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Share your marketing techniques.


LastChip

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Something that I have always been very poor at, is marketing. I not a natural salesman and it shows in just about everything I attempt.

A quick piece of research indicated that about 71% of new businesses survive longer than three years. So what happened to the other 29%?

Clearly some will have failed simply because they weren't viable in the first place, but it's my belief (gut feeling if you like) that many fail through lack of marketing. Getting their message in front of the greatest possible amount of people.

Now keeping in mind new "one man band" start-ups would probably have very limited funds, what are your favourite marketing techniques that worked for you?

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crosstrainer

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You are doing all the right things :)

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wildrover

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Most of my work comes either from repeat contracts or through responding to tender invitiations. I don't need to do a great deal of advertising as such, but I do need to keep my name and my businesses in the minds of clients and potential clients. I do that by keeping in touch with clients, even when not actually contracted to them - drop them an email, or pick up the phone just to say 'hello'. I have picked up a few short contracts following those contacts.

my line of business (social research and evaluation of public funded programmes) also means that i have to keep abreast of policy changes and statistics on e.g. unemployment, etc., particularly in the regions I work in (East and West Midlands). I can collate that information into da ocument fairly cheaply and send that round to potential clients for free, often just as a pdf. That seems to work as well.

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crosstrainer

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Don't try to "oversell" and never make promises you can't keep.

Tailor your sales methods to suit each client, this makes them feel that you are treating them as individuals and not "One of the pack"

Word of mouth is one of the best marketing tools in existance....I sometimes offer discounts on bit's of kit, software etc. via a coupon, which (when presented by the new customer) entitles the existing client to the aforementioned bonus.

Target your core audience effectively,a lot of my business comes from the student / university area, ads in the right locations are cheap and effective.

For business clients (networking etc) be flexible, even if this means installing updates, cabling routers etc over a weekend....The word of mouth works here too!

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Kemistri

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The oft-quoted figure -- which may not be accurate -- is a failure rate of c.50% in the first year.

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