and
leave extra details towards the end.
You should always provide the reporter who gets
the task a simple and easy way for him/her to
contact you directly. Often the reporter will
want to contact you to get details that will
enhance their take on your story.
NON-PRIMETIME ADS ON RADIO AND TELEVISION
Believe it or not, some of the best rates for
radio and television are on the overnight and
non-primetime venues. These target times are not
a total waste as they can easily keep the
infomercial people in business.
These off-hours are just less populated than the
Don`t be afraid to check your local radio and
television rates for non-primetime hours to see
what bargains may exist. With television,
primetime is 7pm to 10pm. With radio, primetime is
8am to 5pm. This sure leaves a whole lot of hours
available to advertise your home business at
When it comes down to it, there is a lot to
understand about advertising, but when you have
the basic knowledge down pat, everything will
fall into place and bring more dollars to your
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Drums Along the Jacks ForkSmall Press Bookwatch , August, 2004
Drums Along The Jacks Fork
PO Box 1375, Pittsboro, NC 27312
Billie Staley is a determined young woman still suffering from the sudden deaths of her parents when she accepts a government job in Woodland Hills, Missouri. But before she get underway in building a new life for herself she is caught up in a computer technology backlash and a sinister militia movement. Throwing herself into her work, Billie unexpectedly discovers that the new man who has entered her life and her heart is much more than he seemed. Things get out of hand as one catastrophic even of uncertain origin leaves the town of Woodland Hills in ruin and Billie must fight for her life while discovering how such an unexpected disaster came to be. Very highly recommended reading, Drums Along The Jacks Fork is a polished work of considerable originality and clearly documents author Henry Hoffman as an able novelist whose readers will look eagerly forward to his next effort.
COPYRIGHT 2004 Midwest Book Review
COPYRIGHT 2004 Gale Group
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