Playing With the Big Boys ≠≠ How to compete with chain stores

Written by Alvin Apple

Ashley opened a posh, little gift shop and decided thatrepparttar best way to advertise was a 15 second spot on one ofrepparttar 101242 local television stations. Her commercial emphasized that people should stop by forrepparttar 101243 grand opening. When her shop first opened, it was visited by a steady stream of customers, many who came by because they had seenrepparttar 101244 commercial.

After her shop had been open for several weeks, business began to taper off. Ashley visited several ofrepparttar 101245 larger, chain gift shops in town and found that business was booming.

Ashley couldn't figure out whatrepparttar 101246 problem was. She felt that her products were unique and stylish. She thought customers would be intrigued by a shopping experience that was more personal than that in stores like Pier 1 Imports and Pottery Barn.

In her advertising, Ashley emphasized that people should come by forrepparttar 101247 grand opening, but she figuredrepparttar 101248 shop would sell itself. She didn't understand that people might fail to seerepparttar 101249 benefits of shopping in her store if those benefits werenít pointed out to them.

Here are some advertising techniques small businesses can utilize to compete with chains:

* Emphasizerepparttar 101250 uniqueness ofrepparttar 101251 product. People are often attracted torepparttar 101252 idea of getting something unique from a smaller, independently owned business, but are used torepparttar 101253 larger selection a chain store can offer. Ashley could have featuredrepparttar 101254 originality of her stock as compared torepparttar 101255 universal stock a chain store offers.

Placing Effective Newspaper Advertisements

Written by Barrett Niehus

For small business professionals, placing advertisements in newspapers and magazines requires a lot of forethought and planning. There are many parts to placing an effective ad,repparttar least of which is designingrepparttar 101241 ad itself. Consideration must be made to how and whererepparttar 101242 advertisement is going to run, as well asrepparttar 101243 length and amount of exposurerepparttar 101244 advertisement will receive. The following is a basic guide to help you developrepparttar 101245 most effective fitness and personal training advertisement.

Developing an effective advertisement begins not by sitting down to write copy, but instead begins with research. Find out what periodicals are available to advertise in, and what periodicals your clients read. Make a list of local magazines, newsletters, and newspapers that you would be interested in. Contactrepparttar 101246 advertising departments of these periodicals and ask to speak to your area accounts representative. Many magazines and papers have reps covering specific areas of your county, city, or state. When speaking torepparttar 101247 person, explain to them who you are and what you wish to

accomplish. Most representatives are very helpful in making suggestions regarding proper placement of ads, and may be able to offer suggestions that you had not yet considered.

When speaking to your local rep, you should make sure to obtainrepparttar 101248 following information:

1. Rate Card: Haverepparttar 101249 rep fax or mail you a current rate sheet so that you know exactly how much your advertisement will cost.

2. Current Demographics: Each newspaper and magazine tracksrepparttar 101250 number and type of people that read their publications. Many publications also trackrepparttar 101251 spending habits and reading habits of their demographic. Make sure to obtain a list ofrepparttar 101252 periodicalís demographics, this isrepparttar 101253 most valuable piece of information that a fitness trainer can obtain from an ad rep.

3. Submission Requirements and definition of "Photo Ready:" Make sure to find out what is required to submit an article. Find out what formrepparttar 101254 ad must be in, and when submission deadlines are scheduled. Also, find out whatrepparttar 101255 periodicalís definition of photo-ready is. This definition varies from paper to paper, and may vary from a concept sketch to pre-printed three color film. Make sure thatrepparttar 101256 representative explains howrepparttar 101257 ad must be submitted.

4. Special Promotions: Many times, magazines and newspapers implement their own promotion programs or events. As a trainer, these promotions may provide you withrepparttar 101258 added exposure that you need. Be sure to ask if there are any upcoming events or additional publications that might address your needs.

5. Creative Design: The final thing that you should askrepparttar 101259 representative is whether they offer creative design assistance, and if there is a cost for such assistance. Most newspapers offer graphic design services to advertisers who are placing ads in their papers. Better still, many of these services are included inrepparttar 101260 price of advertising. Ask ifrepparttar 101261 periodical can help you withrepparttar 101262 graphics on your ad and if you will be charged for this service. Personal trainers live on a budget, and this is a great way to save what would otherwise be spent on graphic artists.

Now that you haverepparttar 101263 information about your advertising options, it is time to decide exactly what and how you are going to advertise. Sit down and write out EXACTLY WHO YOU ARE SELLING TO. Which fitness clients are you trying to attract? Definerepparttar 101264 age, sex, and specific demographic that you are trying to attract and train. Be specific, people who want to train to lose weight are in a completely different demographic than those who want to train to gain lean muscle mass.

After you have written down your specific training demographic, write down why people in this group would want your services. Write down what you believe they want, and what value they will receive by choosing you as their personal trainer. Once again, be specific, this will berepparttar 101265 foundation of your advertisement. Keep in mind that most people will not pick uprepparttar 101266 phone for an advertisement that says "get fit." However, millions of

people every day invest hundreds of thousands of dollars to "lose weight." Make sure that you knowrepparttar 101267 real reason why a client would

chose you as their trainer.

Now that you have chosen who you are marketing to, and what you are offering, it is a simple matter of choosing which magazine or newspaper to advertise in. Matchrepparttar 101268 demographics ofrepparttar 101269 magazines withrepparttar 101270 demographic ofrepparttar 101271 fitness clients that you are trying to reach.

You have chosen where you are going to advertise, and what you are selling, so now it is time to determine whatrepparttar 101272 ad is going to say and how it is going to be laid out. This is whererepparttar 101273 assistance of magazine creative designers is invaluable. However,repparttar 101274 onus in still upon you to

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