REDMOND, Wash. — July 25, 2007
What: Many small-business owners do not have enough money to promote themselves effectively. If budget is an issue, some proven nontraditional marketing methods such as guerilla marketing can help get the word out.
The author of “Guerrilla Marketing in 30 Days,” Al Lautenslager recently offered small businesses advice on marketing to maximize profits and increase customers as part of a free Microsoft® Office Live Web seminar series. Lautenslager uses his own practical experience of running and managing a small-business print shop to provide small-business owners with helpful advice and insight on topics critical to success and to nontraditional forms of marketing and word of mouth. The seminar can be found at http://www.officelive.com.
For small businesses that seek to market themselves on a budget, Lautenslager provides the following tips:
Use nontraditional marketing strategies. Guerrilla marketing uses nontraditional and effective tactics such as public relations and direct mail, and online marketing such as building a Web site, to help promote a business without breaking the budget. Small-business owners with tighter budgets should use nontraditional means of advertising and avoid the more expensive television commercials as well as ads in national newspapers and magazines.
Network, network, network. Shaking hands and introducing oneself in the community is key. Meet with the local chamber of commerce, attend trade shows, ask for letters of recommendation and join free mailing lists. A potential future customer might be in the group.
Nominate the business for an award or establish a customer of the month award. Look for local award opportunities and nominate the company for them. Publicize the nomination and any awards once received. At the same time, one can present a plaque or certificate to customers and promote that as well.
Tie to a current news event. Look for a current event and ask if there is a way the business is directly supporting the cause. For example, if environmental issues are important in the community, show how the business is earth-friendly.
Hold a contest. Even for a one-person shop, holding a customer contest is a great way to boost employee morale and draw attention to a business. The prize could have direct ties to the business such as a free subscription or service to what the business offers.
Where: Lautenslager’s entire seminar is available in the Office Live Seminars archive, which can be found at http://www.officeliveseminars.com.
Who: The author of “Guerrilla Marketing in 30 Days” and “Kick It Up a Notch Marketing: 25 High Impact Marketing Strategies for Printers,” Lautenslager is a certified guerrilla marketing coach who helps businesses and professionals increase their revenue through focused marketing and an increased client base. He is a sought-after speaker, author, small-business owner, entrepreneur, consultant and certified guerrilla marketing coach, and his companies have helped hundreds of people succeed in their own businesses. Lautenslager is a principal of Market for Profits, a Chicago-based marketing consulting firm, and the president and owner of The Ink Well, a commercial printing and mailing company in Wheaton, Ill.
More Information: Targeting the fact that small businesses often have limited resources, Microsoft Office Live is sponsoring the free Microsoft Office Live seminar series. Microsoft Office Live is a set of Internet-based services and tools that help small businesses establish a professional Web presence and promote their business online. The series gives entrepreneurs access to some of today’s most dynamic business leaders through interactive Web seminars giving practical advice on the hottest topics facing small businesses today, such as marketing on a budget, starting a new business and franchising. The series is hosted by Susan Wilson Solovic, chief executive officer and chair of SBTV.com, a Web-based television network focused on small business.
About Microsoft Office Live
Microsoft Office Live is a complete, affordable set of easy-to-use Internet-based software and services that helps small businesses attract new customers, keep in touch with existing customers and easily manage their business from any location. By combining the power of software plus services, Office Live helps small businesses establish a professional Web presence, stay in touch with their customers, and easily access company information from one complete online location. More information is available at http://www.officelive.com.
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