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    7 Replies Latest reply on Feb 10, 2009 12:36 AM by Soaringspirit

    Starting a new Business

    Raindance Newbie
      Hello,
      I've started a new sign business in Portland, OR. I have tried door to door sales, internet marketing, the chamber of commerce, I've sent mailers to new business listings through the city.
      Does any one have a better wat of marketing?
      Thanks
      Kip
        • Re: Starting a new Business
          LUCKIEST Guide
          Raindance. Welcome to this web site. You need both a Marketing and Business Plan
          I am a SCORE Counselor. SCORE is FREE and I would be happy to help you market
          your new sign company. Do you have a Business Name and a Federal I D Number??
          One of my favorite marketing ideas is to sponser the local baseball team. All the children
          running around town with your company name on their shirts.
          Good luck, I have more. Contact me at " pdeig@juno.com " with a phone number
          LUCKIEST
          1 of 1 people found this helpful
          • Re: Starting a new Business
            Uncle Leon Tracker
            A new "anything" is always difficult. Especially when you have established competition.

            You must have a key USP, or multiple small ones to win contracts. Answer this and you will be well on your way to developing them.

            Why, as a businessman, should I buy a sign from you; the new kid on the block?...unproven?; as opposed to the established sign companies who can show me pictures of their work and provide references from customers? Maybe your signs won't last through gale and hurricane winds? I see several signs around town that have. Why shouldn't I select one of the companies tht erected these signs.

            That's a tough question. But that's one you must answer to any potential client, even before they ask. In fact...they may not ask...but they think it.

            As to method of marketing; I believe you need a commissioned salesman. For leads, the new business license applicants. Get there "the firstest with the mostest".
            • Re: Starting a new Business
              dollsbags Adventurer
              Kip,

              I agree with Leon, starting a new business is difficult. Nothing like a good business plan.

              As far as marketing goes, it's more science than you might think. The tendency is to throw way too much money into advertising - way too soon! Stick to a monthly advertising budget and start small. It's amazing what a few low cost ads can do in local flyers and pennysaver circulars. Find ways to track results from the ads. There are lots of places you can advertise your business online for free also.

              Know your competition. Know what they do right and what you can do better. It's not by chance that there is a McD's close to every BK!

              Be persistant and don't give up. One of every 5 small businesses close in the first year - don't be a statistic.

              Advertise for free whenever possible. Postcards are cheap. Email advertising works too and is relatively low cost. Get your site into the search engines and into local business directories in your area, such as CitySearch, YellowPages.com, Yahoo Local, etc. Get a myspace or flikr and join some groups. Find a site that lets you promote some online coupons. MerchantCircle.com works VERY well for this. Run some reports on your site and see where most of your traffic is coming from and focus in on that area with a little extra advertising.

              Good Luck!

              Rich Petrelli, VP
              DollsBags.com
                • Re: Starting a new Business
                  Raindance Newbie
                  Thanks to you all. I had a successful sign business in another part of the state for 32 years. The town was small and advertising wasn't a biggie. You've given me some great ammunition.
                  Thanks Again
                  Kip <!--
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                • Re: Starting a new Business
                  Lighthouse24 Ranger

                  Any business with a crummy sign (or no sign) that needs to attract new customers is a candidate for a new sign. So one option might be to drive around and look for those candidates, then drop by with a one-page proposal for a low-priced, medium-priced, and top-of-the-line replacement (make it a "limited time" offer with an expiration date). Your cost is minimal, and since "pre-qualification" (i.e., you already know they need a new sign) is built-in to the process, your conversion rate is likely to be higher than with any random form of b2b marketing. Best wishes.
                  1 of 1 people found this helpful
                  • Re: Starting a new Business
                    Soaringspirit Newbie

                    The most inexpensive marketing is writing an article for your Chamber of Commerce Newsletter- Tell stories about how signs have made a difference for other businesses- human interest- "What's in a Sign?"- with all your prior years in businees you must have some great stories. Then end with a moral- don't be telling about you- or your business- give some great tips- then at the end you have your by-line, your busines and address. You aren't paying for any ads- but you are seen as an authority- and it will give you the credibilty you deserve..

                     


                    When I first started my business, I didn't have enough clients, nor enough funds for a marketing campaign- but I sat down and wrote several articles and they were published- I still do that when I have time and it always brings in new clients. Also you can put those articles on your website and and submit them for local newspapers- it's free- just your time ! good luck