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A bad economy is usually a good time to advertise.
I'm a creature of habit, so when I went out to dinner recently to discuss a new business venture with my brother it was at a restaurant I frequent regularly. The place still had the same cozy physical appeal, the food was still as spectacular as ever, but there was one obvious change; We had the dining room to ourselves all night.
This place that I remember as being alive no matter what day it was, bustling with the activity of a busy and challenged wait staff, was now very quiet and empty. The poor economy had hit here hard even though it was surrounded by an affluent demographic. And whether these nice folks realize it now or later, it's not going to go away just because you ignore it or try to "ride it out".
So what could be done about it?
You cannot blame business people for not knowing how to make this bad set of circumstances turn around, but utilizing the same old uninspired methods of luring the people in will certainly guarantee that you never will, especially if it’s a do or die effort to regain your foothold as the foundation of your empire crumbles all around you.
My first piece of advice is this: Admit that what you’re trying is a dismal failure and stop it immediately. Secondly, stop using a media rep as your advertising guru, because all you’ll be getting is a new friend and not much of anything else, especially objectivity.
Write down a realistic budget and write down a time period that you can commit that number to -- say three months. Write down who you want as your customers. All these things should be written down as hard and fast business guidelines because you're going to refer back to them as you advance forward. There will be other listings, but this is a start. You need a direction and a goal right now.
Having a solid plan is always a good first step.
The creativity comes next. What will you have to do and how will you have to do it to get people to come streaming back through your main entrance? That’s where someone like me comes in. Obviously, I want you to succeed. I’ve got ideas to help you make it happen. That’s what I do; And ideas are what you want in abundance.
It's not all about the money.
Anybody can throw a lot of money at an idea and make it seem like a solution when it occasionally creates a new customer or two, but a steady stream of returning patrons as a direct result of your brand new concept that's not draining your coffers is much more satisfying.
Please forgive this blatant promotion.
I warned you that I sometimes find the need to do it, and here it comes. You need slick, top-notch, a-one, first class agency results for cheap, with ideas that inspire. I don’t “mark-up” and I don’t add on “commissions”. If you’re a small to medium-size business of any kind, you can have the benefits of an ad agency like mine that delivers results without you having to pay the price. From a business card to a website, and everything in-between, you can bring back the best of the good old days without mortgaging the days that lie ahead. You’ll pay peanuts for everything, but you’ll never know what "good and cheap" really means until you find it out first hand. No pressure, just conversation, like you’re talking to a friend. Okay I'm done now, but I also want to temper this by saying that the advice is sound and "good luck no matter who you may turn to". Barry
Put more bang into
your buck slip.
Most people don't even know what a buck slip is. If you ever received a mailing from a utility, usually an invoice, with an accompanying 3.5" x 8.5" (or smaller) flyer of sorts, that's called a buck slip. It's there to call your attention to something other than the invoice.
They are there to sell something or call attention to a new feature or service. Primarily, they are there to get noticed, like a miniature flyer. In fact, they're sometimes referred to as "envelope stuffers". They can be a valuable tool to any business who has regular mail communications with their customers. You can introduce new products, concepts, policies, and interests while maintaining focus on the main purpose of the original post.
Buck slips usually ride along with something that's already scheduled to go out, so in this they hitch a free ride along without ever requiring the need for postage. Always plan to include a buck slip when you mail invoices, or attach them to a receipt that you enclose with an instore purchase.
Whatever reason you find to communicate with a customer by regular mail, include a buck slip. It's akin to all those enclosures you receive when you get a magazine mailed to your home. That's about all I can say about it except that it's a valuable tool, so do your best to make it as effective as possible. Remember, treat it as gold because it can be a means of new business if handled correctly. Barry
A two-sided buck slip i designed for a client years ago, from my personal sample collection.
In this case, letting the customer know about all else that's available to them under one roof.