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Great tips for small business owners

accountant37004036.jpgThe key to being successful as a small business owner lies in your ability to advertise. Your target audience needs to learn about your business and the only way to gain their undivided attention is to advertise to them and teach them about your small business. Some of the advertising opportunities available for small business owners include listing your advertisement in the yellow pages along with classified ads. It's a simple way to gain some exposure but there are many other advertising opportunities out there for small businesses.

Stop what you are doing
The first thing you need to evaluate when you run an advertising campaign is to figure out what is working and what isn't working. If your sales are slipping, it is because you aren't doing anything new and creative to attract attention. To figure out if your advertising campaign is working, take a moment to ask your customers for their opinions. Customer surveys are a great way to gain quick publicity for your company and it's a simple way to market to your existing customers to find out what they really think about your business.

Start small
Once you come up with a couple advertising campaigns, start small so you don't overextend yourself. Do a few test advertising campaigns to see if you are generating a positive response from your target audience. If you get a nice response from a small campaign, you can then go ahead and launch it into a larger campaign.

Questions to ask
Whenever you begin an advertising campaign, you always need to take a step back and ask yourself a few basic questions:

  1. Will I be able to measure the effectiveness of this campaign? Try using a coupon code with an expiration date to see if your customers respond.

  2. Am I using action words? In order to get people to do something about your ads, you need to use action words that push them to do something.

  3. What is my break-even cost from this advertising campaign?

Watch your competition
Since you are a small business owner, you will have several competitors to deal with along the way. Watch your competition closely so you can try and stay one step ahead of them.

Get online
A big part of good marketing lies in your ability to advertise your web site. Even if people cannot order directly through your web site, you still want to push them to use your site. Always include your web site address at the bottom of every promotional product you send out. Make sure you are involved with the search engines as this is the best way to get your customers to find you when they are doing searches on the internet. You can list your site for free and Google AdWords provides you with some free tools that can help you make your web site pages more attractive to the search engine crawlers.

Good landing pages will also help your chances of gaining more exposure on your web site. Always use keywords in the title of your web page along with keywords on the page. The search engine crawlers will look over the first 2-3 paragraphs of your web page and you can make sure your web site is at the top of the list by using relevant keywords.

Depending upon how much site traffic you get, you may want to use a pay-per-click campaign to generate more traffic. Small businesses normally do not end up paying the large costs for keywords as the big companies and you should make your advertising costs back in one or two sales.

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