With no shop window to speak of, marketing is vital when it comes to home businesses. Despite popular belief, marketing doesn’t have to be an expensive process and we have some simple tips to help get you started.
Network – Perhaps the best way to market your home business is through networking with absolutely anyone and everyone. Many people make the mistake at just stopping with friends and family but these don’t necessarily make the best customers as they won’t always buy your products/services. Get some business cards made up and attend events such as trade shows where you can get an audience for your home business. Always carry more business cards then you need as it will allow people to remember your company later when they find the card in their pocket (plus it is easier to explain). Look on your local notice board and find events on line that suit your industry and attend not only to network with customers but also with other businesses that are in a similar field.
‘Work From Home’? – You should be treating your business like any other and not just a ‘work from home’ business as this can be perceived in a negative light. It can sometimes be best not to mention the fact that you are a home business and instead speak of your business as a professional group. If talks continue about your business, there is no need to lie but refrain from mentioning it in your opening pitch.
Advertise – So you have a plain white van that helps you get from A to B, why not decorate it to advertise your business? The cost of this is relatively low and is a one-off payment. After a little while, it will be free advertising as people will see it as you drive past and people will walk past it when you are parked somewhere and even when it is parked outside your house/apartment. Keep it simple though, don’t over decorate until people no longer get the message and have to stop and work it out because they won’t; add your business name, a logo, maybe a slogan and then a means for them to contact you.
In addition to this, it can be beneficial to post flyers or even just your business cards on local information boards, in local grocery stores, and anywhere it will be seen by the masses. If you can find somewhere that your target audience congregates, you have yourself a goldmine.
Sponsor – Finally, sponsoring a local event will help to get your name out there and will help to draw customers in. Try to find an event that is popular and if you can, donate a prize as this can lead to the most effective type of free advertising, word-of-mouth.
So there you have it, although marketing is often seen as an unwanted cost, with a bit of inspiration and ‘outside the box’ thinking you can get your business name everywhere!