You need to network. Join your local Chamber of Commerce and other business-related community organizations, such as the Rotary Club or Knights of Columbus. Your new bank manager may also set you up with a local networking group, or you can check your local paper’s business section for other local networking groups and join one in your area.
Friends and Family
Share the good news with your friends, family, and acquaintances! These are the folks who are already “sold” on you and want to see you succeed. You don’t have to convince them to use your business; you just have to let them know about it. But if you stop there, you’re doing yourself a disservice. You need to ask them to refer your new business to their friends, family, and acquaintances!
Finally, you’re ready to employ the less personal—though very effective— methods of announcing your new business. There are bulk e-mail notices you can send to your address book on your own or through a service such as Constant Contact. Just be careful not to spam anyone when sending e-mails. You can also send out a direct-mail postcard announcement. These postcards can be ordered from online sources, a local printer, or created by you through some of the “Office Suite” business software programs.
Create a “Local Business” Facebook page for your new business and ask all your personal Facebook friends to “Like” your business page. Use Twitter to tweet about your new business. If you are a professional, LinkedIn is a must to let your colleagues know about your venture!
Yellow Pages Listings
f you’re old enough to be reading this book, you remember when the phone book was one of the most important books in the house. Yellow Pages and residential/business phone books are still delivered to our homes, but few households rely on them much any more because all the information can now be found online. However, if your business is based heavily on local clients, it is crucial to get listed in both versions. If you have a service business, you may just need an online Yellow Pages listing, which can be accessed from anywhere in the world.
You can search online by using the term “Yellow Pages” and see what’s involved in obtaining an online listing and, perhaps, an advertisement. Ask a local advertising consultant about different pricing in your area if you want to be included only in the print version.
Word to the Wise
For some of your friends and relatives, anything less than a phone call announcing your new business would be an insult. So, first determine who, besides Mom and Aunt Betty, needs your personal attention, and then make those calls. Next, figure out who needs a handwritten note, as opposed to an e-mail or postcard, and get those cards in the mail.