I've got a small 2 man shop in rural Atlantic Canada. After advertising in the newspaper, yellow pages, and radio over the past years, I've just bought a new cargo and put graphics on it. What do you find works the best for small businesses in rural areas? Cash guys are rampant in the area, and with the cost of doing business legally, it's hard to get ahead of them.
(Business and Management Forum)
From contributor T:
I agree that the big boys play hardball, but you must also think about the following. I run a 1.5 man shop (1200sqft) that does about 250k per year. I have very few expenses due to a rental property on my land which basically covers all my expenses. The way I advertise? Big! When people look at a small ad, they see a small, unprofessional business. But a large ad shows them that you are serious about your business. I have had great results from advertising in magazines.
Over the years I have found the cabinetmakers/finishers focus too much on overhead (tools, machines, shops that are too large for what they need). Granted, all these things are important, but you can have the most beautiful shop with the latest equipment. If you don't have any money left for advertising, you're going to go broke! I personally spend about 10k -15k a year and that is in half page ads and brochures. You might also want to try contacting your community paper and asking them if they offer a package. My community paper offers a full page feature on your business if you advertise for 6 consecutive months. There are also plenty of great books on advertising.