One of the best parts about owning your own business is the fact that you get to use your creativity for something that you love, whether it is in designing your office or store, creating something for sale, designing eye-catching promotional materials, or finding innovative ways in which to advertise.
I have been looking into several advertising options now that I´ve hired a small company to manufacture my diaper bags, and I´ve run across some very interesting ways in which to advertise. I love seeing small companies that find interesting advertising options, because it means that they are really thinking about their business, the customers that they want to attract, and how to go about attracting those customers in a creative manner.
So I thought I would share some ideas that I´ve come across during my research.
The first I posted in a previous blog about starting a business (http://www.allbusiness.com/blog/WorkingMothers/11535/005680.html). In the restroom of my doctor´s office, they have set up a small advertising section for businesses that sell products or services related to pregnancy. What a great idea! Each time a pregnant woman stops in to use the bathroom (which is often, as you know) she has an opportunity to look at flyers, brochures, to test samples, and to accumulate business cards of the names of businesses that sell products and services she will most likely need within the next nine months. They even have a large dresser in the corner of the restroom on which all of these cards and samples are arranged; the dresser is from a company that sells baby furniture and it is an advertisement in and of itself.
Following this idea, one way in which to get your name out there is to find a few area businesses that sell services or products related to yours and ask if you can advertise your business with them. Leave samples if possible, because having something solid to touch, smell, or put on the skin gains attention pretty quickly–everyone loves a free sample! Leave coupons, too, to attract new customers.
The first idea leads into my second advertising option-swapping advertising space. Find businesses that sell related products and services and swap advertising space with them. Ask if you can hang a flyer or drop off a few samples and in return do the same for their business. Don´t be shy when approaching a business about advertising swapping; they want to get the word out about their business as much as you want to get the word out about yours.
Think out of the box. For Halloween we took my daughter, then one years old, trick or treating. A woman dressed as a doll walked up to us on the sidewalk and handed my daughter a few treats wrapped in plastic. When we got home and unwrapped the treats, we saw that she had also included her business card. She was a home daycare provider, and what better way to reach potential customers than by passing out treats to children who fell in the age range of those that she babysits? I thought that her advertising idea was genius.
Network. Chances are you know other business owners who are mothers just by taking your children to daycare, school, soccer practice, the Y, and various other classes and events around town. Or you may not know what they do because you haven´t asked. One thing you must learn as a new business owner is that you are your word of mouth, so as you meet new moms, ask what they do and then tell them what you do. This is not being conceited; this is getting the word out about your business. Chances are you will meet other entrepreneurial moms who might be in a business related to yours and who might offer to spread the word about your business (or your business cards/catalogs/flyers) if you are willing to do the same in return.
If these ideas aren´t enough, check out the other hundred I found while looking into my own advertising options. http://www.momtycoons.com/offline/creative-advertising.shtml.