Tuesday, December 29, 2009

A year in review - More craft business - how to's, tips and hints

To carry on the theme for the week, again, a blog from my past - from June 24, 09

Free Craft Fair is a fantastic site for craft business owners. The site is full of so much information on how to start, build and maintain a craft based business.

I stumbled on this doing a directory search. I applied and they accepted my link in their directory. I will do the same from my site back to them. While poking around their site and seeing what they offer, I ran across some great tips on how to market 'offline'. I am taking her challenge of doing two a week. Will keep you posted on the progress.

To see the original post by Shelly Hill - Click Here or read on. (I don't know if this is a big blogging no-no to repost someone elses blog, but I see it all the time. My intent is to credit the author, and link back to them, the information is too good not to share)

#1. Make up advertising filler packs and pass them out every where you go, every event that you attend and swap them with other women home business owners.

#2. When you travel and stay in hotels, leave your catalog, business card, business coupon behind in your room, lobbies and other places that people congregate. I like to leave my business card with my hotel housekeeping (maid) tip.

#3. Print out flyers with your business name and contact information along with any specials you are running. Leave these flyers in public places where others can see them. Public Places: Grocery store message boards, community center message boards, employee lounges, etc.

#4. Contact local area bridal stores, bridal supply stores, caterers, tux rental centers, dj’s, photographers, etc. if your company/business offers a bridal registry. See if you can leave them your business cards!

#5. Daycare Centers: You can get a lot of business from the parents who use daycare centers so contact them about leaving your business cards or flyers.

#6. A lot of churches and religous groups hold spring and fall festivals, so make sure you contact them about getting a booth space at one of their events. Booth spaces are usually very economical with these types of groups.

#7. Join your local Chamber of Commerce! They always hold local business events in your area. This is a great way to network and to make new business contacts.

#8. College Campuses: College Students are always looking to spend money and they are usually on the hunt for a business opportunity to help pay for their school expenses so you can target them for sales and for recruiting into your business opportunity. Most schools have a student center, so that is where you would want to leave your business cards and flyers.

#9. Contact your local area Welcome Wagon or Welcome to the Neighborhood group. See if you can add your business info to their Welcome to the Neighborhood bags.

#10. Contact your local area hospitals and see if you can add your business info to their New Mommy Diaper Bags. A lot of hospitals give out free bags filled with goodies to all the new moms who have babies at their facilities!

#11. Contact your local medical offices, particularly the Obstetrics & Gynecology Offices and the Pediatrician Offices. A lot of those offices also give freebies to expecting or new moms. See if you can add your information their freebie packages.

#12. Donate a prize or a gift certificate to your local radio station for their numerous prize giveaways and contests. This gets you free business exposure. Often times, they will also list you as a prize sponsor on their website too.

#13. Donate a prize to your local area Bingo Halls! They are always looking for prize donations.

#14. Call your local Chamber of Commerce to find out when there will be local job fairs in your area and get a booth at one or at the very least attend one so you can make some new contacts in your local area.

#15. Call your local area colleges and trade schools to find out when their next local area job/employment fair will be. A great way to market your home business opportunity to others who might be interested.

#16. Contact local area car dealerships. I make up small packets of business information, my business card, my coupon and a small freebie. Ask them if you can drop off 100 packs to them to hand out to others who come in for those FREE test drives.

#17. Contact your local area gyms and fitness centers. A lot of times you can get a table and market your business for an economical fee of $25.00.

#18. Network with others in your community who have home businesses. They are usually in the know on local business events that are upcoming in your community.

#19. Contact companies in your local area to see if you can come in and set up a display in their employee lounges or cafeterias for an employee shopping break. This works best if you offer an exclusive discount or deal to their employees.

#20. Does your local area TV Cable Company have a local information channel? If so, contact them to see if you can advertise on their information channel.

#21. Contact local small companies and shops to see if you can offer an exclusive discount to their employees. Companies like to offer perks to their employees such as shopping discounts from various local businesses.

#22. Small home town newspapers! I don’t get a great response to the big city newspaper ads but I do get a great response if I place ads in small home town newspapers!

#23. Get a low cost outdoor banner ad printed up to market your business during outside community events such as: sporting events, music concerts and so forth.

#24. Take your business on the road during the nice weather seasons. Contact your local area parks and recreation centers to see what kind of events are coming up and inquire about getting a table or booth at their outdoor events.

#25. Community coupon clipper packs and coupon packs. If your community has them, call them up and find out how you can advertise in them.

#26. Contact local area businesses such as: salons, banks, massage parlors etc. See if you can come in and set up a display. Offer a contest and prize with your display. Use the entry forms to gather contact information for possible new contact leads.

#27. Contact local area pizza shops, diners, deli’s and coffee shops. Most of these types of businesses have paper placemats where you can buy ad space and have your business ad placed on them. People do READ these ads!

#28. Contact local area bars, restaurants and clubs to see if you can buy some advertising on their paper beverage coasters.

#29. Local Television Newstations are always holding on-air contests and website contests for their viewers. Contact them to see if you can donate a prize to get some free business exposure for your business.

#30. Attend local area Holiday Shopping Events. Customers who are ready spend some holiday money and looking to purchase holiday gifts attend these events. Get a booth or table space and market your business to them.

#31. Hold a local community block party at your home or at your local community center. Families are always looking for something to do on the weekends!

#32. Get your business listed in your local yellow pages phone book. Way too often home business people over look this valuable advertising tool. These days a lot of phone books have coupon sections too, so make sure you inquire about adding your coupon to that section.

#33. You can take this phone book idea one step further by finding out who prints up those vinyl phone book covers that are covered with local business advertising in your area and find out how much it would cost for you to add your business ad to that phone book cover.

#34. Get your business information printed up on pencils and hand them out for FREE to local colleges and adult technical schools.

#35. Get a vehicle banner made for your automobile. I recommend the vinyl clings so that you can easily remove them when it comes time to wash your vehicle.

#36. If your city has a travel guide that tourists request, make sure you place a business ad in that travel guide. This is a great way to get your business information into the hands of non-local customers.

#37. Local City Maps! These days you can find all kinds of small business advertising printed on the sides and backs of those city maps! You can get really good economically priced ads placed onto those maps.

#38. Contact local area hotels, motels and bed and breakfast inns in your local area. Ask them if you can leave your business information with them for their guests to peruse when they are in the lobby.

#39. Get your business information printed up onto balloons. Give these ballons to local sporting events, charity events etc. A great way to get more business exposure.

#40. Find a few home business owners in your local community and team up with them! You can all sponsor a local boys/girls sports team, a parade float or other things in your community! This makes it very economical for those who are in small business to get business exposure and to participate in your local community events.

#41. Get T-shirts printed up with your business information printed on them. Hand them out to your friends and family members and ask them to wear them when they are out in the community running their errands.

#42. Get some canvas tote bags printed up with your business information on them. Pass them out to a few lady friends and ask them to use them when they are out and about in the community attending events or running errands.

#43. Get a license plate made up for the front of your car with your business information on it.

#44. Wear a business name tag every time you go out in the community. People do read them and do notice them!

#45. Local Area Magazines! Does your city publish their own local area magazine? If so, contact them about placing some advertising in their magazine.

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