Post by Kristy Straka, contributing Women On Business writer
It is apparent that every business is suffering and cutting back as much as possible right now and that’s when creativity needs a new spark. I drove through the city today and noticed that not only did the hot wings franchises have their chickens out dancing holding signs, but the income tax filing companies had the statue of liberty outside jumping around, and the tattoo parlors have tattoo man out in the street holding signs just trying to get their business noticed.
I work with a personal trainer who is trying to figure out new ways to market her services in a bad economy. Yes, she has a web-site, but people need to be specifically looking for a personal trainer on a web to find her. She needs to be pro-active and creative to have the edge of a successful entrepreneur.
It is a time in our life when some of the luxuries that we all once enjoyed are the first to be taken off of our list of priorities. Having a personal trainer is on top of the luxury list that seems to be one of the first to be taken off of the priority list first. I have even heard that some people are starting to cut their own hair because they cannot really afford to go out and get haircuts for everyone in the family.
Cutbacks in our personal life are necessary when we are being financially challenged. However, when you are self-employed, it seems that advertising is the one thing that costs a lot of money but at the same time it keeps your business in front of new clientele. Advertising is one of the first business budget cuts during tough economical times.
Instead of cutting back on advertising, we all need to be creative in our advertising efforts. I often refer to my personal trainer because she works so hard to do a great job for her clients and is well respected in the health industry. She too, struggles with finding new and innovative ways to be different. She also struggles with how she should advertise her business when advertising is so expensive and business is down.
A couple of weeks ago, she decided to hold a couple of seminars to get the word out about who she is, how she is different, and what she can teach you that is more effective than you would learn from just an ordinary trainer.
She decided to put on one seminar a week which will bring in mostly women to show them how to target problems areas and concentrate on those specific targets. She had a glute seminar a couple of weeks ago. Most women want to shape their rear end, lose the body fat, and look more attractive in their clothes. My trainer is able to make up exercises that most trainers wouldn’t know about unless they watched her and copied her. All attendees come in workout clothes and participate in a working seminar.
Now, she charges $40.00 for each person who attends so her time is not wasted, but the possibility of her gaining even two clients could pay her expenses for the month. I talked with a couple of the women after they attended the seminar, and they said they couldn’t believe how sore they were by the end of the next day. Some are working out on their own, some workout with my trainer, and word of mouth will begin to spread for new attendees to come to the next seminar.
Getting exposure is necessary in order to keep your business flowing. Being creative and innovative in advertising produces rewards. Although a couple of dozen brochures might have cost her $20.00, she was able to recoup that $20.00 with the first person who attended the seminar. The additional paid for her time. This is advertising at its finest. Think simply and ask yourself . . . How can I advertise and immediately recoup my advertising costs before I even receive one client.
She has decided to continue doing these seminars once a week for new women attendees and target different problem areas of concern that women have. During these paid seminars, her advertising is immediately paid back, her time is paid for, and she is getting exposure by demonstrating which increases her chances to obtain new clients.
Sending out postcards is oftentimes not cost effective. You have to come up with an idea, have the artwork created, buy the postcards, wait for them to be proofed, run, and delivered. Then you have to label, stamp, and mail them and expect a 1% return.
This process all takes time. If you are ready to roll with a great revenue building idea, time is of the essence, and money is tight, then alternative marketing might be more appealing to you.
Being cost effective right now is essential, and eliminating advertising is not an option. Once you eliminate advertising, your business will become stagnant and pretty soon you will wonder what happened to all of your clients.
Entrepreneurs are creative and innovative. If you apply your creativeness and innovativeness to marketing then you have created a solution for cost effective marketing principles which is the key to staying afloat and rejuvenating your business with new clientele. Forever thinking . . . forever adapting . . . forever prosperous!
If you are in a penny pinching crunch, think of how you can revamp your advertising program. If people can find a way to travel Europe on a $10.00 a day budget, there is a way to advertise without spending yourself broke.
Keep your business in front of new clients and don’t wait for them to find you. It is up to each and everyone of us to go out and find our own clientele. Start looking for your niche and then start adding to it to continue your success.