July 1, 2014

Maybe, Just Maybe, It Is Time To Start Telling Your Story

By Paul Bieber

Business is starting to pick up, and this might be the right time to start advertising.

There are more potential customers out there now, and they are looking for vendors in the glass industry. But you have always hated spending time writing an ad, and it never comes out as good on paper as when you thought of it. Never.

Here’s how to make a simple advertising program work for you:

Step 1. Set your budget on what you can afford. 

Step 2. What are you going to advertise—shower doors, commercial work, auto, or residential? … Or just name recognition? My suggestion is to pick one, or at most two, areas that you want to grow your business in. If these areas grow because of your advertising, you can always add more areas.

Step 3. Remember, the Gecko is already taken. 

Step 4. Look at what your competitors are doing AND not doing. You do need some sort of electronic presence. Don’t be afraid of the web, Facebook or writing a blog. On the nights I have to write my blog, I get out of doing dishes. Whenever a new customer comes in or calls, ask them how they heard of you. You will begin to get a feel of where your customers see your ads or hear about you.

Step 5. Now, get a yellow pad and write down the answers to the following questions. These answers will be the guide to your advertising agenda.

  • What is unique about my business? Every business has unique features and customer advantages. Write out yours.
  • What problems are you able to solve for your customers? What can you help customers to do in saving money; (low-e?) in helping them to sell their products; in adding value to their homes or businesses; and to solve an immediate or pending crisis?
  • What is it about your business that you consider normal that an outsider would consider cool? Just scoring glass is cool… C’mon, there are many more things.
  • What is interesting about the story of your company? How was it founded? How did it grow? Where is it heading? Are you the founder, andwhy did you start it?
  • What part of your business has pleased the most customers? Why? 

Got it?  Your business is special. Once you have that on paper, you’ll want to meet with some advertising salespeople, or even an ad agency. We’ll talk more about that next week, after you have filled out your yellow pad with answers to the above questions.

Note:  I read an interesting article in the April 2014, issue of Entrepreneur Magazin,e which helped me form some of this blog. Read USGlass first, and if you have spare time left, Entrepreneur is a good read.