Rural small businesses are usually not overrun with excess cash. We are usually strapped, so we think about marketing in unusual ways; ways that leverage our effort instead of our dollars.
Inc.com had a great article on this topic by Ted O’Callahan. His main points were:
- Become an Expert by speaking, writing, or sharing
- Pick a Partner and work with another small firm to market both of you
- Reach Out Via E-mail to customers who agree or opt-in
- Leverage the Immediacy of the Internet with a blog or regular updates to a website
- Go Out…A Lot and network. But don’t go out and sell, go out and ask questions. Take notes. Then get back in touch later for a very personal type of marketing.
O’Callahan quotes Jay Conrad Levinson, the father of Guerilla Marketing:
“The biggest mistake that new [entrepreneurs] make is they expect marketing to perform miracles,” Levinson says. “It will, but it takes quite a while.” Many good marketing efforts go to waste because entrepreneurs jump to another strategy when they don’t get immediate results. “If you run something two or three or four times, that’s not commitment.”
Think of Absolut vodka. They have used the same advertising campaign, based on their sleek bottle shape, for years. Commitment to your chosen strategies can help you make the most of every dollar you invest.
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Becky started Small Biz Survival in 2006 to share rural business and community building stories and ideas with other small town business people. She and her husband have a small cattle ranch and are lifelong entrepreneurs. Becky is an international speaker on small business and rural topics.