I can’t tell you how many times I try to find a small business online and Google returns no results. This is not Google’s fault; it is not even the business owner’s fault; it is just how the system works — someone has to enter the data. However, knowing how the system works, it falls on the business owner to do at least a few simple things to be found and grow. Some basic, inexpensive methods with nurture a business into the future.
Below is a checklist to help you get things started on the right foot… or to help you catch up if you have already started:
Starter List for Marketing Your Business
- Get a website – this can be as simple as registering a URL (www.address.com) and pointing/redirecting it to a free blog. With Hover.com, addresses can be as low as $10/year and redirecting is pretty easy. However, I strongly recommend that you create the best website you can afford — don’t just go for cheap. Create a great online tool that keeps people coming back. Make sure it is something that you can update regularly with blog entries, new products/services, news, events, etc. I like the options from SquareSpace.com. However, I tend to work with local people like ProjectRockhopper.com for custom websites. Don’t forget to put your address, phone number and a way to contact you via email on your website.
- Create a Facebook fanpage – FREE. This is so easy if you already have a Facebook account. Go here and follow the instructions – it will take you 10-20 minutes (if that).
- Register with Google places – FREE. This is also really simple. Be sure to include your website. Go here and follow the instructions – it will take you 15-30 minutes if you have a gmail account. Be sure it is linked to an account that is related to the business – preferably NOT a personal email address.
- Order business cards – Depending on how many, this can be $40-400. I really like the designs from Moo.com. But, I decided to use Boston letterpress printer, Goosefish Press because letterpress has a very special feel.
- Create a simple enewsletter template – FREE. Send out a “grand opening” or “now open” email. Put a signup sheet at the front desk of your brick and mortar location, your fanpage, and on your website/blog. MailChimp offers a way to connect your fanpage to your account and the signup will appear there. They also offer a link you can put on your website for signups.
- Start a mailing list for holiday cards or other mailers – FREE. Make mailing addresses part of your brick and mortar signup sheet. I have made greeting cards on Shutterfly using my business’s logo. You could also use XpressDocs for mailers.
- Make sure your email signature has your company name, website address, phone number and fanpage on it.
- Tell your friends and family (in person, via email, on Facebook, etc) that you have a new company.
For more information about how to market your business, contact me here.