I don’t need to advertise, people know I’m here!

October 2013

Advertising locally is one of the most important things you can do for your business. Whether it’s a big outlay of a billboard, a letterbox drop, or an ad in the local paper, you need to be visible.

We constantly come across people who set up their new business with absolutely no budget for advertising. There’s a great quote by businessman Stuart Henderson Britt – Doing business without advertising is like winking at a girl in the dark. You know what you are doing, but nobody else does.

It’s easy to think that just because people drive or walk past your shop front that they will think of you when they next need your product or service. The truth is that people walk or drive past businesses all the time without ever stopping to go in. So, even if people know you are there, you need to give them a good reason to walk into your shop or pick up the phone. By advertising, you can let people know your specials, regular deals or simply tell them more about what you offer.

We have been dealing with small local business owners for over 20 years and the ones that succeed are the ones who are proactive in being seen. For your business it might be a combination of things that makes up your marketing plan (and just by the way, you are never too small to have a marketing plan and budget!). You might place a small ad in the local paper as well as sponsor the local football team and have your name on their jerseys. You might do a letterbox drop and have an ad on the back of a local school newsletter.

The most important thing is to be out there. Whilst many of us don’t have the marketing budget of the big boys, we can look at what they do and adopt some of their formula for success. Consider this: how many Coke, McDonalds, Target, Woolworths ads do you see on TV, in your letterbox, in your inbox, on your facebook newsfeed? Yep, you would think that these big guys already have enough branding to not have to advertise any more, wouldn’t you? Instead, they are running ads on a loop into our brains.

And you can do a small scale version of that. Through consistent, smart advertising, you can slowly build a brand, no matter who you are, or how small your customer base. The key is to treat advertising and marketing as an investment – not an expense! Invest wisely and you will reap the rewards.

 

Susannah has been the co-owner of Local News Publications together with her husband, Graham, since 2006 but has been involved with the company since it’s inception in 1993. She holds the position of Editor and is known for being a spelling/grammar/punctuation tyrant. Susannah writes the monthly column Personally Speaking which appears in all four publications, and which grew into her own blog over two years ago (www.susannahfriis.com). Susannah also enjoys being part of the volunteer writing and speaking team for overseas aid organisation Destiny Rescue.

Disclaimer: This article is for general information purposes only and is not intended as professional advice. The views expressed in this article are solely the views of the author.