By James Trotter, Colour GraphicsNo advice, no demand, no plan, no forecast and no budget.
Or it is the opposite problem – growth is too fast to cope with?
Whether it’s the aforementioned or the latter, they are just some of the reasons why 90% of new start-ups fail.
So what are the other 10% doing to survive and thrive?
They are effectively doing the opposite to the above. They have researched their market place, they know who their customers are, they are listening to people and the market, they are managing budget and predicting growth.
And they have the right offline marketing kit too. From roller banner stands to business cards, they have the tools in their marketing armory and, more importantly, they know how to use them.
These five offline marketing tips could save your start-up…
There is a whole audience out there for your business, all eager to either buy your product or service or willing to help get your product or service in front of the right people.
But, they need to know that you are there. They need to see you, meet you and talk to you.
There are all kinds of networking opportunities;
-Local networking groups such as chambers of commerce are a great place to get to know local people and groups
-Online networking groups, although not an offline promotional channel, are the perfect means of cross promotion between offline and online resources
-Specific groups such as women in business, young people in business, or groups that are specific to your product or service or that will mesh with what you are offering.
Millions of flyers are printed each year. As your start-up took shape you probably threw your budget at something similar. Then what happened?
Did you distribute these flyers are per the distribution plan? Did you monitor and review the impact of the various channels you used? Was door-to-door leafleting more successful than a flyer in the free local paper?
Or, are the box of flyers sat on a shelf, not quite fit for purpose because something changed?
Before you design your offline promotional gear, the roller banner stands, the leaflets, the flyers and so on, create a distribution and usage plan for each. So with your flyers, hire some energetic helpers to put flyers on windshields, through doors or in the hands of passers-by.
The motto is simple – invest, distribute and review.
- Business cards
Who doesn’t love a business card? When you see your company name, your name and contact details printed on the small piece of card that you keep snuggly in your wallet or purse, you feel like the dream is a reality. You are doing it: you are running your own business.
But, like the flyers on the shelf, your business cards, no matter how well designed or pretty they may be, are not doing anything if they are not being put in people’s hands.
Think of people who would need your contact details. Meet them and give them a business card. Bounce back to the first point, and get networking.
Another old-fashioned idea… or is it? A well-written and designed newsletter can be an indirect selling tool.
Picture this – a customer buys an item from your shop and as they pay, they see the free newsletter by the till and slip it in their bag. (Or better still, you make sure they get the newsletter by putting it into their bag.) When they get home, they browse the latest edition of your informative newsletter. Great stuff and this is why: This is five minutes is extra time that your customer is seeing your logo, your products, your brand. And it’s valuable so don’t under estimate it.
Top insider tip – include a money off voucher or a great deal and you may find that not only do you get new customers, but returning ones as well.
Yes, we know you are a start-up and frankly, as fast as money comes it, it seems to stream out again. Managing your cash flow is crucial but there is a saying, speculate to accumulate.
However, don’t let it be an empty gamble when it comes to sponsoring something or someone. Your business name needs to be in the BIGGEST, BOLDEST LETTERING and across everywhere. Sponsor the local football team, the local hockey club, the kids’ play area… whatever you can afford and that in some way links to your business.
Plus, there is no better feeling that doing something great for your local community.
Your mission, should you choose to accept it…
Choose one of these five tips, create a plan and try it. Did it work? What would need to change to create an even better return?
Colour Graphics has over 25 years of experience creating, designing and printing all kinds of offline marketing tools. They have seen businesses blossom with the aid of business cards, roller banner stands, leaflets and more. Why not your business?