When starting or conceptualizing a business, a good entrepreneur may wish to test the market first. It makes sense to invest fully in a business only after it has demonstrated its viability. Part of testing a new business involves observing which marketing techniques bring new clients or customers to the business. Businesspeople who want to test advertising methods before the business has its business license can try some innovative and inexpensive methods.
Remind satisfied clients or customers to pass along their good reviews of the business. Word-of-mouth advertising presents an excellent opportunity to bring new clients into a business. Ask the customers to post reviews of the business on their social networking site--Facebook or Twitter, for example--or community online forums.
Hand out business cards to let people know about the business. Go to gatherings and events that have a connection with the business. If the business involves childcare, for example, leave business cards in community centers, playgrounds, church gatherings and pediatricians' offices.
Create and print fliers and post them in areas where potential clients gather. Advertise a caregiver service through fliers in doctors' offices or rehabilitation center waiting rooms. Promote a typing service by hanging fliers in university cafeterias.
Write promotional pieces about the business and submit them to community newsletters. Many community newsletters will print "filler" copy that has already been written, especially if it is about something happening in the community.
Set up a website to advertise the business. Describe the product or service clearly on the website and make sure that clear contact information appears on the website. Keep fresh information about the business appearing on the site, including new pictures and updates. Build a social network, and announce website updates on the social network page to "friends," which then appear on the networks of their friends.
Laurie Rappeport is a writer and blogger with more than 10 years of experience. Her areas of expertise are in education, child development, travel, pets, nutrition and health for Demand Studios and a major travel website. Rappeport holds a Master of Arts degree from Wayne State University.