Studies show that five in 10 startup businesses fail in the first year, and nine in 19 of those that survive the first year never make it to the fifth.
Are you starting a business, or are you in one that is struggling to survive? How long can you operate a business that is unknown?
Most businesses fail because they lack:
A creative marketing plan.
Knowledge of the available resources that allow them to market their products/or services with a zero/shoestring budget.
The courage to position the benefits of what they do to improve life or the way people do things.
The tenacity required to stay focused on an established vision as obstacles unfold themselves one after another.
Its astonishing to hear people who own small- to medium-sized businesses say they dont subscribe to or even read local news-papers or business publications. Would you dare to do a business in a market where you have no clue who is there, what they are doing, what they want, why, when and how?
Newspapers and business publications provide information on whats going on in communities. They alert you to challenges, resources and opportunities.
Some have sections entirely designated for listing new businesses, the business owners background and the value the business adds to consumers way of life.
The only investment a business owner must make to take advantage of these free advertisements is a few minutes to write 75 to 100 words about the business.
What about press releases? Does your business ever have a day set aside for public participation in learning new ways of bettering ones life or in raising funds for charity or a cause?
If you know how to prepare a press release that the community-events editor would like the publications readers to know about, the event can be covered several times. Your time is the only investment required.
Another effective advertisement is your involvement in activities that you care about and that are necessary for the growth of your community and its people.
Though you will not likely gain direct, tangible returns, news publications cover community events, those involved and what they do. That level of coverage is worth thousands of advertising dollars.
Become a resource for newspapers and business publications. No, you dont have to just write about your business. You can write on issues you believe in, whats happening, who is affected, how and why and maybe you can offer solutions.
If you are enthusiastic about your product or services, have the courage to call or write and invite an editor to see what you have. There are tremendous benefits when people write about what you do. Your business gains from the publicity, and the paper gains by providing its readers newsworthy information.
For the sake of your children, get the newspaper and let them see you reading.
When you tell them to read books, they wont think you are telling them to do what you never do. You teach by example. There are also parts of the paper that enrich childrens understanding of the world around them.
Vincent Muli Kituko, author and motivational speaker. Founder of Kituku & Associates. firstname.lastname@example.org; 376-8724