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Advertising Your Home Based Business Offline

By: Garry Pierrepont - Updated: 28 Feb 2011 | comments*Discuss
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Despite the hype about advertising on the Internet, that's not the only way to advertise your business. What do you know about advertising your business “offline”? It’s time to find out.

1. What’s happening to Yellow Pages?

We all know about Yellow Pages, but this year’s directory was smaller than previous versions. What's happening?

a. The directory is to be phased out within three years.
b. Yellow Pages is sharing its advertising between the directory and its online Yell.com.
c. Environmental considerations mean that Yellow Pages had to use less paper this year.

2. What is Thomson Up to?

Thomson Local is another large directory for businesses to advertise their wares, but what are their future plans?

a. Thomson Local is to merge with Yellow Pages to cut costs.
b. Thomson Local is using its data to offer other services, such as offering to reach new businesses for its existing clients.
c. Thomson Local – along with many other businesses - is cutting jobs, and users should look elsewhere to advertise.

3. How Should Your Integrate With Your Website?

Popular wisdom suggests it is important to have a website for all businesses, but how does that relate to other advertising media?

a. You should put your website address on all printed material.
b. As you are looking for other advertising outlets, let the Internet take care of your website advertising, and leave the website address off all printed material.
c. Some media are unhappy about you putting your website address everywhere.

4. People talk about radio as a good advertising medium, but is this still the case?

a. Radio is old fashioned and on one listens any more.
b. Advertising on radio is far too expensive for a home-based business.
c. Advertising on radio need not be prohibitively expensive and enables you to reach a local audience.

5. Advertising in magazines is another traditional outlet, so could you use that?

a. Magazines prefer well-known advertisers to keep up the prowess of their magazine.
b. Magazines will try to tie you in long deals that will quickly drain your cash resources.
c. If you talk to magazine advertising managers, it might be possible to use last minute space, which will help keep your costs down.

6. What about leaflets through doors?

a. Most people throw leaflets straight into their recycling bin, so there’s not much point.
b. Printing and delivery costs are so high these days that even this method of advertising is too expensive.
c. Leafleting can be a useful way of reaching thousands of potential customers, and needn’t be too costly, especially if you deliver the leaflets yourself.

7. A number of small, regular local directories (often by postcode) are cropping up...

These offer advertising opportunities. What is your attitude towards using these?

a. These directories couple advertising with local news, and are therefore attractive to recipients, giving good reach and visibility to advertisers.
b. It’s another cost and you need to keep costs down.
c. These go the same way as leaflets – straight in the bin.

8. Do you think advertising offline works for small, home-based businesses?

a. The old surmise “if you build it, they will come” has little truth, especially for small businesses. You need to get the word out there as much as you can, whatever the costs involved. You should use all possible media.
b. It’s best to keep costs down and keep advertising to a minimum. Free advertising on the Internet (SEO etc) is the only way.
c. As ever, a happy balance needs to be struck between outlay and return. Keep a track of your advertising outlay, and when customers do come, ask they how they found out about you so that you can determine which advertising works for you. Then you can modify your advertising spend accordingly.

Add up your score according to the following:

1. a) 1 b) 3 c) 2
2. a) 1 b) 3 c) 2
3. a) 3 b) 1 c) 2
4. a) 2 b) 1 c) 3
5. a) 1 b) 2 c) 3
6. a) 2 b) 1 c) 3
7. a) 3 b) 2 c) 1
8. a) 2 b) 1 c) 3

How did you score?

8-13: You are not at all convinced by the possibilities of offline advertising. As such you could be missing a lot of reasonably priced opportunities for your home-based business. It is worth re-thinking your advertising strategy to incorporate offline advertising.

14-19: You realise that some offline advertising could help your business, but you have not explored all possibilities. Further research would help with your advertising strategy.

20-24: It looks as though you have some good knowledge about the opportunities that come from offline advertising. Mixing online and offline advertising will be truly beneficial for your business.

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