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Small Business Ideas Forum

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Old 7th May 2009, 07:15 PM   #1

Join Date: May 2009
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Default My Offline Marketing Idea, Will It Work?

My business offers computer services to businesses and home users.

I am looking to grow my client base, specifially the business side for obvious reasons.

I think one of the only ways I am going to be able to get more business clients is to meet them face to face, and this is the way I am thinking of doing it.

My cold calling plan so far:

I am going to get 150 nice looking coffee mugs labeled with my business logo, website and number.

Source a wholesaler or at least get a discount on some cheap chocolates, not crappy ones, and fill the cups with them.

3. Maybe wrap them up in cellofane and stick a business card ot 2 in the top of the cup also.

4. Design a DL flyer which will say something along the lines of "Since we have sweetened you up a bit, how about letting us have a look at your computers and infrastucture.. for free?"

I want to offer a computer + infrastructure evaluation for free, to give them some insight into what they are doing wrong, or not doing. Follow up with a proposal outlining what I think they should do, and an estimate on cost etc maybe also.

I'd love to hear what you think!


Sydney Australia

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Old 7th May 2009, 10:21 PM   #2
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Question: Who are you going to give them mugs too? If you are giving them to people who are not looking for your services - you could be wasting a lot of money and time. I would suggest you give those mugs to current customers - thus you remain on the forefront of their minds.

I like the free service idea - although you may get more takers then you can handle. But, if you promote your free service (via traditional print and online media) you may be able to drum up business.
You can also partner with your local media players (print, TV, online) and work a story around your free services. If you give these media organziation something to report - they may promote you for free - use press releases or contact their managing editors and pitch your plan. If you write up a compelling enough story then offer your services - the media would love to promote you and help you drum up business.

Another suggestion - is to offer discounts to current customers for referrals. This way - you are getting new business which makes it easier to give the discount to current customers.

Just my thoughts

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Old 12th May 2009, 03:18 AM   #3
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Well, it's an interesting idea, and you're on the right track that to build more business clients for your computer consulting services you need to get in front of them & focus on that offline marketing.

But you do need to be careful that you're not over-investing in those 150 freebies... at that number, you may just get one signup out of it. Is that enough to justify the effort and expense? It really depends on how large your local market is, and how much you think each customer is potentially worth.

There are a lot of small businesses offering computer support/consulting services. How is your service different? What is your unique value? Come up with that, then design a marketing campaign that ties in to that value. There's no link between coffee/chocolate and computer services... except they all start with a "C" :-) For business clients, they need to know what is special about what you can do for them. And remember that your "free" assessment isn't really free for them... they still have to spend time and resources to have you do that assessment.

A lot of my clients are in the technology services business... and almost all of them face this same issue. You may do better with a presentation (not a sales pitch, but something helpful to the audience) to your local Chamber of Commerce or other group where potential business clients may be present.


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Old 13th May 2009, 10:24 AM   #4

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Default Good Idea, But . . .

Hi Jacob...

Liked the idea, but before you go spending all that money, how about trying some ideas that don't cost you a penny . . .

1. When ever you or your friends write out a bill (either personal or business related) on the front of the envelope, write your web address on it and something to the effect that you are offering a FREE check up on their computers...you will never know how many people see that envelope before it get's to it's final delivery point.

2. If you have a local book store . . . go to the section where your business niche is...(computer/small business/home business, etc.). In each of those books, place your business card...when someone comes to look at those books, your card will be right in front of them.

3. Oh yea...when ever you send out something in an envelope (again, business related or personal) insert a brochure or business card in there for your business...

Hope these helped...don't spend money when you don't have to.

Barry Davis
IdeaBox Marketing & Design

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Old 28th May 2009, 10:26 PM   #5
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Default It's in the follow-up!


I also like your idea because it has that personal touch to it. It allows the potential new client to SEE you and get a feel for the kind of service you will be providing.

I would follow-up with a "thank you for talking to me - it was nice to meet you" card/note, because it would be a second contact with the potential new client. Then a couple of weeks latter a follow-up phone call to see about scheduling the free service that you are offering.

I send thank you cards to all my new clients in my sculptured nail salon and you just can't believe all the nice comments and new referrals I get. No one bothers to send thank you cards any more so it make you stand out from the rest!

Keep track of the amount of new business comes from your marketing effort. Let us know how it's going.....

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Old 28th May 2009, 10:39 PM   #6

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Rather than a coffee cup, why not a flash drive or mouse pad with your name?

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Old 29th May 2009, 12:41 PM   #7

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That's a lot of money to be spending on marketing gimmicks. I know this is the offline section but for computer services you should be focusing on good search engine results for keywords in your area. Second would probably be print directories and direct mail. I wouldn't offer too many services for free, instead offer a free evaluation of the problem and add a dollar value to the evaluation.

Seems like businesses would be your best customers. I would be cold calling them and trying to find out if they are working with anyone and either discuss a free evaluation or try to get a meeting in person and possibly offer flat fee contract services that if they have any problems its covered under their contract.

Save the marketing gimmicks for customers that have used your services in the past but haven't used them in awhile.

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Old 3rd June 2009, 02:16 AM   #8

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This is a wonderful idea, but it will cost you. This would actually work if you had a targeted audience, those that are really interested in availing such services already.
Other ideas could be using door hangers or rack cards. You could even put a tear off coupon that they could present to you to avail of the free service. Definitely much cheaper.

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Old 9th February 2010, 05:00 AM   #9

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I suggest that you focus on your business to business transactions cause that will be that largest transactions that you might get. Try having contracts with big companies. Actually, you're plans are very good and might as well be effective if done properly. Give them an appertizer like a sales promo at first to make them come back for more. By doing that, you are giving yourself their trust and knowing your effectivity rate.

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Old 26th February 2010, 01:38 PM   #10

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I think you have some good ideas and are headed in the right direction. As others have suggested I would check on the potential roi of the free gifts, and something computer related may be more suitable.

Also, I was thinking that instead of offering a free general inspection, try to focus your offer on a hot topic. For example, if your company deals with networking you could provide your potential customer with a cost savings analysis based on server virtulization. The standardization of your offer should reduce the time you spend on it, saving you money. Plus, this provides specific, immediate benefits for them and could help to set you apart as the community expert if you do it right.

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