If you have a small business, Part 2

By Lynette Sowell

My front porch


Last week, I wrote about TOMA – top of the mind awareness – and small businesses, along with your customers and “word of mouth.”

Remember, you need to have enough people purchasing your product or service to keep you going – even if you are a small crafts business. 

I have heard it said before, “I took out one ad and nothing happened.” Or, maybe four ads. Gone are the days where ONE ad will get the ball rolling for you and keep it rolling, as a business owner. 

Business owners think their business will go viral and think there has to be a magic formula to do that. However, keep in mind that VIRAL does not translate into sales. 

People buy when they are ready. 

For some reason, some small business owners do not advertise at all due to the above reason – “I took out one ad.” They believe if they spend $100 on an ad, they should get $100 in return. But it doesn’t work that way. 

Even the big social media behemoth of Facebook does NOT guarantee a return on investment. For example, we participated in a program this summer where the newspaper ran some sponsored ads on Facebook. Facebook is just one component of us marketing ourselves. 

But I’m getting ahead of myself. I’m going to save that one for Part 3 – your golden ticket.

I have heard some business owners say, “I’m not going to advertise because I don’t need to. I will put it on Facebook and people will find me.”

If that principle worked, then the big business “big guns” would do that. But watch the news and pick up some magazines along with the newspapers. There are some “big guns” that will spend a lot of money on advertising and not keep it all on Facebook. I’m singling out healthcare and national fast-food restaurants.

We have a number of local hospitals. Every once in a while, we will need one. So, why do hospitals advertise? You would think they are “big” enough that they don’t have to. 

Why do fast food restaurants advertise? They are big enough already, make millions of dollars every year, and we have a lot of them in this town (particularly chicken). Why do they advertise? Why do they spend tens of thousands of dollars weekly? Why don’t they just hang onto that money? Is that “throwing money away” on ads?

They want to be the first one on people’s minds when they want something to eat and want something fast. They already have ardent fans who will drive up and order – and they likely have customers who have had horrible experiences with them. They also know they have competition and if they are out of a customer’s sight, they will be out of a customer’s mind.

Repetition is the key to advertising. As customers miss things the first-time round, and so do shoppers or those who need our services. Sometimes it can take a while to encounter that customer who is ready to buy from us RIGHT NOW. 

Also, in addition to repetition, show customers how what you do is different. What makes YOUR product or service different and/or better than the next one who’s selling the same thing? You need to answer that question and put it into your advertising language. 

Find your audience and stand in front of them with what you have. Keep showing up and getting your brand and what you do out there. Your customers might be on Facebook, but they are also a LOT of other places. 

I recently started ordering from a company called Imperfect Foods. I did not decide to do so after seeing one ad. I saw several – I’m not sure how many. 

Then, I decided to explore what they offered, liked what I saw – that the minimum order was only $30, that I can control how often I want a shipment – these aspects different from other food delivery services I’d seen. After that, I placed my first order and was overall pleased with it. I’m now a repeat customer and have shared it with friends. 

See how it works? The days of the “one ad wonder” are long gone. 

So, do you think “free” Facebook is going to keep your business afloat? Think again. Stay tuned for Part 3 and the golden ticket.  

You can read Part 1 here: https://www.coveleaderpress.com/editorial/if-you-have-small-business-rea...

Copperas Cove Leader Press

2210 U.S. 190
Copperas Cove, TX 76522
Phone:(254) 547-4207