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    Hello All,

    I have recently started up a small business of Coastal Op Shop Tours. The idea is to attract people from nearby Geelong (20 mins from coast). We depart from Geelong at 9:30am and return by 3:00pm so parents can pick up their kids from school. The tour is designed to attract people of all ages – teens through to the elderly. The emphasis is to have a fun, cheap, social day out.

    I have been advertising in a local community (free) paper but the results haven’t been outstanding.

    What is the most effective way to market/advertise my business? Where should I be placing my ads etc…

    Thanks heaps!

    • Total posts: 3

    Hi, for some ideas check out Mike Clough’s blog posting: http://bestbizpractices.org/2009/05/26/top-10-advertising-tips-for-small-business/

    I provided the information for this blog post and I consult to very small businesses who want to market using free and low cost methods. You can learn more about me at http://www.advertisingspark.com.

    Best of luck!

    Glynns Thomas
    [email protected]
    Inspiring Ideas for Small Budgets

    Hugh Thyer
    • Total posts: 159

    Hi Kerrie

    Good to see someone else from Geelong here!

    The way I see it there are three possible reasons why people arent responding to your advertising.

    1. Your advertising is not good enough. Do you have a headline on your ad that captures attention? Are your ads visible? Do they contain a great offer and a strong call to action? Do you get inside your prospect’s head and make them want to call you?

    2. Your advertising is in the wrong place. You’re after parents of primary school aged children. Do they read the local papers? Do they go as far as the classified ads, or wherever you’re advertising? You should be advertising where parents hang out.

    3. Your market doesnt want what you’re offering. It could be as simple as your market not wanting what you’re offering. Can you strengthen your offer, or can you pitch it in a different way. For example, instead of it being a fun day out, it could be an opportunity to save money and look great. Or it could become a social occasion. Perhaps its a day to get away from the house.

    Here are some ideas to try…
    – contact schools about this being a social occasion for Mums. You could arrange a pick up and drop off for before and after school

    – advertise through coffee shops on the agreement that your tours will start and end there, and you will encourage parents to stay for a coffee after the tour

    – arrange leaflet drops in neighbourhoods where lots of children live

    – advertise in school newsletters (this one could be a really good one)

    – advertise in coffee shops if they’ll let you

    – I know there is a ‘What’s on’ segment on Bay FM. can you get on there.

    – Get on the radio (there’s Bay FM, K-Rock and a community station) to talk about your tours. It can be a human interest story because your tours are to help parents look good and feel good about themselves while saving money. And the saving money aspect is also important, because with less money around to spend on entertainment, your tours are a great way to have a fun day out without spending much money. In fact, while SAVING money!

    – Write a press release for the local papers so they write a story on you. Again, the story wouldnt be an ad, but would be about the woman helping local Mums have an affordable day out, meet people and look good (by buying themselves inexpensive but fashionable outfits from the opshops you visit).

    – Just on the local schools, why not suggest your tours as a break up party for schools for the end of the year, or even the middle of the year. In fact you could offer this to senior groups as well!

    If you continue to advertise in local newspapers, at least vary your ads each week so you can test and measure the results from different ideas. When a new ad outperforms your old ads, this one becomes your new control, and your aim is to beat it.

    If you’d like any more explaination on these suggestions feel free to send me a PM or an email through my website.

    All the best

    Hugh Thyer

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