Here’s a little excerpt of what he had to say:
“I’ve shared my rich dad’s lessons that when business drops off, many entrepreneurs listen to their accountant’s advice and cut back on advertising and promotion. That’s the worst thing you can do. When times get tough, your job is to promote more, not less.
“Promotion is a six week cycle. That means if I promote today, business increases six weeks later. Many businesses violate the six week cycle. They promote for, say, four weeks, and because nothing happens, they stop. Two weeks later, there’s a sudden increase in business. For four weeks, business remains strong. Then, just as suddenly, business drops off, because six weeks earlier, the entrepreneur had stopped promoting.
“My rich dad’s lesson was to never stop promoting. Promote whether the economy is strong or weak; promote even when you may not have the money. If you have no money, stand on a street corner at lunchtime with a sign hanging around your neck promoting your product or service. Not only will you meet new customers, but you might also save money on lunch, lose some weight, and get a suntan.”
In the construction industry, there’s always a lot of debate about the nature of the business, specifically whether there’s any value in promoting using any method other than going after referrals.
Like I’ve said in the past, referrals are king. Get all the referrals you can! (Most importantly, develop a referral system.)
But I am a proponent of balance. You should have a nice mix of advertising and promotion to balance out your marketing plan.
As a contractor, there are many ways to promote using advertising. Use caution, and be frugal.
Consider offering “filler” ads to your local newspaper. Develop a relationship with your sales rep, and send her your ad. Tell her to run your ad if she ever needs to fill a spot at the last minute. Name your price (of course, at a discount from her normal rates.) The worst that can happen is she says no.
There are many creative ways to promote your business without hemmoraging your cash. Have fun with it, and you might come up with your own “guerilla style” ideas.
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