Marketing Your Small Business - The Top 10 Brilliant Ideas

A Brilliant Marketing Idea... sounds great but what is it? Is it the idea that results in the mailman ringing your doorbell, signaling in a caravan of postal workers with mounds of letters (all in response to your latest advertisement)? Is it the idea that brings a 20% response rate on your direct mail campaign?

Surely these ideas would be considered brilliant marketing ideas...right? Well, maybe. It depends on the costs incurred generating the response. If the cost of the marketing was greater than the income it generated, it doesn't matter how great the response, it's not very brilliant.

The following ideas will get you started marketing brilliantly in no time!

BUSINESS CARDS

Print (or stamp) something on your business card that will prompt the holder to contact you (and/or to keep the card). Examples: "Return this card for a FREE loaf of bread" (baker), "10% off on next purchase" (retail store), "Send for your FREE copy of our Special Report: Brilliant Ideas for Marketing Your Small Business" (small business marketing specialist).

VALUE-ADDED SERVICES

Success means standing apart from the competition. This is done by developing (and promoting) your value-added services. If you don't think you have any, think again...and then if you still don't, develop some! (Sometimes it is something you are already doing/offering, but you just haven't recognized it as a value-added service or product.) Example: With each printing order, you also get free design consultation services.

BUSINESS FORMS AND STATIONERY

Use all company forms to promote your business--it costs no more to design them with promotions than it does to design them without! Examples: On your stationery, list your services or products, your value-added features, and/or the benefits of doing business with your company.

ENVELOPES

Use the left-hand side of the envelope to motivate the reader to open it and to read what's inside. Example: What's inside for YOU? 10 Tips for Marketing Your Business!

FAX COVER SHEETS

Design and create a FAX coversheet that not only identifies the person who is to receive the FAX, but also promotes your business. One brilliant idea is to include your current promotion. Example: A hotel could promote a "$66 Weekend Ski Package."

VOICE MESSAGE

Your voice mail recording should market your business. Example: "Thank you for calling The Rocking Chair ? Mountain View's largest antique and collectables shop. At the corner of Main and Sylamore, we're open 10-6 seven days a week. Please leave a message, and we'll get back to you as soon as we can."

INTRODUCTION

Business professionals are frequently asked "what do you do?" Practice your 10 second answer to this question; be sure it includes the benefits your business provides to your customers. It should also identify the customers you are looking for. Example: "I work with small businesses, sales professionals, and entrepreneurs. I provide them with inexpensive ideas for promoting their businesses and for serving their customers so they promote their business too. I do this through workshops and through my website http://www.brilliant-marketing-for-small-business.com."

DATABASE UPDATE

On a regular basis (every 6-12 months), contact "old" customers. Let them know you are updating your database and need to confirm the information you have. Although this is not a sales call, it is common for lost customers to begin doing business with you again simply because you contacted them.

24-HOURS VOICE MAIL... for your convenience

If you have 24-hour voice mail (or an answering machine that is not also your home line), advertise that it is available 24 hours for your customers and prospects; include for your convenience. This is especially effective since many people review the mail and newspapers early in the morning, late in the evening, or on weekends!

STORIES SELL!

When telling people what you do, use examples. Example: "I help people protect their property; I'm an insurance agent. In fact, last week I wrote policies for newly married couples needing renters insurance."

Anyone can promote a business with an unlimited marketing budget, but it takes specialized knowledge and commitment to get the same (or better) results on a shoestring. These brilliant ideas are only a fraction of the thousands available in the Brilliant Marketing! ? System. Look for future editions of this e-zine for more Brilliant Marketing Ideas!

Alex Barrington, developer of the Brilliant Marketing! System, has worked with thousands of small businesses providing them with low-or-no-cost marketing ideas for maximizing respone and minimizing results. The entire Brilliant Marketing! tutorial is online on Alex's site: http://www.brilliant-marketing-for-smal l-business.com

In The News:

VizyPay Launches RUSH Loyalty Program  Small Business Trends
Kendall: No quit in small businesses  Chicago Daily Herald
Small businesses get boost at Bentonville market event  Northwest Arkansas Democrat-Gazette

The Single Most Powerful Small Business Marketing Tool On The Planet

Let me get right to the point. The single most... Read More

Looking for a New Office Chair?

Perhaps you are building a new home office or you... Read More

Going Public: Now that You Have Successfully Made the Transition, What Do You Do?

Ok, you have successfully accomplished your dream of being the... Read More

Five Facts and One Motivating Factor Behind a Successful Home Business

All legitimate home business entrepreneurs insist and announce loud and... Read More

Beating the Small Business Cash Flow Blues

Small business owners can relieve a lot of their own... Read More

Comparing Boston Area for a mobile car wash business

The Boston suburbs seem to be rich with possible locations... Read More

Eight Ways To Improve Your Companys Cash-Flow ? TODAY!

Cash is the lifeblood of any business. As humans need... Read More

How to Start a Paper Shredding Business

Paper Shredding Business Opportunities are blossoming up everywhere because in... Read More

Effective Customer Interviews Make Life Much Easier!

One of the critical success factors for service-related businesses is... Read More

Keeping Business Alive

Who is responsible for maintaining the business relationship?Nurturing a business... Read More

Employee Email and Internet Use - A Small Business Guide

IntroductionIt is widely recognised that Email and the Internet is... Read More

Small Business - Is The Accounting Profession Ripping Them Off?

My 16 year-old daughter said, "Gee Dad! You look just... Read More

How to Create an Employee Manual

Large corporations use employee manuals to both educate employees about... Read More

One Of The Best New Business Opportunities May Be Right In Your Home - A New Daycare Business

The day care industry is expanding. There are now more... Read More

Starting a Small Business? ?Tips from a Veteran

Congratulations, you are starting a small business! You are taking... Read More

Challenging the Gospel of Growth -- Must Business Grow to Survive?

A cherished business doctrine is that growth must be a... Read More

Why Small Businesses Fail (or Fail to Thrive)

Tammy, a skilled and gifted horticulturist, called me to discuss... Read More

Professional House Cleaning - The Dirty Little Secret

Are you tired yet of all the books out there... Read More

Temporary Staffing Agency: How to Start

The temporary staffing industry continues to expand, with yearly double-digit... Read More

Hispanic Small Business Advantage

One thing I have noticed in my travels to different... Read More

Making Your Purpose Your Business Step #2- Getting From Point A to Point B

In my previous article, Step 1, your challenge for the... Read More

Do I Have to Do EVERYTHING Myself?!

The air in my client's office nearly crackled with her... Read More

Is Brick and Mortar A Passing Fad?

Q: Is the online world the best place to sell... Read More

20 Great Ways to Market Your Business Locally

Whether your target audience is in your neighborhood or across... Read More

SBIR - A Nice Add-on Business

If you are a small business and qualify to participate... Read More