Copyright 2005 Stone Evans
When you are starting out in a new home business and no one knows who you are, one of greatest challenges you will face is how to drum up new business.
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 doors open.
Many people know that they must turn to advertising at some point in future, but they hope that day will be long down road. For some, this utopian concept will come to fruition. But for rest of us in 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 world of advertising, let me share some of 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 end of road. Most people who commit this error write off their failure on home business they chose or 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 trick.
Even if you tell people in your advertising to tell you how they found you, my experience shows that fewer than 10% of people ever will tell you anything --- and those people who do may not even get facts straight! You cannot rely on your customers to tell you what advertising is working for your home business. You must put in 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 maximum advantage of an ad would be. Sometimes you might be able to reach ten times as many people, but depending on kind of media and other factors, additional exposure will only generate twice as many sales. Keep your eye attuned to situations like this to get 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 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: