The Business Life: Marketing your small business!

Truthfully, we’ve been in business for more than six years, and I’ve been finding the last six months TOUGH! To summarize, we thought we had made a breakthrough last year, but… we have just fallen back to the way things were before.Our business has a lot of repeat and long-term customers, who come back regularly. BUT as their kids get older, other options begin to seem more relevant to their children. Parents’ ideas change too. So when the kids grow up, their circumstances change. This summer saw a particularly volatile period of older customers leaving and new ones arriving. From May to September, we lost nearly 20 customers, which is a large batch of our customer base. We picked up some to replace the exiting customers. Some of that couldn’t be avoided, though. I guess we should have seen it coming. Actually, we did, but it came sooner than we expected in many cases.

It is frustrating to manage a business, only to discover that the biggest problem you face is in fact your own shortcomings. Our business really needs to find a way to market ourselves effectively in the local community, to make our personalities more prominent, and to become more persuasive perhaps. A tall order in my book, as I am not a leader type personality. But I think I may have to become such.

So we set to and produced our own little newsletter. We first ran a demo in November with about 20-40 copies given away. We found a column writer who is able to write the column on the back of the newsletter, we created some appropriate content for the front page, and we wrote the content for the inner pages. The first issue came out in December, and the second in February.  Each time we have given away over 200 copies.

In fact, I think it has helped to bring in some customers. I found that people pick them up from the distribution point, and sometimes come straight in to ask about our products and services, newsletter in hand!

I’m now looking at other low-level, in your face flyers and similar for our business. Stay tuned!