Today's Snack: An old-fashioned way to promote a restaurant or store is for a person
to a wear a "sandwich board." It is a two-sided human poster. One side points
forward and the other points backward, with the person in the middle of the
"sandwich." The person would walk up and down the sidewalk, and people can't
help reading the message because of the eye-catching way it was presented. Fix
yourself a sandwich and dream up an attention-getting way to promote YOUR new business
Blank paper, colored pencils
is the term for pushing your business product or service forward into the
public eye. When you "promote" what you are selling or would like to do for
pay, you are offering your product or service to customers who may not have
heard of you before. Or maybe they've heard of you once or twice, and the third
time they see your name, they decide to "bite" and become your newest customer!
business needs to promote itself in order to get started, and even after that,
keep up with promotion ideas in order to grow and get more customers.
most common forms of promotion include:
Flyers, palm cards,
brochures and posters.
Free publicity - a free
ad or article in a publication, or TV or radio program.
Announcement - a free TV or radio spot if your small business is helping a
Signs and banners.
Clings on windows,
including car windows.
Giveaways with your
contact information on them, such as pencils, refrigerator magnets and small
Uniforms or T-shirts
with your business logo or graphic, and contact information.
There are many levels of
promotion besides the obvious ones, as listed above. Some of the more
sophisticated forms of promotion include offering discount coupons to people
who refer you to new customers, bargain prices for repeat customers, free
products or services just to let people know about you or to help people who
are ill or elderly, offering every 10th car wash or every 10th
window washing job for free (or whatever your service is), designating a
portion of your profits to a worthy charity, and any number of other ways to
let people know you have a quality product and are a quality person to back it
When you are just getting
started, it's a great idea to "tryout" your product or service on family
members, neighbors and friends, and charge little or nothing in return for them
acting as your "guinea pigs." These "trial runs" will help you perfect your
product and improve your service until you are ready for "prime time" sales to
people you don't know as well, or who you don't know at all. While you are
"practicing" on these friends, you can also collect their testimonials - nice
things they have to say about you and your product or service. Then you can use
those testimonials, that "testify" about how good you are, in your future
Another promotional idea
is to give a gift certificate or free coupon to a local fund-raiser, such as a
school carnival or church social, so that everybody who attends that
fund-raiser sees your name and service and learns about you that way.
Does anyone in your family
know anyone who's famous? Even a little famous in your locality? Having a
"celebrity" appear in your ads or come to a public presentation with you and
endorse you and your product is a powerful way to promote your business, too.
Now let's practice making
one promotional piece! Pretend that you are starting a dog-walking service.
Using a piece of blank 8½ x 11" paper and colored pencils, sketch a flyer that
you could post on a bulletin board at the local pet shop, or duct-tape to a
telephone pole in your neighborhood, or walk from door to door, to advertise
your new service. How else could you use a flyer?
Brainstorm all the facts
that you need on the flyer. What kind of art or drawing or graphic would be
eye-catching for your service? Do you need to invent a name for your service?
fun making your flyer, and if you're in a group, present them to each other
when you are finished.