There have been several postings from shops that are throwing in the towel or thinking about it. Here are some ideas I have used that have helped get my name out there in a wider audience.
1. Enter your companies name in as many free website referral services as possible.
2. Make a list of you specialties and look for websites that promote them and link up.eg. green/outdoor/kosher/pets/children/organic/ etc.
3. Use simple video software like Roxio Photoshow to make your own shows and post on Facebook, Twitter, MySpace, YouTube. I have a video on YouTube under kosher kitchen design that has had great response and my website has two videos as well. I made them in under one hour and the software is 40.00.
4. Make copies of these videos and give to friends; 100 blank CD's is less than 20.00 on sale and you can print your own color labels very inexpensively.
5. Enter competitions that our trade magazines have with pictures of your work. I am getting an award tonight at the Vegas show as one of the Wood100 companies. My growth from 2005 to 2008 was strong and my product line is varied and even though I am a one man shop, I will be listed in Wood Products Magazine as one of the 100 top American woodworking firms. I just had the nerve to send in the info.
6. See if your expertise is interesting to others as a free speaker... I specialize in Green cabinetry and have lectured twice at the local Whole Foods Store. I got one green kitchen from that one hour talk. Church or synagogue sisterhoods love to have speakers and cabinet design can be very interesting to others.
7. Volunteer for a youth group. I have taught a woodworking class to youngsters several times and encouraged the parents to come supervise or help. Turn off the major machines, have parts precut and let them sand and glue up a bird house. The local papers love this type of idea and it widens your image. A parent may even keep you in mind for some work.
8. Your car and body are places to spread the word and if you see someone scribbling your number at a red light, jump out and hand them a flyer.
9. Make a flyer if you donít have one. The cup is half full, not half empty.
(Business and Management Forum)