I walk through Darlington town centre most Wednesday mornings at 8.30 and notice some, not many, businesses are open for business. Observing these businesses later in the day I noticed that they are the busiest.
Traditional trading times the UK is 9-5 but this is not a rule or a law. You should be open and be ready for customers before 9 am or earlier. The windows should be clean, stock refreshed, lights on and the shop clean and tidy, staff ready to serve.
In a past chapter in my life, I ran a retail outlet and later a restaurant. The retail outlet was open early, if it was warm the doors would be open, a couple of potted plants outside and my signature – the pavement brushed and swilled with water. This activity actually attracts attention and gives a good impression of an ‘on the ball’ business, its actually free advertising and great for staff positive mentality. Activity attracts activity.
In an office environment, the same applies, get the staff in early, let them go early or give extra time off in lieu or build it into the employment contract. They should be ready to take calls and conduct meetings at 9 am (or before) rather than just get going after a coffee at 9.45 ish.
Back to my observed stars in Darlington, the businesses I noticed were Savers, Relish, Alfornos and Taylors. All successful expanding businesses.
If you are stumbling through the door at 9 am, hanging around outside, the keyholder is not there and the entrance is messy it won’t take much to instigate the above and the results will be great – all for free, just a little time and effort. The early bird gets the worm.
Advertising on the Internet is defiantly the place to be. Why? It’s just the same as advertising on TV but way cheaper. The similarities are; your advert is in front of a specific demographic, you know how many people are seeing your advert and you know where those people are. With TV and Internet advertising you can place your advert in front of, within reason, as many people as you like. For example ITV Saturday night hauls in approximately 6 million viewers up to a possible 12 million with a hit programme like XFactor in its hay day. But you need money and lots of it to advertise on TV main channels. Smaller less watched channels like ITV3 and the digital channels like Quest TV are a better bet for a better return on investment. You get a more targeted demographic so you can hone your advert to that demo’. This applies to Internet advertising too and this is where you should be looking to spend some of your budget. It takes some time to find the best advertising website but invest some research, find a site that attracts your demo’, look at the numbers and test the water.
The easy way: If you use AdWords make sure you edit the setting to allow your adverts to show on the specified sites. You’re in.
Takes more time but can get you awesomely cheap advertising: A great example of a small cheap advertising site is www.reVKoo.com. All reVKoo do is publish articles on hotels and associated businesses. The say that on average a hotel article attracts steady 30-60 viewers per month and the readers read the article for over 3 minutes – that’s a long time! Now, the very interesting part about this type of website content is that it is been read by a very specific demographic and the reader is defiantly, as defiant as well ever get, interested in booking a hotel in that area. So if you are a hotel or associated business in that area you can attract over 300 good readers to your business. If you are really clever – and I’m sure you are – you should add a special deal available ONLY on that site. Allows good measurably and your little tasty offer can encourage that golden chalice we call – viral activity. Little site like reVKoo earn their money from Google AdSense mostly but they will allow bespoke adverts cheaply as Google AdSense take the lion’s share of the advertising revenue. You should be able to get an advert from £100.
I remember in the old days placing a credit card advert for £25 and getting ten phone calls – a great return. Now that same advert will produce zero. The action is on the web. But the prices on the web via the main players is way too expensive for the little guys who cant afford to throw advertising budget around. Above gives you a way in to get a great advertising deal.
I hope this helps and here to cheap targeted advertising, lust like in the old days.
How to Beat Yell in Four Weeks with NO Budget? You probably get calls from Yell.com selling you a place on their directory and the book, Yellow Pages – Free advice; NEVER advertise in the Yellow Pages Book – The directory can work and does work for service companies like plumbers, plant hire and builders etc. But if you are a little bit clever and can add pages to your site easily you can achieve the same and sometimes better search results than the giant Yell will produce for your hard earned cash for a cost of nothing but a little time.
EXAMPLE: ‘Marketing Agency in Middlesbrough’ Zedcomms are one level ‘above’ Yell.com.
Also always list on Google Local – its free too.
How bricks and mortar retail can survive? More than 50% of consumers will do some browsing during the weekend, according to Kevin Sterneckert, vice president of retail research at Gartner.
“They will buy things because they looked at them in the store. They will touch and feel what they are interested in and then buy it online on Monday, either from the same retailer or a different online retailer.”
Last week was the start of Black Friday in USA. I experienced this marketing onslaught when I was in Arizona last year at this time. Its amazing. The TV adverts are booming out deals on cars, kitchens and department store wide offers. We are starting to see our British version now with quite 30% off two day sales etc. As consumers get even more savvy sales will become part of our yearly routine.
Don’t be too British – have a sale or a SALE! Consumers like it you know…
Press advertising still has its place. Direct community magazine still produce good results when set up correctly, IE linked to a website. We at ZedComms have been commissioned to launch a established Irish magazine in England, starting in the city of Durham. The magazine will offer delivered advertisements through a prospects door by Royal Mail from an amazing low cost of 1p per delivery. Yes one pence!